Regarding Walter Pincus’s Oct. 3 Fine Print column, “A new approach for Israel?”:

Nuclear weapons are a great defensive measure when you are surrounded by enemies. Their presence helps to limit any conflicts to small battles and attacks by militant groups without a government mantle. For Israel, holding undeclared nuclear arms is not an ideal situation — but it’s better than the alternative. 

In contrast, Iran’s only viable enemy — Iraq — has been removed as a threat, and nuclear weapons would serve no defensive purpose. For Iran, nuclear weapons can serve only as a potential offensive weapon to be used by zealots or, perhaps, as a bargaining chip. 

For Israel to disarm itself of nuclear weapons would be suicidal, not just risky. 

Earl Sager, Centreville

Walter Pincus’s effort to compare Israel with other countries in the Middle East overlooked a significant distinction: Israel seeks to live in peace with its neighbors. No Israeli leader has said that Israel seeks the destruction of any of those countries or their people. A significant number of governments in the Middle Eastdesire Israel’s destruction. Iranian leaders have spoken of this regularly.

In an unfriendly neighborhood, it is possible that Israel has thrived since the 1960s because of its nuclear policy.

Sam Charnoff, Potomac