Letters to the Ledger Opinion

Letters to the Editor

The moment of decision on Iran’s nuclear weapons program has arrived. The issue is no longer theoretical or hypothetical. The President has now agreed to bless and legitimize Iran’s nuclear enrichment and weapons program, to eliminate our only leverage over Iran in the form of sanctions and, among other things, to remove within several years the embargo on the sale to Iran of conventional weapons and ballistic missiles.

The rationale for such a deal seems to be that, by courting Iran, we will win Iran’s favor and Iran will abandon its quest for nuclear weapons. Will this work? No one can say that there is no chance of success. Reasonable people, however, can make judgments about the probability of having that scenario materialize.

The core issue is whether the slim chance of Iranian behavior modification warrants the grave dangers of the deal in that, among many other defects: there is little realistic verification or enforcement under the agreement; Iran will now be able to achieve nuclear threshold status if it wishes and be given legitimacy for that status; up to $150 billion will be released within six months and can be used to fund Iran’s nuclear program as well as both its worldwide sponsorship of terrorism and its regional activities in support of Assad, Hezbollah, and the Houthis in Yemen; all other sanctions will be removed so that no leverage remains over Iran; and Iran will be allowed after several years to import ballistic missiles to be used to deliver nuclear warheads to Israel, Europe and the United States, and to import advanced conventional weaponry for use against Israel and American forces and naval vessels in the Middle East.

If readers of the Jewish Ledger are as troubled and frightened as I am, then it’s now time to so inform our senators and our representatives in the House. Our elected officials are hearing regularly from the administration and are being pressured to support the deal. They now need to hear from each of us, regardless of party affiliation.

Two-thirds of each chamber will need to override any veto of a resolution of disapproval, likely by the end of September. That time will pass quickly, especially in light of the month-long congressional recess from early August into September.

The telephone number for the Capitol switchboard is (202) 224-3121. One can also contact our senators and representatives electronically through AIPAC’s home page at aipac.org or through the official’s own website.

Mark I. Fishman, Esq.


It’s good to know that Sec. Kerry knows better than Israel’s Prime Minister what’s best for Israel, and that “Israel is safer” because of the Iran nuclear deal. “Way over the top” was how he characterized Netanyahu’s criticisms of it, but those words much better apply to Kerry’s own recent assertion of “total knowledge” of Iran’s nuclear sites and program’s previous military dimensions. Concern for “what we don’t know about what we don’t know” seems particularly pertinent here.

Kerry taunted critics to provide a “realistic alternative.” Well, there was one. When public negotiations began in 2013, Iran was reeling under the weight of severe sanctions that had been imposed by the Congress over the strenuous objections of the Obama administration. That didn’t stop it from claiming credit for their having brought Iran to the table. Not long thereafter, due to the shale revolution, which the administration also abhors, world oil prices collapsed, further weakening Iran’s economy. But, beyond having already taken the “stick” of military action off the table, the interim agreement greatly released the grip of those sanctions. Obama further vowed to veto any further congressional provisional sanctions bills, should further negotiations fail. During those negotiations, there then followed a cascade of capitulations to Iran, climaxing in the gratuitous lifting of non-nuclear related sanctions that had supposedly been left off the table.

The result was an absolutely dreadful deal. Iran gets a windfall “signing bonus” of $100-150 billion, which combined with the lifting of economic and financial sanctions, will seed Iranian adventurism and support for terrorism and subversion throughout the region. Sanctions against Iran’s Revolutionary Guard Corps and the Quds Force will be removed. So, too, will UN sanctions on arms and ballistic missile technology transfers. Its nuclear state status will be internationally legitimatized. And it will get The Bomb.

Richard D. Wilkins


So President Obama has made a deal with Iran over its nuclear weapons program. Under the deal, Obama has effectively granted Iran the opportunity to improve its economy, fund and advance its non-nuclear weapons programs, continue to fund terrorism in the Middle East and elsewhere, fight directly and through proxies several different wars going on in the middle east, and continue, under the ultimate leadership of a wily despicable religious fundamentalist with a good sense of PR,  to suppress and execute its own citizens. Any sane person should be terrified that Obama has lead our nation (from the rear) into such a situation where, in his opinion, the only alternative is war.

In effect, Obama has now put Iran in the same position as Nazi Germany was in in the early 1930’s.  I sure hope anyone reading this recalls what happened when the world effectively left Nazi Germany free to pursue its economic, military and political goals under the leadership of a wily despicable Hitler. And never forget that Hitler was about as clear as the Ayatollah is about his plans for the Jews.

I wonder if this thought has occurred to any of the Ledger’s readership?  I sure hope so and they let their representatives in Congress know that “never again” means “never again.”

Lester Freundlich


Talking Baseball


Great story about Sandy and the 1965 Series! (“The Legacy of Sandy Koufax,” Ledger July 17, 2015.) As an Italian-Catholic growing up in the Astoria section of Queens (and a very mediocre left-handed pitcher), I remember my friend Mark, who was Jewish, asking a Talmudic question: Who did Jewish kids in Minnesota root for in the seventh game?

Virtually everyone in New York was rooting for the Dodgers, either because of old loyalties, or for Sandy — except around the Ditmars section of Astoria. Why? Because Twins’ manager Sam Mele grew up in Astoria and had played ball with or against half the grown men in the neighborhood. As my friend Lefkowitz’s father lamented, ‘the best Jewish pitcher who ever lived is going up against a team managed by my old friend from the neighborhood!’

(By the way, I did some research and learned that Mele is 93 years old and living in Quincy, Mass.)


Jim Vespe

Larchmont, N.Y.

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