Break the engagement

Sir, – In “Netanyahu open to exploring alternatives if direct talks prove impossible” (May 23), an unnamed Israeli official is quoted as saying: “No one knows if the Hamas deal is going to stick. If that marriage is not consummated, we are ready to return to direct talks with the Palestinians.”

That statement baffles me. Isn’t a peace partnership based upon the content and sincere intentions of the heart as manifested in congruent words and actions? Doesn’t a marriage based upon a signed contract indicate intentions of fidelity? The reference to the Palestinian Authority’s “marriage” arrangement with Hamas sounds totally irrational. It clearly affirms the truth – that the two parties, Hamas and Fatah, are in bed with each other. Is the intention a onenight stand in order to manipulate Israel into compliance with the Palestinian terms for a state, or it is a true love affair between two enemies of Israel whose shared goal is its destruction? Our government needs to be very wise. Who would embrace a “partner” that has demonstrated this kind of wicked manipulation or duplicity? Clearly, the PA is an unfaithful, deceitful player rather than a partner.

It’s time we take back the engagement ring. She is in bed with other lovers and playing Israel for a gullible, blind, desperate suitor.

The Torah tells us that a divorce is in order when an unfaithful partner has left the house and is in bed with another. Let’s get it done!

KOLYAH MITCHELL
Jerusalem

Vote for Dalia

Sir, – Your headline “Itzik could surprise in presidential contest” (May 23) will certainly be well received by many of her supporters.

Women’s organizations would be ecstatic over her victory, significantly elevating their political status worldwide.

Dalia Itzik is highly educated and has an excellent curriculum vitae, including her award from Hadassah as a “Woman of Distinction.”

She was the first woman speaker of the house and at one stage was acting president, charming all foreign dignitaries.

She will undoubtedly make a great president and imbue every Israeli with tremendous admiration and pride.

URI MILUNSKY
Herzliya

Monologue fail

Sir, – According to the publicity, the Genesis Prize is supposed to be a Jewish Nobel Prize, but it seems the ceremony for bestowing it upon its first recipient (“Bloomberg honored with first Genesis Prize in Jerusalem,” May 23) was nothing like that.

A stand-up comic, hired at great expense, saw fit to turn the evening into a shameful farce by making bad jokes disparaging the president of the United States and the secretary of state for having dared try to make peace between Israel and the Palestinians and for supporting the State of Israel more than ever before politically, financially and militarily.

To choose such an occasion to make such so-called jokes demonstrates an unmitigated amount of bad taste. Whoever is responsible should apologize to all involved.

Next time, it would be wise to think about how to properly bestow such an honor in a way that will bring pride and not shame to both the giver and the recipient.

REUVEN HAMMER
Jerusalem

Hand-carried, too

Sir, – Gershon Baskin’s overweening hubris and arrogance have finally driven him from the closet of perceived even-handedness (“From David to Goliath,” Encountering Peace, May 22).

How dare Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu refuse the hand-carried proposals from Abbas faithfully delivered by Baskin over the past three years! What was in those proposals? Who knows, but they were hand-delivered.

Baskin gives us the classic cri de coeur of the Left: If you disagree with my heartfelt sense of things, you are wrong. Worse, you are unfit to lead. Forget the fact that you are the elected leader of people who happen to agree with you – you are unfit because you just don’t get it.

Rather than analyze what in these proposals was worthy of accepting, it is the act of refusing them – hand-delivered, yet – that is so condemnable. Forget that a significant majority of Israelis see things the way their leader does, that we will cut a deal with those who are interested in living alongside us, not with those for whom a deal is just a step to supplanting us. No deal can be tantamount to a time-release suicide pact.

If the Palestinians are simply willing to say yes, we will live in peace alongside a sovereign Jewish state, then the details of that agreement will be readily hammered out. But to the Baskins of the world, they are just messy and unimportant details. After all, proposals have been presented, proposals that were presented by hand.

If Netanyahu has to go, the Israeli people will make that determination. Until then, we can do with a lot less of Baskin’s self-righteousness that disregards the security and well-being of the Israeli people for the aggrandizement of being the facilitator to a disastrous deal. In other words, Baskin can go and none of us will be the worse for it.

DOUGLAS ALTABEF
Rosh Pina


Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is accused of some very detailed and surprising comments in “From David to Goliath.”

If Gershon Baskin’s column is true, there is little doubt that Netanyahu has been totally dishonest with the people of Israel when he consistently claims he does not have a peace partner in Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. Worse, the apparent support the prime minister has gained through the silence of Bayit Yehudi leader Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman makes them guilty of blatant dishonesty.

Either Baskin or Netanyahu is misleading the people of Israel.

A lack of response from the prime minister will lead us to draw our own conclusions.

ARTHUR GREMSON
Netanya


Sir, – The reaction of the vast majority of people who read “From David to Goliath” can only be one of astonishment.

Either our prime minister has been leading the country up the garden path or Gershon Baskin is a liar and should be taken to court.

According to all the “news” reports and governmental publicity we get, Binyamin Netanyahu is the one who has been keen to pursue a settlement, and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas is the one blocking everything. But according to Baskin, the very opposite is true – Abbas has been and remains ready to accept many of our demands while Netanyahu has been the one saying no to everything, including meeting with the PA leader.

This matter cannot be overlooked and forgotten. May I suggest that you take the initiative in finding out who is telling the truth.

MIKE AYL
Ashkelon

Sir, – Gershon Baskin’s main claim to fame is his self-promoted role in the exchange of Gilad Schalit for more than 1,000 prisoners, for which the ultimate implication for Israel’s security is still unknown. Now he claims, with no documentation, that he, unlike all the other world figures involved, could have brought Mahmoud Abbas and Binyamin Netanyahu together, but that Netanyahu refused.

Baskin makes no mention of the prime minister’s proposal for a meeting just after the negotiations were broken off by the PLO, and that the proposal was declined. He also lists concessions that Abbas allegedly agreed to in private, but without providing any supporting evidence and totally ignoring the tangible concession of Israel’s release of prisoners.

Undocumented claims of this sort give support to the incitement provoked by the Palestinian leadership while Israel’s leaders work to prepare the country for change.

DAVID MASLOW
Jerusalem

Priority is given to letters that are brief and topical, and which bear the writer’s name and place of residence, as well as the name and date of the Post item being referred to. They may also be edited and shortened. letters@jpost.com

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