Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his
cabinet can give as many apologies to Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip
Erdogan as they like (“Amidror: Apology to Ankara does not obligate Israel to
end Gaza blockade,” March 25). As US President Barack Obama said in his recent
address to Israeli students in Jerusalem, one makes peace with people, not with
I just hope that we, the Israeli people, show our
continued disquiet by not returning Turkey to the top spot it once held on the
list of our vacation destinations.
It seems our prime minister might have
been lulled or bullied by Obama into a premature apology, given Erdogan’s last
word regarding Gaza. To say the least, one would not have expected his first
reaction to our apology to be an official visit there.
So much for the
power of Obama’s diplomacy.
Sir, – Everyone seems
to forget that our relations with Turkey had been taking a nosedive ever since
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan was elected, leading up to the Mavi
Erdogan is not interested in an apology – he wants to
open the blockade on Gaza. Prime Minister Netanyahu should have worded the
apology differently, apologizing only for operational mistakes that led to the
deaths of nine Turkish terrorists.
Sir, – US President Barack Obama came to Israel as a wolf
dressed in sheep’s clothing. He had a smile on his face and a promise that
Israel does not stand alone.
Obama did not speak to MKs in the Knesset.
He went to a different audience – university students, most on the Left – and
called for them to push their leaders to make peace.
Now, Peace Now
leader Yariv Openheimer is calling for a new national campaign (“Left mulling
Obama-inspired push for peace,” March 25). “Our desire for peace,” he was quoted
as saying, “our disgust with the occupation, the daily reality in which settlers
do whatever they want in the territories without getting punished, the moral
deterioration, and the indifference of much of our society to what is happening
beyond the Green Line have become part of life.”
Obama had a ready and
willing audience of Peace Now-niks.
They understood what his message for
peace was, as he had said it many times. Did they understand that it means going
back to the 1948 borders and handing lands over to the “Palestinians?” Did they
understand the consequences? Not only won’t that bring peace, but terror will be
in the center of Tel Aviv and surrounding cities, towns and roads. Israel will
go back to being the size of a postage stamp, easy to stamp out.
knows what he is doing. Leftists who believe his deceitful words and believe in
his friendship are the naive and foolish ones.
Sir, – US President Barack Obama is certainly a very smooth politician
and excellent speaker. However, he speaks with a forked tongue.
policy speech was made in front of a hand-picked audience, packed with
Left-leaning and Arab students (so much for Apartheid!). How else can one
explain such an ovation for his statement, “two countries for two peoples?” His
comparison between the children of Sderot under rocket fire and Palestinian Arab
children faced with a foreign army was disingenuous, to say the
Where is this foreign army in Gaza and Ramallah? Obama signed on
to the fact that Israel still occupies “Palestinian” territory despite his
admission that Jewish rights to the land go back thousands of years.
how can we blame a US president for pursuing the interests of his own country
when our own leaders don’t have the courage and conviction to proclaim our
sovereignty and independent thinking? When our prime minister finally realizes
that the Arabs want the whole pie and not half, he might realize there is no
partner for peace.
Sir, – In his speech to
selected students at the Jerusalem Convention Center, President Obama recognized
and honored the Jewish state of Israel. He praised and defended Israel,
proclaiming, “You are not alone.” He received standing ovation after standing
ovation. It was, with no exaggeration, a triumph.
I have only one
observation: If Obama had given that speech to a group of Palestinian Arab
students in Ramallah, what kind of a reception do you think he would have
gotten? He would have had to call on the protection of US-trained Palestinian
police for a very unceremonious exit.
It’s quite alright to be lectured by President Obama and others about doing
something for peace, but there are a few problems for the ordinary
With whom are we to make a deal? Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas was never reelected. He appointed Prime Minister Salam Fayyad, who
is not supported by any significant political group. There is no functioning
parliament. The old Palestine Liberation Organization seems dormant. The UN
recently voted for something, but who knows what it was? Nearly half the
Palestinian people are under the control of Hamas, a terrorist organization
linked to our worst enemies.
Twenty years ago we were ready to go along
with Yasser Arafat for a Palestinian state because we thought he might be able
to deliver. Where is the quid pro quo? DAVID SHAW Jerusalem Sir, – Now that we
have welcomed US President Barack Obama, and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
has backed a two-state solution, (“In Jerusalem, Obama asserts Israel’s right to
defend itself,” March 21), it seems there will be a great effort by America to
back the two sides to sit down and negotiate terms without
From Israel’s point of view the big question will be
trust, and from the Palestinians’ direction, it’s “where there’s a will there’s
a way.” Being the land of miracles, there might be a surprise after all these
years. However, the agreement must be signed and delivered.
Herzliya Pituah ...and Pollard
Sir, – What at first seemed a most mean-spirited
letter (“Not so fast,” March 24) was one that pointed up what needs to be done
to free Jonathan Pollard.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu needs to
apologize to the people of the United States and to Jews everywhere on behalf of
the Israeli government, saying the State of Israel erred in using Pollard to spy
on its own best friend.
In calling for his pardon by US President Barack
Obama, Netanyahu needs to make assurances that Pollard will be greeted quietly
and privately, with gratitude for American generosity and God’s
MIRIAM L. GAVARIN
Sir, – In his otherwise excellent
review of the Pollard affair (“Closer – but still far apart,” Politics, March
22), Gil Hoffman missed a crucial point.
During the signing of the Wye
River Memorandum by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on October 23, 1998,
then-president Bill Clinton stated: “With respect to Mr. Pollard, I have agreed
to review this matter seriously, at the prime minister’s request. I have made no
commitment as to the outcome of the review.” No review was ever carried
President Barack Obama has now said virtually the same words.
Presumably, the outcome will be the same.
The farcical cover-up has to
end now, and Pollard must not be allowed to die in a US prison because our
leaders are afraid to upset the US president.
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