Letters to the Editor

Letters Netanyahu’s speech, etc.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress last week. He told Congress that negotiations between Iran and the U.S. would “all but guarantee” that Tehran will get nuclear weapons.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks before a joint meeting of Congress last week. He told Congress that negotiations between Iran and the U.S. would “all but guarantee” that Tehran will get nuclear weapons. The Associated Press

We should hear both sides

Re “Netanyahu’s speech will show danger of nuclear deal” (Viewpoints, March 1): Rabbi Reuven Taff shows the short-sighted, hawkish view of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Even though Elie Wiesel demurs from criticizing Israeli government actions on the lame excuse – one who does not live in Israel should not criticize it – these two have no problem with Israel interfering in our government.

To be fair, let Medea Benjamin, founder of Code Pink and Global Exchange, respond to Taff. Let the doves of Israel respond.

Netanyahu is not good for the U.S., and he is not good for Israel.

Judith Schuchmann, Loomis

Deal criticized without details

Regarding Rabbi Reuven Taff’s column criticizing President Barack Obama’s possible Iran nuclear deal, I found it interesting that the rabbi would criticize the deal without actually knowing any of the details of the agreement. In effect, he’s just guessing as to the details of the potential deal, as is the Israeli prime minister.

Ray Giles, Roseville

Support Iran negotiations

My friend Rabbi Reuven Taff correctly points out the dangers of a nuclear-armed Iran. On this point, most American Jews agree with him. However, we part company on what the United States should be doing to counter those dangers.

Until President Barack Obama began the current round of negotiations coupled with multilateral sanctions, Iran was rapidly building its nuclear capacity. The negotiations and sanctions have succeeded in stopping that buildup.

The question at this point is pragmatic: What approach shows the most promise? The majority of American Jews support Obama in his effort to find a negotiated halt to Iran’s development of a nuclear weapon. We are joined in this by former director of Israeli military intelligence, Amos Yadlin.

Finally, the Republican invitation to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak to Congress not only breaks all protocol precedent, but injects our Congress into the Israeli election and damages the bipartisan foundation of the U.S.-Israel relationship. In the last Israeli election, Netanyahu used a prior appearance before Congress as the centerpiece of a TV campaign ad. Most American Jews object to giving Netanyahu or any other candidate an official appearance to advance political ambitions.

Brian Landsberg, Sacramento,

co-chair, Sacramento Chapter

of J Street

U.S. deserves some respect

It is disturbing and offensive to me as an American to read Rabbi Reuven Taff’s article. He recalls with pride Elie Wiesel’s words to President Reagan, essentially telling our president where his place is. Taff goes on to make a demeaning reference to Capitol Hill as a grand stage for Netanyahu to pronounce our foreign policy mistakes. Taff refers to an Israeli media network, Arutz Sheva’s opinion, that Obama does not want such a “gifted orator as Netanyahu pointing out the glaring deficiencies in the American approach toward Iran.”

Israel is a country that accepts more than $3 billion a year from American taxpayers. Israel receives additional millions in favorable trade agreements, non-taxed donations and military expertise from America. Shouldn’t America receive some respect in return?

Barbara Candy, Loomis

Where is the training?

Re “California’s poor need more than handouts” (Editorials, March 1): Despite the title, the editorial is about handouts. I saw nothing about getting folks trained for jobs. The tax credit is a handout. The high minimum wage is a job killer; it doesn’t solve anything because the economy adjusts, prices go up and the minimum-wage earner makes no progress.

Child care for working parents is a tougher issue; a 100 percent tax deduction (not credit) is surely in order. School transportation used to be the norm. Let’s bring it back. Food stamps and free housing are just more handouts. If the war on poverty taught us anything, it is that handouts are not the answer.

The old proverb is correct: Give a person a fish and you feed them for a day. Teach them how to fish and you feed them for life. Of course, if you make them dependent on the fish you give them, you own them and their votes.

James Rushford, Sacramento