The search for the yeshiva students goes on
Sir, – Since the kidnapping of the three boys, our president, prime minister, defense minister, minister of public security, other political leaders, the IDF chief of staff, national police chief and commentators have dished up a daily dose of opinions and comments. The rhetoric is unnecessary. The IDF and security forces should undertake all actions necessary without advising the public, the international community or our enemies. We are at war.
The prime minister’s wife posted a Facebook picture of herself with a placard saying “#BringBackOurBoys.” That she is closest to the seat of power bodes ill, given that she publicly stated she had persuaded her husband to give in to Hamas’s demands and release terrorists in exchange for captive soldier Gilad Schalit.
Sir, – There has been criticism from the Left that the IDF is using collective punishment and disregarding Palestinian human rights in its search for the kidnappers of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah.
We live in a world in which thousands are gassed with chemical weapons. Firing squads and beheadings are commonplace, but the great powers resist involvement unless their oil interests are threatened. Over 200 young girls are kidnapped and the most dramatic reaction by the world community is to hold up signs on social media sites.
To me, it is a reaffirmation of humanity that despite threats from across our four borders, our government and our military have found it important enough to call in reserves so that enough manpower can be dedicated to searching for the three boys. Their safe return is of greater value than insuring the comfort and quiet evenings of the Arab residents of Hebron.
Sir, – I can’t shake the feeling that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is exploiting this most tragic kidnapping in order to address issues he hasn’t otherwise been able to address.
Of course we’d like to see Hamas disconnected from the Palestinian Authority, and of course we want to get the men who were released in the Schalit deal back off the streets. But if Hamas is responsible for this atrocity, tackle it head on.
There is a sense that Bibi leaped at the opportunity to accuse Hamas solely because he saw an opening to do so. It is to be hoped that he has intelligence that the general public hasn’t been privy to.
Sir, – You report that President Shimon Peres told the parents of the missing boys that this tragedy was not theirs alone, but “one of national proportions” (“Peres meets with parents of abducted teenagers,” June 20). Such hypocrisy on the part of Peres, and such naivety on the part of the parents.
Don’t the parents know that Peres was the person who reinstated the arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat from oblivion in Tunisia, where he would never again have been able to cause Israel any harm, and made sure he was supplied with weapons that were later used to murder and maim over one thousand Israelis? So was born the terrorism we know as the Oslo Accords, from which to this day we are still seeing the effects.
If I were ever, God forbid, in a similar situation to the parents of the abducted boys, I would never let Peres anywhere near my home or have any wish to hear his hypocritical prattling.
Sir, – Fifty years ago, on June 21, 1964, three American civil rights workers assisting in voter registration efforts in the state of Mississippi were murdered.
One was an African American, the other two were Jewish.
It took 44 days to find their bodies. During the search, blacks and whites and people of all religions who supported voting rights were united through their faith that the young men would be found safe.
In Israel, three young men have been abducted and we’re witnessing a united effort to bring them home. Our government is using all its resources to achieve this goal. Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas has called for their return, too. And prayers are being recited on their behalf around the world.
May this tragic event lead us to seek solutions to the problems that led to the abductions.
This must be a call to the Palestinian and Israeli leadership to cease their violent actions and renew a process that will achieve a lasting peace.
The writer is a rabbi
Sir, – I’ve been wondering why (even though we don’t need their help) we haven’t asked Haiti, the Philippines or any other country the IDF has helped in the past, to assist us in searching for the missing teens. It would certainly help from a hasbara (public diplomacy) point of view and would keep awareness of the boys’ plight, as well as our fears, on the front pages of international newspapers.
I know the US offered to help, but as its offers are always contingent on certain demands, rejecting this offer puts it firmly in its place.
Hoping the boys are found safe soon.
Sir, – In “Police appoint team to examine mishandling of abductee’s distress call” (June 19) it is stated that, according to the police, about 20 percent of the 10 million calls per year they receive via the 100 emergency line are prank calls, and that some 30% of the dispatchers are young people doing their national service.
What does this all mean – that the police can be excused if three youths, one of whom called 100, are kidnapped by murderous terrorists? The dispatcher performed as required, reporting to the call to a supervisor. But the supervisor can be accused of dereliction of duty in the highest regard, having given the terrorists a fivehour head start in their escape with the boys. Hopefully, the investigation will not be a whitewash.
The figures released by the police are misleading. What they should have stated is that eight million calls per year are legitimate calls. Thus, a call by a youth stating “We have been kidnapped!” must be considered among the 80%! I join everyone in praying to God that He will enable our security forces to bring our children home safe and sound to their families.
Sir, – National Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said the following: “[W]e won’t dismiss anything that needs to be examined; we will check everything that happened and that needs to be done in a time and place that is fitting.”
There is no more fitting time than now. Everyone living here knows the saying: “Why put off something until tomorrow if you can put it off until the day after?” It is more than just a sarcastic joke.
We want the investigation to start today, while the abductions are a top priority, and not in another year when we’ll have stuffed away the disaster into our remote memories, as we all tend to do to help us carry on normal lives.
Sir, – One way of decreasing the risk of kidnappings is simply for hitchhikers to politely ask the driver to show his ID card. I am sure he would not be insulted and would actually applaud such a responsible and mature request.
The driver can also raise three fingers showing his identification with and concern for the fate of the three kidnapped boys.