Letters to the editor, week of Feb. 15, 2012

‘Way of Heaven’ was outstanding NJT play

I am disappointed that I have not seen any positive reviews of the play “Way to Heaven” performed by the New Jewish Theatre. In my opinion, the production at the NJT was outstanding and is in fact one of the best plays that I have seen at the NJT. Is it possible that the reviewers somehow missed the point of “Way to Heaven”? This play is not intended to document actual events that occurred during the Holocaust. Instead, it is a nuanced commentary on our human failure to act and take responsibility for the horrors that some humans have perpetrated on others. The playwright, Juan Mayorga, forces us to see that we often ignore the horrors created by humanity because they may be too difficult for us to face or to deal with. The Red Cross worker represents all of us and our inability to face the horrors we encounter. Instead we often make the decision, either consciously or unconsciously, to ignore problems that we should be addressing. 

Bernard Waxman, Olivette


Iran strike needed


Probably everyone in the United States is aware of the rampant speculation about whether Israel will attack the nuclear facilities in Iran. Not enough attention has been paid to several facts:

• The United States, two and a half months ago, finally delivered to Israel the so-called “Bunker Busting Bombs”-55 of them-which previous administrations refused to do.

• Even without actually using nuclear weapons, Iran’s possession of such weapons is a threat to Israel’s fundamental reason for existence: as the ancient, ancestral homeland of the Jewish people. A nuclear Iran would deter many Jews from making aliyah (settling in Israel) as they would not want to live under the threat of annihilation.

• With attacks on the handful of targets vital to the manufacture of nuclear weapons, an Israeli attack could set Iran’s nuclear capability back nearly two years.

• No one knowledgeable thinks that either of Iran’s two important allies, Russia and China, would mount a military strike at either Israel or America. Neither retaliated when Israel destroyed Saddam’s nuclear reactor at Osirak in 1991 or Syria’s nuclear reactor in 2007. It is preposterous to suggest that Russia would deploy nuclear or conventional weapons against Israel or America.

Despite genuine negatives attending an Israeli strike at Iran, it is much worse to live with a nuclear-armed Iran. The U.S. must be ultra-cautious with nuclear North Korea’s 12 million people. Iran has 73 million, and how many of us want to cower in front of Iran, afraid to offend it? We need an Israeli strike now.

Harvey J. Schramm, Brentwood


It’s not a question of if Israel will attempt to take out Iranian nuclear sites, but when. The point at which Iran’s nuclear weapons will be operational and ready for launching is fast approaching-in all probability within the year. Presently, Iran has in place a missile delivery system capable of reaching every major city in the Jewish State. Make no mistake: Iran does indeed have every intention of trying to “wipe Israel off the face of the map,” as its president, Mahmoud Ahmadine-jad, stated in 2005.

Sanctions have exacted quite a toll on Iran’s economy, but they have not deterred that outlaw nation’s bellicosity. In recent years, Iran’s nuclear program has expanded to include at least 10 underground, well-fortified nuclear sites.

Israel needs to strike now, with or without approval from the U.S. As a sovereign nation, it has the right, the duty and the obligation to defend its country against attack, or imminent attack from its enemies, without getting consent or approval from anyone.

Israel is faced with the prospect of annihilation unless it takes pre-emptive action. Israel should unleash its unbridled air power against its worst and most dangerous archenemy-only then will the Jewish State and the rest of the free world be able to breathe a collective sigh of relief.

Gene Carton, Olivette