Letters the Week of April 9, 2015

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Readers weigh in on Joe Sestak, gun control and the pending nuclear deal with Iran.

Senate Race: Proud to Say It Is So, Joe!

Regarding “Israel Already an Issue in Toomey v. Sestak, Round Two” for the 2016 U.S. Senate race (Headlines, March 26), readers should know that as an admiral in the United States Navy, Joe Sestak led the Aircraft Battle Carrier Group in the Sixth Fleet, America’s military presence in the Eastern Mediterranean, adjacent to Israel’s coast. The Sixth Fleet conducts regular joint military exercises with Israel as well as integrates radar and air defense systems designed to protect Israel from missiles. 
 
Among the many Israelis who deeply appreciate the presence and leadership of Adm. Joe Sestak, my family’s cousins were impressed when I told them of my friendship with Joe. American Jews may not follow the duties of the Sixth Fleet, but its role in defending Israel is well-known and respected among Israelis. 
 
Upon his return to civilian life, Joe Sestak was elected to Congress, where he served two terms. As a United States representative for the 7th District of Pennsylvania, Joe Sestak proudly voted for every single military appropriations bill for Israel.  
David Broida | Haverford
 
Rethinking Top Threat to Homeland Security
When I read the endless debates about increasing gun control (Opinion, “In Gun Control Battle, All Politics Isn’t Just Local,” Feb. 26;  Editorial, “Under the Gun,” March 19), I think of my beloved cousin, Fern Toby Newman, who was gunned down at point-blank range at the age of 19 in 1973 by an estranged boyfriend in her junior year of college in Florida. I wonder what she would be like had she lived — but it was not meant to be.
 
Several months ago, I watched Mark Shields on PBS’ NewsHour. He stated that since the assassinations of Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy in 1968, more than twice the number of Americans have been killed by guns than all those killed in all the wars fought by the U.S. since the Revolutionary War.
 
There is a powerful need for President Barack Obama to issue an executive order designating injuries and deaths on U.S. soil to be the No. 1 threat to homeland security.
 
For the lawyer against gun control, a few Jewish laws to consider:
 
• The Ten Commandments: “You shall not commit murder.”
 
• The Golden Rule — Hillel’s saying: “Do not do to others what is hateful to you yourself.”
 
• Universal Healing — Tikkun Nefesh (as quoted in Schindler's List): “To save a single life is to save the whole universe.”
David Herman | Elkins Park
 
Did Iran Con Obama on Nuclear Deal?
The Iranians have conned America into signing a pact that will sooner or later, probably sooner, put them on the path to obtaining nukes.
(Headlines, “What a Deal With Iran Would Mean,” April 2) Once this happens, we will find out whether President Obama’s decision to ally himself with Iran while placing Israel on top of his enemies list is in the world’s best interest. Only the most naïve and foolish among us thinks it will.
 
The leaders of major Jewish organizations and leading Jewish legislators said nothing as Obama continually maligned, embarrassed and threatened Israel for daring to fight for its survival. The vast majority of Jews likewise have stood by in silence.
 
Silence is golden, but not when tyranny arises to wipe out the only Jewish state in the world. Then it’s cowardice and denial.
Steve Heitner | Port Jefferson Station, N.Y.
 

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