Regarding Robert Kagan’s Sept. 15 Opinions Essay, “Israel and the decline of the liberal order”:

In recent years, Israel’s safety has been endangered regularly by the liberally oriented groups and organizations of which Mr. Kagan appeared enamored. The European Union, for example, has been a consistent source of condemnations and pressure on Israel to succumb to Palestinian terrorism and intransigence without defending itself. From diplomatic initiatives to the funding of hostile nongovernmental organizations, the E.U. misses few opportunities to undermine the world’s only Jewish state.

The United Nations, that bastion of Mr. Kagan’s liberal world order, has issued more resolutions condemning Israel than any other country by far. The United Nations is a prime example of the extant liberal world order’s anti-Israel animus.

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The liberal world order condemned Israel’s destruction of Saddam Hussein’s nuclear installation in 1981 and Israel’s destruction of Syria’s illicit nuclear reactor in 2007. Just imagine the awful possible consequences had either facility been spared, allowing various malign state and Islamist nonstate actors possible access to nuclear weapons.

Mr. Kagan excoriated Israel for failing to enact his fantasies about a utopian world liberal order. But Israel does not reside in a fantasyland; Israel must make alliances and decisions that help it survive in a hostile region and in a world contaminated with destructive anti-Israel political correctness and anti-Semitic ideology, the zeitgeist of Mr. Kagan’s preferred liberal worldview notwithstanding.

Daniel H. Trigoboff, Amherst, N.Y.

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In his essay on Israel, Robert Kagan suggested that, to its peril, Israel has abandoned traditional alliances with liberal forces in Europe and the United States, while pointing out that Israel has plenty of reasons to be alarmed about its own survival in today’s Middle East. He suggested that liberal societies have given Jews the best chances of surviving physical destruction.

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While it is true that liberal societies did not build Auschwitz, anti-Semitism and intolerance toward Jews existed and thrived in liberal societies historically (remember the Dreyfus affair?) and even today. The fact is that Jews have always survived by dealing with allies and enemies both, and Israel today is no different. This strategy allows Israel to ensure that Jewish culture, language, history and literature, as well as religion, are preserved and thrive. Although it might not be important to Mr. Kagan and other liberals in the United States and the European Union, the survival of the Jewish people — bodily, spiritually and culturally — is important to Israelis and many Jews in the diaspora.

Robert E. Litman, Bethesda

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