The Times' editorial on Tuesday discussing Israel'sreaction to Gunter Grass' poem on a possible confrontation with Iran prompted reader Steven Zak of Sunland to write:
"The Times argues that by 'overreacting' to Grass' poem, Israelis 'are acting like Iranians.' More accurately, The Times is acting like Grass, who defames Israel as a 'perpetrator' of 'recognized danger.' The Times does likewise by comparing Israelis with Iran's regime.
"When Grass calls the established fact of Iran's weapons program 'unproven,' he sounds like the Iranians, who both deny the Holocaust and vow to repeat it. Anyone who thinks Israel's condemnation of such a man is 'the kind of reaction we'd expect from Iran's mullahs' is ignorant about how those mullahs deal with dissent."
Editorial writer Dan Turner responds:
Suppose a European author wrote a strong critique of President Obama's policies on detaining and trying terror suspects; in response, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton forbade the writer from entering the country. To most Americans, that would be an outrageous violation of the free-speech principles this country holds dear. Yet when Israeli officials commit such an obvious offense against their nation's own progressive values, many are willing to give them a pass. Israel is a small country that feels threatened in a way the U.S. doesn't, but barring Grass does nothing to strengthen Israeli security.