To the editor:

I was surprised that the most recent New Yorker printed no letters of response to David Remnick’s misguided seven-page article on Netanyahu’s opponents in Israel (Sept.23, 2012) when it comes to his policy on Iran. First of all, this is all old hat. The vocal opposition to the Prime Minister’s policy—including some by former heads of the Mossad and Defense Establishment–has been going on publicly for more than eighteen months, so why was Remnick acting as if he had an insider’s scoop when he reported on it in his “Letter from Tel Aviv”? There are a few parts that are laughable, e.g., when he called Shimon Peres a “former army general.” I thought that everyone knew that Peres never even served as a soldier. As a young man, he was a close aide to Israel’s first Prime Minister, David Ben- Gurion, and both he and Ben Gurion wanted to keep it that way and out of harm’s way. The closest Peres came to military service was a photo op of him wearing an army uniform standing with Israel’s first Prime Minister. He has seen as much wartime action as his relative in America, actress Lauren Bacall. (Interestingly, their political views have always been equally simplistic.)
Remnick frequently refers to ideas expressed in the Israeli newspaper, Haaretz. Hardly anyone in Israel takes Haaretz seriously any more, and it has very few readers.
Remnick spends much of his time on the opposition of the former Mossad head, Meir Dagan, as if his views must be correct since he was once a hardened fighter. This ignores much of Israel’s genuine politics: The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Mossad have been at such odds that they have had no formal ties for almost two years. Moreover, one often sees that political and military leaders everywhere become more pacific after they retire, or lose, their positions of power.

The decision about what to do about Iran should be left to those Jews whose lives are on the line. In the upcoming election, it seems highly probable that Netanyahu will once again gain their support.


Stephen Karetzky

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