Sunday's letters: Netanyahu's urgent warning

Published March 6, 2015

It's a 'bad deal,' Netanyahu says | March 4

Netanyahu issues urgent warning

Before Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address before Congress, he was presented a special bust of Winston Churchill, the legendary British prime minister and the only other foreign leader to address Congress three times. During his address, Netanyahu capably played the role of Churchill, warning America about Iran and the pending nuclear negotiation deal. This was similar to Churchill's warning to America of the Nazi threat and the difficulties Britain faced.

Netanyahu stressed the Iranian problem was not just a Jewish problem, but a world problem. He encouraged Congress not to consider the nuclear deal until such time as Iran ceases aggressions against its neighbors, stops supporting terrorism around the world, and stops threatening to annihilate the state of Israel. The only path to peace is if Iran changes its intentions and becomes a proper member of the world community.

Netanyahu's speech was brutally frank and factual. He told us what the president will not. Such a speech was refreshing to hear as opposed to listening to politicians dance around a problem.

This speech was not about the relationship between the Israeli prime minister and the president. It was about finding peace in a practical manner, not by hoping Iran will change its ways.

Tim Bryce, Palm Harbor

It's a 'bad deal,' Netanyahu says | March 4

Stop the march to war

As a Jewish American, I was horrified to see so many American leaders welcome Benjamin Netanyahu's speech before Congress, as if he were the president himself giving a State of the Union address. As a recipient of around $3 billion every year of our tax dollars to his country, Israel's prime minister has some nerve lecturing our government how it should and should not intervene in the Middle East with respect to Iran. Seeing that our last incursion into the Middle East (Iraq) went so swimmingly, does Netanyahu really believe that bullying another Middle Eastern country into our submission is the answer? Apparently so.

I converted to Judaism almost 20 years ago, and although I no longer practice as actively as I once did, I still believe fervently in the Jewish principles of tikkun olam, or repairing the world. How can we as Jews abide by these principles when we are even tacitly supporting the Israeli apparatus' destroying the world of so many Palestinian families. And now Netanyahu wants to threaten the people of Iran and their moderate leader as well?

Michelle Kenoyer, Riverview

Dangers of a bad deal

First and foremost I am an American and my religion is Jewish, and it's hard for me to believe that our president can be so naive to believe that any type of concession can be made with Iran. The adage "give them an inch and they will take a mile" is so true. Being in bed with Iran is like being in bed with a rattlesnake; it's just a matter of time before it will bite.

In 1968 I spent a year in Israel. I went back just a year ago and in all candor almost nothing has changed politically. The Arab nations, plus Iran and its brethren want nothing less than the annihilation of the Jewish state. The prime minister of Israel made it clear in his speech before Congress that to attempt any deal with Iran is paramount to suicide.

I pray that our great nation will not be called in to help defend Israel because the legacy of this president was a bad deal he made with Iran.

John Osterweil, Tampa

Take survey on pier options | Feb. 28, editorial

Look forward, not back

I have just completed the survey on design choices for the new St. Petersburg pier. Unfortunately, I only voted for one design because all of the others look like the old Pier. Having just moved to this vibrant, charming town, I am excited by all of the innovation and "up-and-coming-ness" one feels here. The eyesore that is the old Pier does not represent the future of this great city, and the designs that build on it are artistically and functionally disappointing.

It seems that the "squeaky wheels" that deep-sixed the previous elegant designs pretend to speak for the people, when in fact they speak for very few, or maybe only themselves as evidenced by the poor response to the online survey. My plea to Mayor Rick Kriseman and the City Council is to please take back control and give us a suitable icon for this fabulous 21st century city, not some embarrassing vision of a backward-looking few.

Carol Henderson, St. Petersburg

Clinton's arrogance and secrecy | March 5, editorial

Don't let time erase this

I read with interest this editorial concerning Hillary Clinton's arrogance and secrecy. I also noticed that you took the Obama administration to task for its lack of transparency, despite Barack Obama's campaign promise that his would be the most open and transparent administration in history.

And yet, I can't help but feel this will all be forgotten 18 to 19 months from now, when we prepare for the 2016 election.

Kenneth R. Gilder, St. Petersburg

Honest assessment

After checking the masthead to confirm that I was actually reading the Tampa Bay Times, a flicker of journalistic integrity warmed my heart. Your editorial about Hillary Clinton was brilliantly composed and used all the right words. You were honest enough to admit that "this lack of transparency appears carefully designed, not a bureaucratic oversight."

Pointing out the contrast to Jeb Bush's approach on email while governor of Florida leads me to wonder: Despite all the positives and negatives associated with the Bush and Clinton brands, might it be better for our country if both Jeb and Hillary rode off into the sunset?

Kenn Sidorewich, Oldsmar