Thursday, May 28, 2009

Happy Shavuot

Wishing all readers a happy Shavuot.

As we all prepare to accept the Torah together – please don’t forget the cheesecake:

And of course, Shavuot preparations would not be complete without Monty python’s Cheese Shop Sketch

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Israel and South Korea

Gwynne Dyer just published an article asking why South Korea is not responding hysterically to the nuclear threat from North Korea, while Israel’s response to a nuclear threat from Iran seems all out of proportion to him.

The column was published in many newspapers, including the New Zealand Herald. Following is a Letter to the Editor that I just sent to that newspaper;


Gwynne Dyer's article of May 27 compares the reaction of Israel and South Korea to the nuclear threat from Iran and North Korea. Mr. Dyer points out that "Both Israel and South Korea have a security guarantee from the United States", yet wonders why Israelis are "more hysterical" than South Koreans.

Maybe recent history would show why these countries respond to threats of annihilation in different ways.

In 1950, when North Korea attacked South Korea, the UN sprang into action. Within hours they had passed a unanimous resolution condemning North Korea for the aggression and within a few weeks US and other UN-backed soldiers (including many New Zealand soldiers) were risking their lives to defend South Korea.

By contrast in both 1956 and 1967 when Egypt threatened Israel, the UN sprang into action by withdrawing all soldiers and leaving Israel to defend itself.

This apathy towards aggression against Israel is sadly not just history. In spite of Mr. Dyer's claim that "Israel and Iran, have never fought a war", Iranian purchased rockets are fired against Israeli cities almost every day from Iranian-backed militias in the Gaza Strip, yet I don't recall any articles from Mr. Dyer condemning those attacks and assuring Israel that UN soldiers are lining up to protect Israel against this aggression.


Michael Sedley