Olmert’s words

Sir, – With regard to “Olmert: Only an ‘idiot’ prime minister would not make peace” (January 7), when Ehud Olmert was in government he offered far-reaching concessions to the Arabs, which were rejected. It’s amazing how clever politicians become when they leave office.

Olmert has tried to justify the mess he and Amir Peretz made in the Second Lebanon War (a case of the blind leading the blind).

And his remarks about Ariel Sharon don’t warrant a reply except to say that Olmert does not come up to Sharon’s ankles.

WILLIE MALKINSON
Ra’anana

Sir, – I was shocked and appalled by your blaring headline.

Considering the criminal charges still pending against him, Ehud Olmert probably does not truly understand his words, let alone the nasty and demeaning “idiot.” But to call a sitting prime minister an idiot and then have it glaring on the front page of an Israeli newspaper is nothing short of ridiculous, even in our enlightened society. It just gives more fuel for the fires of the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish sentiment raging across the world.

I think Olmert needs to sink quietly into the background and stop making a mockery of the office he held.

DEBRA FORMAN
Modi’in

Sir, – Your headline should have read: “Only an idiot would make peace with a group that will not make a simple gesture and recognize our right to existence in the State of Israel.”

It is interesting that an ex-prime minister with a dark cloud over his head (with no silver lining) would have the audacity to make statements about who is an idiot.

YISRAEL (IAN) LAST
Kiryat Ata

Sir, – Allow me to rebut your headline with one of my own.

“Derovan: Only an ‘idiot’ former prime minister would get involved in a sleazy bribery scandal and a long-term trial that has brought nothing but shame and embarrassment to him, the office of prime minister and the country”.

NORMAN DEROVAN
Ma’aleh Adumim

Sir, – Whether or not our prime minister is an idiot is a matter of opinion. What is not a matter of opinion is that his predecessor stands convicted of the criminal charge of breach of trust. Would people want such a person to negotiate on their behalf for anything, let alone peace? OSCAR DAVIES Jerusalem Sir, – With this statement, Ehud Olmert was accurately describing himself! SUSAN and DANNY TARAGIN Jerusalem Undiplomatically frank Sir, – With regard to “Lieberman criticized within faction for peace shift” (January 7), I don’t agree with Yair Lapid, whom you quote as saying: “There’s a real opportunity...to reach a [peace] solution.”

But in the unlikely event that there is a real opportunity, I certainly agree with Avigdor Liberman that the border should exclude the Triangle and Wadi Ara areas.

The idea that “Palestine,” Gaza and Jordan, which were all included in the Mandate for Palestine, are Jew-free while Israel must have a very large Arab minority is illogical and racist. It’s disturbing that our leaders don’t continually call out the Arabs for their obvious racism.

Kudos to Liberman for being one of the few politicians not afraid to be undiplomatically frank.

STEVE KRAMER
Alfei Menashe

Double standard

Sir, – I read with resignation and anger “Kabul: We will go ahead and release 88 prisoners despite American concerns” (January 7).

After the Obama administration’s arm-twisting of Israel (through the services of J. Kerry) to release over 100 convicted terrorists and killers, it would seem that the Americans are hardly in a position to complain about the release of prisoners simply because they consider them dangerous.

Is there no end to America’s double standard? What chutzpah! What hypocrisy!

VICTORIA DAUBERT
Jerusalem

Sir, – Maybe on his next trip here, US Secretary of State John Kerry can explain to us the American policy on the release of prisoners.

The US government has raised strong objections to the planned release of 88 prisoners by Afghanistan.

But Washington exerted heavy pressure on Israel to release over 100 convicted Palestinian terrorists, many with blood on their hands, in order to facilitate the current round of negotiations.

Or, take the case of Lynne Stewart.

She was the attorney for Sheikh Omar Abdel-Rahman, now serving a life sentence for planning terror attacks that came to light as a result of the investigation into the first World Trade Center bombing in 1993. In 2005 she was convicted of facilitating communications between her client and terrorists who were behind the 1997 massacre in Luxor, Egypt.

Stewart was just released from federal prison after serving only a small portion of her 10-year sentence because she has advanced cancer, and thus met new criteria for compassionate release. Yet Jonathan Pollard, who is also ill and has served well over 25 years in prison, apparently is not entitled to compassionate release.

Please, Mr. Kerry, what are the rules? J

AN SOKOLOVSKY
Jerusalem

Truth was told

Sir, – It was with absolute pleasure that I read the “unpolitically correct” editorial “NGOs and migrants” (January 7). For once, no words were minced, and the truth about the anti-Jewish-state NGOs was told.

We are desperately fighting with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and US Secretary of State John Kerry for the words “Jewish state” to be included in any peace agreement, and these organizations, funded by foreign governments and embarrassed Jews, are trying to destroy our country and make it a democratic state for all (and any sundry) citizens.

Keep up the good work.

BARBARA SHAMIR
Beit Horon

Sir, – Here are the pertinent facts: There are approximately 60,000 African migrants in Israel. The borders are now closed, so this population will remain static. They have to be removed from south Tel Aviv and some other areas where they are making life hell for residents. They cannot be deported because of UN rules we must abide by.

These people have to work if they are not to steal in order to survive.

We have the infrastructure to give them this opportunity. In addition, farmers don’t have enough working hands to obtain their maximum yields. (Ask the flower and vegetable growers in the Arava.) Every migrant should be given the opportunity to work legally for two years, with $1,000 per month being withheld by the government.

Employers will be eligible to participate in this program if they house and feed these workers. At the end of the two years, the migrants will be eligible to receive the $24,000 that was withheld if they voluntarily leave.

This is a humane and workable way to solve the problem.

SHLOMO BAR-MEIR
Tel Aviv

Sir, – We are unwilling to perform manual labor. It is irrational to admit legal foreign laborers to do this backbreaking work while jailing undocumented persons who are ready to start immediately.

Grant them three months. If the work ends, set deportation hearings.

EDWARD WEINSTEIN
Kfar Adumim

Not surprised

Sir, – I am not at all surprised that Vitesse did not take its Israeli player, Dan Mori, to Abu Dhabi (“Dutch team ditches Israeli for Abu Dhabi match,” January 7).

During the 1930s my father’s team played against Vitesse and he was called a “dirty Jew.” I am more surprised that the team even has an Israeli player.

I am also not surprised that only two people in the Dutch parliament showed their disgust with the attitude of Vitesse.

Holland is becoming more and more anti-Semitic and anti-Israel.

MIRIAM NATHANS
Rishon Lezion

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