Letter to the Editor – Richmond Times-Dispatch

Slogans don’t define U.S. – Israel relations

Editor, Times-Dispatch:

In his letter, “North Korea far greater threat than Iran” (February 21), Mark Siegel assumes the U.S. and Israeli reaction to an Iranian nuclear weapons test would be more agitated than their response to a recent North Korean test. In fact, analysts in this country and Israel suspect that North Korea’s test was at least in part on behalf of Iran, the latter two countries participants in a proliferation network also including Pakistan and China.

Siegel says American trade with Asian-rim countries dwarfs that with Israel but omits the high-tech, medical and defense industrial boost this country gets from commerce with Israel. Apple just announced its third Israeli facility, Intel and Motorola research labs are well established there and Pentagon drone technology is built on earlier Israeli successes.

Siegel also implies that Israel attempts “to embroil us in yet another conflict in the Middle East . . .” American involvement in Afghanistan had nothing to do with Israel; U.S., British, Israeli and other Western intelligence agencies assumed, based on Saddam Hussein’s ouster of international inspectors and other actions, that Iraq was reconstituting its unconventional weapons programs. Meanwhile, Iran – which recently plotted to assassinate the Saudi ambassador by blowing up a Washington, D.C. restaurant – still considers America “the great Satan,” Israel is only “the little Satan.”

Reality is a bit deeper than Siegel’s slogans.

Eric Rozenman, Washington Director, Committee for Accuracy in Middle East Reporting in America. Washington, D.C.

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