Letters June 29, 2017


Making a bad climate worse

In a June 22 Voices piece, David Kraemer argues that Judaism requires supporting the Paris Climate Accord because global warming might result in additional deaths. This is sometimes called the Precautionary Principle and it has been accepted in various ways (e.g. vaccination).

Several major problems arise when applying this principle. A big one in this case is the balance of the costs and benefits of precautionary measures for one problem when compared to the costs and benefits of precautionary measures for other problems.

If the United States commandeers $1 trillion from taxpayers to reduce the temperature by 0.2 degrees Celsius by 2050, it leaves less money to address other concerns. Thus the Precautionary Principle ought to be applied with caution.




Love’s Labour’s lost

Although I appreciate much of the agenda of the British Labour Party, the closeness of their lost election with Jeremy Corbyn leading the party disturbs me greatly (“Jeremy Corbyn didn’t win, so British Jews shouldn’t give up on Labour,” Voices, June 22). His views on the Israel-Arab conflict are ardently pro-Palestine and he supports terror against the Jewish state.

The election news is not that Labour lost a close election, but that Jeremy Corbyn is their leader and the party now appears to be not only anti-Israel, but by extension, anti-Semitic.

My advice would be if Jeremy Corbyn remains the head of Labour, as it appears he will, the Jews of Great Britain not feel comfortable about their future.


New York, N.Y.

Israel faithful in word and deed

In “Netanyahu calls Trump’s bluff on settlements” (Voices, June 15), Stephanie Breitsman claims that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s promise to protect the Jewish settlement enterprise in Judea and Samaria jeopardizes the prospects of future Israeli-Palestinian peace. Her views mirror Obama-era dogma that led nowhere.

Thankfully, President Donald Trump

has carefully avoided scapegoating settlements as an obstacle to peace. Also, Trump has refrained from adopting Obama’s myopic vision of a two-state solution that pays little regard to Israel’s vital security needs.

During a joint White House press conference with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in May, Trump emphatically declared that “there cannot be lasting peace unless Palestinian leaders speak in a unified voice against incitement to hate and violence.”

Trump recognizes that it is the Palestinians who bear the onus of proving their good faith as partners for peace. The Israeli government has proven its good faith, in both word and deed, for more than 50 years.

We will know that peace is at hand when the art of the deal trumps the art of duplicity practiced by Palestinian leaders.


Virginia Beach, Va.

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