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Letters the Week of June 13, 2013
Obama’s Policy Leaves Only One Option in Syria
The Exponent seems to think that there are no good options for us in the chaos that is now enveloping Syria (Editorial: “No Good Options,” May 2).
The reason that Syria is in the mess it is stems from the fact that the entire Obama Middle East policy has been irresolute, chaotic and feckless. Instead of using the CIA to identify and then aid those groups in Syria that are democratically disposed, the Obama administration took a hands-off approach. This created a vacuum that was quickly filled by Iran, Russia, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, who are trying to influence events in their favor. The United States has allowed this situation to spin out of control to the point where terrorist groups or states may very well gain control of Syria’s massive chemical weapons arsenal and be positioned directly on Israel’s border.
When America retreats from the world’s chaos, terror fills the vacuum. We can and should reverse course and begin to identify and supply those groups we can work with. Although it’s very late in the game, we have no choice but to make the attempt.
This is the poor — but only — option that Obama’s weakness has left us.
Steve Heitner, Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
So ZOA Isn’t Hawkish? Look Who Funds Them
In his letter of June 6, Morton Klein claims that the group he heads, the Zionist Organization of America, is not “hawkish” but “rational centrist.” By that logic, Rush Limbaugh is a bleeding heart liberal, and FOX News political analysis is fair and balanced.
According to the poll numbers, most American and Israeli Jews support a two-state solution to the Arab-Israeli conflict. This is also the publicly stated position of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. By way of contrast, being pro-settler, the ZOA rejects this solution in favor of what amounts to a “Greater Israel” stance. This alone qualifies the group as hawkish (and fringe) — and by no means centrist.
Secondly, follow the money. The pre-eminent financial backer of the ZOA is casino mogul Sheldon Adelson. When it comes to political contributions, it is a matter of public record that Mr. Adelson funds right-wing groups exclusively.
So, good try, Mr. Klein. But it won’t fly.
Stephan Arkan, Wilkes-Barre
Senior Athlete Has Her Sights Set on 2017
I would like to thank the Exponent for doing the article about senior athletes (The Good Life: “Senior Athletes Got Game,” May 23). I am one of those athletes mentioned. I had my sights set on recovering from pancreatic surgery and going to the Maccabiah in Israel to swim. But as the saying goes, “Man plans and God laughs.”
I realized after I came home that I did not have the strength to swim and do my best. So I have decided to set my sights on 2017.
After all, I’ll only be 86! Look for me then.
Joan B. Waldbaum, Wynnewood