Sir, – With regard to “Hospital from Crusader period uncovered
in Jerusalem” (August 6), the director of the excavation, Amit Re’em, is quoted
as saying: “These righteous warriors took an oath to care for and watch over
pilgrims, and when necessary they joined the ranks of the fighters as an elite
The crusaders murdered and massacred tens of thousands of Jews on
their way to Jerusalem.
Then, in Jerusalem and the surrounding Holy Land,
their aim was to get rid of all non-believers one way or another.
Crusades were not a humanitarian mission. This historical period and action can
be described as the beginning of the actions that led to the Inquisition and the
No class at all
Sir, – With
his childish boasting and patronizing statements – “I purposely got them wrong
so that she could feel superior” – about Lisa Oz, who evidently knows a lot of
scripture (“A week in Israel with Dr. Oz,” No Holds Barred, August 6), Shmuley
Boteach shows once again that he has no class or modesty, and has an ego so weak
that he must assure the reader that Mrs.
Oz bested him only because he
purposely got some biblical quotations wrong. Pathetic.
Letting them go
Sir, – In “Why release 100 murderous terrorists?” (The
Region, August 5), Barry Rubin has summarized why not. If there were ever a
consensus for not releasing them, it is now.
The vast majority of
Israelis realize that this “good-will gesture” on Israel’s part will not be
It undoubtedly will result in more terrorism. So why is our
government going ahead with plans to free these murderers? It is obvious that US
President Barack Obama is putting tremendous pressure on Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu in order to help cajole the Palestinians into face-to-face
negotiations with Israel. Israel must respond by convincing Obama about the
futility not only of the gesture, but also of his muchdreamed- about
The two sides cannot agree at this time. After so many
years of the demonization of Israel, is there anyone who still believes that the
Palestinians will change face and recognize Israel as a Jewish state and take
steps to prevent future terrorism? Would any Palestinian ever agree to a
completely demilitarized state? It is not only foolish but illogical and insane
to expect the Palestinians to agree to our security conditions. Releasing
murderers will only aggravate the situation and whet the Palestinians’ appetite
for more concessions.
This is what Obama must come to understand, and
what every Jew, here and abroad, must try to make clear.
Sir, – Barry Rubin concludes his piece by writing: “There is simply no
proper motive for following such a terrible policy.”
Of course, there is
an improper motive for doing so, not usually attributed to our prime minister –
to be rewarded with the Nobel Peace Prize.
Since this would be US
Secretary of State John Kerry’s prize in any case, the real question is the
emotional one: How can Netanyahu, with a policy that puts Jews at risk, dishonor
a beloved brother who gave his life saving Jews at Entebbe? SIMCHA RUDMAN
Jerusalem Sir, – I have read with interest Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s
comments that for Israel, peace talks with the Palestinians are
From his Bar-Ilan speech in 2009 supporting the two-state
solution, to the settlement freeze in 2010 and his agreeing to talk now,
Netanyahu has shown he wants peace. So far, the only thing stopping him has been
Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s rejectionist stance.
having refused to talk to Israel without preconditions, Abbas robbed the
Palestinian people of the chance for a peace they deserved. Hopefully, the
coming negotiations will lead to a peace the majority of Israelis and
Netanyahu has shown he is a man of peace. I hope that
for the sake of all Palestinians and Israelis, Abbas shows the same
St. Albans, UK
Sir, – I am
writing an alternative response to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s comments
at the Knesset toward MK Jamal Zahalka and other Arab legislators (“PM to Arab
MKs: You weren’t in Israel before us,” August 2).
The prime minister
should have said: Brother, we have been here together all this time, and we will
continue to be here together.
Tel Aviv Face the facts
David M. Weinberg’s highly commendable “Only if Israel gives a bit
(Observations, August 2) should be sent to both US and Israeli
leaders. If only the decisionmakers had the courage to face the facts as
outlined by Weinberg.
The term “disputed territory” for Judea and Samaria
(the West Bank) is a total misnomer and misleading. The whole of biblical and
ancestral Palestine, from the Mediterranean to the borders of Iraq, was promised
as a state for the Jewish people under the Balfour Declaration of November 1917.
In 1920, at the San Remo Conference in Italy, this undertaking was confirmed by
the Allied victors from World War I – the US, UK, France and Italy. In 1925 this
commitment was confirmed by the League of Nations, and later it was reconfirmed
by the League’s successor, the United Nations.
In 1922, Britain
arbitrarily chopped off 70 percent of the land in favor of the Hashemite king,
Abdullah I, leaving the Jews the territory between the Mediterranean and the
Jordan River, including the West Bank.
In a war of aggression initiated
by six Arab armies against Israel in 1948, the West Bank was captured and
occupied by Jordan, but liberated by Israel in the 1967 Six Day War.
is not a case of disputed territory. Israel has taken nothing from the Arabs or
It simply has taken back that which belongs to it.
Should there be a genuine peace treaty in the future, Israel will magnanimously
cede 90-95% of Judea and Samaria for the establishment of a state called
Palestine for the Palestinian people.
Herzliya Pituah Why
listen to him?
Sir, – Prof. Alan Dershowitz was appointed Jonathan Pollard’s
lawyer in the late 1980s, according to Dershowitz’s book Chutzpah. Today, some
25 years later (“Why won’t the US free Pollard?” Observations, August 2), he
appears to overlook the fact that he failed his client, who is still languishing
The professor has the temerity to suggest that the Israeli
cabinet agree to release 104 barbaric terrorist murderers with Jewish blood on
their hands to commence negotiations with the Palestinians. In order to make
this more palatable, he has argued that if the US would release Pollard – as
much as those of us who have arduously campaigned on his behalf for over 25
years would welcome it – he expounds that we Israelis would consider it a sign
of encouragement and agree to make even greater sacrifices.
We are not a
vassal state of the US. Going on past form, such agreements are nothing less
than a farce, as Dershowitz well knows but refuses to acknowledge. His prominent
work for Israel advocacy does not give him or any other Jew who lives outside
Israel the right to tell us we should be prepared to make sacrifices. It is our
necks on the line.
Dershowitz professionally failed Pollard. We don’t
need him now to advise us and fail the Third Jewish Commonwealth.