Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Magazine article Washington Report on Middle East Affairs

Other People's Mail

Article excerpt

Bringing Change to the U.S.

To the International Herald Tribune, Nov. 4, 2008

Regarding Tim Egan's "Who's going to start the fire?": The fire starts with the voters in America sweeping out the old and bringing the change everyone so desperately wants. It continues with restoring the competence of government and accountability and regulation of markets.

The villains may have been identified, but missing in the discussions is the extent of damage done to the U.S. economy and its implications for U.S. national security.

Has everyone forgotten so quickly what caused the breakup of the Soviet Union?

By looting the U.S. economy and bringing it to its knees, the captains of Wall Street, aided and abetted by the Bush/Cheney administration and its ideological cronies, have done to the U.S. economy what no terrorist could have ever dreamed of.

The economic destruction is perhaps the worst national security threat in a generation. The next occupant of the White House will have the daunting task of not starting a fire, but putting one out.

Fariborz S. Fatemi, McLean, VA

U.S. Has To Cooperate Again

To The Christian Science Monitor, Oct. 22, 2008

In response to the Oct. 17 editorial, "A new cop for global finance": At least one very good thing is coming out of the financial disaster that is hitting the world: The U.S. is being forced to cooperate more closely with other countries. Gone are the days when the U.S. saw itself acting unilaterally. Now, with us as responsible as anyone for what has taken place, and with so much to lose, it is cooperation and multilateralism that are once again defining the nature of world politics.

Carl Mattioli, Newtonville, MA

Olmert's Change of Heart

To TheNew York Times, Oct. 5, 2008

Apparently imbued with the spirit of the Jewish High Holy Days, which obligate Jews to engage in introspection and repentance, the departing Israeli prime minister, Ehud Olmert, has had a change of heart.

After, in his words, supporting the Israeli occupation and settlement of Palestinian lands for 35 years, Mr. Olmert now says that he "was unwilling to look at reality in all its depth."

Mr. Olmert has thus come to the same conclusion that those of us in the Jewish peace camp have been espousing for nearly four decades: that Israeli security ultimately rests upon reaching a historic compromise with the Palestinian people, not in ruling over them, and that the brutal policies of home demolitions, torture, assassinations and economic strangulation were insults to Israeli democracy as well as violations of centuries of Jewish ethical teachings.

Jacob Bender, New York, NY

Stop the Settlements

To The Washington Post, Oct. 9, 2008

Kudos to The Post's editorialists for finally acknowledging, in no uncertain terms ["Mr. Olmert's Farewell," editorial, Oct. 5], that Israeli leaders past and present have obstructed the Middle East peace process through the ever-expanding construction of Jewish settlements in the Palestinian territories despite promises to stop.

There will never be a just and lasting peace between Israel and the Palestinians until Israel stops building these illegal settlements. The settlements represent only a fraction of what Israel is doing to make the Palestinians' lives miserable, but halting construction would be a significant step. A good way to "encourage" Israel to stop building settlements would be for our government to stop showering it with billions of dollars a year in military aid.

Joanne Heisel, Columbia, MD

Obama's Effect on Jewish Voters

To the Los Angeles Times, Oct. 13, 2008

Anat Hakim suggests that many Jews are concerned that Obama "will not serve Israel well." I would argue that there are many more independent voters who are put off by the extent to which both candidates have been pandering to Israel and embracing positions promoted by the Israeli right that may be at odds with American interests. …

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