Time to disengage

Sir, – Amram Mitzna, by accusing the Bayit Yehudi party of sharing the objectives of Hamas (“Mitzna: Bayit Yehudi working toward same goals as Hamas,” June 27), is committing the same libel as calling another Israeli a “Nazi.”

We call a person or group a “fifth wheel” when it is unnecessary and burdensome, or a “fifth column” when it sympathizes with or supports the enemy. Both terms are most applicable to Mitzna’s Hatnua party. I have no idea what prompted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to include it in the coalition, but I certainly feel it is time to disengage.

Tzipi Livni and her cohorts have no place in this government.

ROBERT DUBLIN
Jerusalem

Pollard and decency


Sir, – In light of all the facts exposed by Alan Dershowitz and Irwin Cotler – two outstanding international legal scholars (“Pollard’s release is a matter of justice,” Observations, June 27) – if US President Barack Obama does not commute Jonathan’s Pollard’s sentence immediately, the president should be condemned as a man who is lacking in decency, humanity, morality and courage, and undeserving of the high office of presidency of the United States.

SMOKY SIMON

Herzliya Pituah

It’s nothing new

Sir, – The “Religion of retreat” that Martin Sherman refers to in his column of the same name (Into the Fray, June 27) predates Oslo. In fact, it goes back to the early 1920s.

US Supreme Court justice Louis Brandeis was the only Zionist leader at the time who properly understood the natural consequences of legal recognition of the Balfour Declaration, as embodied in the San Remo Resolution of April 1920, to be a binding act of international law establishing Palestine as a whole to be the Jewish national home and Jewish state.

He realized that the political and legal battle had been won and that practical steps could now be taken by the Zionist movement to rebuild the ancient homeland.

Brandeis clashed with Chaim Weizmann, who wanted the Zionist movement to continue its political work unabated as if the San Remo Resolution never existed. When Weizmann’s view gained the upper hand, Brandeis withdrew in 1921 from the ranks of the Zionist leadership. With the benefit of hindsight, had he and not Weizmann been leader of world Zionism in the 1920s, the State of Israel could have been formally established by the time Hitler came to power and millions of European Jews saved Nothing has changed in the mindset of the loony Left. In essence, it’s one thing to get the Jew out of the shtetl; it’s so much harder, as Moses found with the children of Israel, to get the shtetl out of the Jew.

JACK SHEBSON
Jerusalem

Rivlin, wake up!


Sir, – Following his election as our next president, Reuven Rivlin said he had received a congratulatory message from Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (“Rivlin: Arabs and Jews are destined to coexist,” June 26). Wow, we can all sleep safer! At least, so says our president-elect.

Where, however, does it say we are “destined to coexist?” When God promised this land in perpetuity to the Jewish people, where was this mentioned? Where does it say we have to coexist with a maniacal regime out for our destruction? It seems that Rivlin used his maiden speech in English to restore trust with the PA. Just what we need – more gestures, more conciliatory talk. While he is making nice to our enemies, what will he do – if anything – about the latest outrage on the Temple Mount, as reported in the same issue of the Post (“Group of Jewish visitors to Temple Mount encounters mob of hundreds of Muslims”).

Once again, Jews were subjected to abuse and threatened with violence. As usual, it was they, the Jews who belong there, who were led away, not the villains.

That is surrender, in every shape and form, to our enemies.

Time to wake up, Rivlin. And while you are at, give our prime minister a nudge.

PHYLLIS STERN

Netanya

Proof and evidence


Sir, – In “Terrible times” (Encountering Peace, June 26), Gershon Baskin writes that he “[doesn’t] believe all of the reports of 70 previous attempts of kidnappings” over the past few years.

“Sorry, I don’t buy it,” he writes. “No evidence has been presented – no names of accused kidnappers and no details.”

So just because a reporter may have information from a security source, but not specifics, such as the name of the kidnapper, it didn’t happen. According to Mr.

Baskin’s reasoning, the kidnapping of Gil-Ad Shaer, Naftali Fraenkel and Eyal Yifrah should not have been deemed a kidnapping until late last week when the names of the kidnappers were released.

Mr. Baskin provides no proof or evidence of the innocence of the Palestinians, other than his typical statement that they mustn’t have done what we accuse them of doing. The basis for his belief is his close friendship with them and his deep insider knowledge. This time, he didn’t even defend their sense of morals and justice, just that there is no stated proof they did it – so they must not have.

My question is, why did the IDF or Shin Bet have to foil even a single kidnapping effort?

MARC BODNER

Jerusalem

Sir, – Gershon Baskin loses no opportunity to boast about his role in the exchange of Gilad Schalit for over 1,000 imprisoned terrorists.

On the other side of the coin, I would hope that he feels some responsibility or remorse about the murder of Baruch Mizrahi, killed by Ziad Awad, one of the terrorists released thanks to his efforts (“Hamas member freed in Schalit deal indicted for pre-Passover terrorist attack,” June 24).

DAVID MANDEL
Savyon

Gershon Baskin responds: I am very proud of the role I played.

I have been told by the Mossad official who was in charge of the case that without me Gilad Schalit probably would not have come home alive; another month in captivity, according to the IDF doctors who examined him, he would have died.

I did not set the price. I did not select the names of those to be released. Prime Minister Netanyahu bears direct responsibility for that, along with the 25 other ministers in the government who voted for the deal. It was a bad deal, no doubt, but the head of the Mossad, the head of the Shin Bet, the chief of police and the IDF chief of staff all recommended to the government to vote yes.

If anyone has a problem with the deal or my role in it, that person can take his complaints to the prime minister.


Slightly off

Sir, – I must say that MK Haneen Zoabi is right – the kidnappers of Gil-Ad Shaer, Eyal Yifrah and Naftali Fraenkel are not terrorists (“Edelstein rejects calls to punish Zoabi for saying kidnappers are not terrorists,” June 18). They are criminals who have violated the laws of the State of Israel.

Ironically, the world whitewashes the criminal activities of subversive groups by calling them terrorists for the very reason Zoabi claims they are not terrorists, but “people who don’t see any way to change their reality....”

That statement, however, is not accurate. The Palestinians have no interest in changing their reality. They want to change Israel’s reality as a Jewish state.

ELISHEVA BORENSON
Jerusalem

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