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Letters: Israel, Iran and us

September 16, 2012
  • Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama meet at the White House in 2010.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and President Obama meet at… (Pablo Martinez Monsivais…)

Re "Israel's dilemma," Opinion, Sept. 14

Danny Danon, deputy speaker of the Knesset, paints Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu as a deliberative leader faced with a severe crisis that is Israel's business only. He fails to mention Netanyahu's outrageous attempt to use U.S. politics to manipulate President Obama into putting down hard conditions that would commit us to attacking Iran on Israel's behalf.

If only it were true that an Israeli decision to attack Iran would have consequences for Israel only. But of course it wouldn't; the U.S. would be expected to clean up any regional conflict.

After decades of thumbing its nose at American policy by building settlements, Israel now expects us to go to war with Iran on its behalf. Obama's reasonable rebuff in response to Netanyahu's provocations is reassuring.

Alex Murray

Altadena

Danon's piece brings to mind the ad that featured a mechanic holding a dirt-filled oil filter and advising, "You can pay me now or pay me later," the implication being that a new filter is far less costly than an engine overhaul. That's where we are with the Iranian nuclear program.

We can deal with it now or later, but eventually we are going to have to deal with it. The mullahs will not be deterred.

Danon serves up the pragmatic decisions made by past Israeli leaders. Is there any doubt that those currently charged with ensuring Israel's survival will deviate from the previous path blazed by those men and their fateful decisions?

Louis H. Nevell

Los Angeles

Danon hardly helps his cause by citing as an example of sound foreign policy Israel's preemptive strike that launched the Six-Day War in 1967. By not allowing for the possibility of a diplomatic solution (then and now), Israel is burdened with governing the occupied territories and compelled to manage an oppressed population.

Recalling the attack on Iraq in 1981, Danon suggests that Israel ought to consider a unilateral attack on Iran's nuclear facilities — an attack that even the Israeli military has stated would probably not succeed in destroying Iran's capacity to develop a nuclear capability. Israel lacks the firepower to penetrate the underground bunkers in which Iran conducts its nuclear research.

In his efforts to make Israel more secure, Danon's reckless strategy involving unilateral military action would achieve just the opposite. The irony is breathtaking.

Andrew Spathis

Los Angeles

Why is it that whenever there's a discussion of Iran's nuclear program, no mention is made of Israel's nuclear arsenal?

Ray Sherman

Duarte

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