Iran’s rhetoric casts pall over Jewish holiday

NEW YORK — Murray Wasserman, 69, a retired restaurant owner, stepped out of B’nai Jeshurun synagogue on the first day of Yom Kippur, the holiest day of the year for Jews, to add more money to a parking meter.
“Nobody wants to start another war. On the other hand, we know from (Adolf) Hitler that when people start talking about destroying another nation, it can happen,” Wasserman said, before returning to the synagogue.
Bnai Jeshurun is a bastion of liberalism in New York City. Even here, there is much angst over whether President Obama’s policy of sanctions against Iran’s nuclear program will work against a country whose president denies the Holocaust while issuing threats that make it appear as if he is planning another.
( pall over Jewish holiday )
Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad arrived Monday in New York to address world leaders gathered for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. Last year, he used the opportunity to declare the Holocaust an “excuse to pay ransom or fine to Zionists.” He has said Israel should be wiped off the map and, more recently, that it will soon cease to exist because it has “no roots” in the region.
Obama told the General Assembly on Tuesday that the United States “will do what we must to prevent Iran from obtaining a nuclear weapon.” On Wednesday, Ahmadinejad said Iran has the right to pursue nuclear technology for peaceful purposes.
At the U.N., Ahmadinejad challenged world leaders to confront countries he says try to dominate others. He urged a restructuring of the United Nations in a way that gives equal say to all and eliminates the veto power of the U.N. Security Council members, which he said use their power to trample the rights of other nations.
The world body is in the grips of a “world order” that is “founded on materialism and is in no way bound to moral values,” Ahmadinejad said. “It believes in the humiliation of other nations, trampling the rights of others. It aims to monopolize power, wealth, science and technology for a limited group.”
Jews departing from prayer from both reform and Orthodox synagogues seemed to agree that time was running out and that U.S. strategy was too risky. Nuclear experts, such as David Albright of the Institute for Science and International Security, say that once Iran has enough uranium enriched to 20%, and missiles capable of delivering a bomb, it will be only months away from completing the weapon-making process — and that may happen without Western knowledge.
Ronald Sabban, a 33-year-old attorney who pushed his daughter in a stroller while leaving the Orthodox Fifth Avenue Synagogue with his wife, called Obama’s pledge to prevent an Iranian bomb “empty words.”
( Billy’s thoughts – I hope Jews who care about Israel will think about how Obama has dealt with Israel and Iran as they decide who to vote for.)


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