Deals we make
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, chief negotiator Tzipi
Livni and others should have the backbone to say to US Secretary of State John
Kerry the following: 1. At the behest of President Barack Obama we imposed a
10-month construction freeze on the so-called settlements in order for the
Palestinians to come and negotiate, but for nine months they refused to talk. We
have now released another batch of cold-blooded murderers. We suggest that you
pressure the Palestinians to finally start fulfilling their obligation under the
Oslo Accords to stop terrorism and incitement. To continue talking we demand an
end to these activities. As a sign of goodwill we are willing to give them 10
months to show their goodwill in negotiating! 2. Palestinian Authority President
Mahmoud Abbas last week not only celebrated the release from prison of 26
murderers, but promised each a lump sum according to the length of their
imprisonment and then a monthly stipend. Is this the purpose of the economic aid
America and the EU give the Palestinians? By the way, the same questions should
be addressed to European Union foreign policy chief Catherine Ashton, British
Foreign Secretary William Hague and other European foreign
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu told us that the price for restarting peace talks with the
Palestinians was to either release terrorists, including those with blood on
their hands, or halt all settlement activities. Now that we have released
another batch of prisoners, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (as
well as the leaders of many countries) is denouncing Israel for building new
settlements, calling them an “obstacle to peace.”
Why do we continue to
free Palestinian terrorists and talk about peace with the Palestinians if they
have changed their minds about construction? Will the terrorists Israel already
freed be returned to prison? After all, it was the Palestinians, and not Israel,
who violated the agreement.
Fat chance for that happening! JOSHUA J.
ADLER Jerusalem Sir, – Comparing “Netanyahu, what were you thinking?” (Comment
& Features, October 31) with the news item “Edelstein declares French
president persona non grata in Knesset” in the same issue, one can’t help but
contrast the actions of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with those of Knesset
Speaker Yuli Edelstein. Whereas Netanyahu capitulates to world pressure to
release terrorists who have killed IDF soldiers and civilians in terrorist
attacks, Edelstein stands up to French President Francois Hollande for snubbing
Israeli lawmakers by announcing that he will be speaking to university students,
not the Knesset, during his upcoming visit.
The results of these actions
speak for themselves. Netanyahu has antagonized most of his nation. He also has
gained no advantage in the so-called peace talks, as is evidenced by the article
“Kerry to arrive as Palestinians threaten to walk away from talks” (November
Our prime minister’s capitulation has produced nothing other than
increased pressure from the Palestinians to capitulate further, with them still
complaining about building in Jerusalem, Israel’s capital city. On the other
hand, the spokeswoman of the French Embassy reacted to Edelstein’s declaration
by emphasizing Hollande’s “attachment to Israeli democracy and its
representatives,” saying he “wants to go to the Knesset” and that the embassy is
“working on options and trying to be accommodating.”
Israel stands up for its honor it gains strategic advantage and is
When it capitulates, it loses respect and faces more pressure
to continue doing so.
It would do well for Netanyahu to consider revising
his approach from one of capitulation to assertiveness.
He would gain a
strategic advantage, as well as honor for himself and his
YOCHEVED MIRIAM ZEMEL
Jerusalem Sleazy sophistry
Sir, – Your
newspaper states that “Israeli officials have repeatedly stated that the
country’s red line in war-torn Syria is the transfer of heavy arms to
( “Israel’s impunity in Syria,” Analysis, November
Clearly, the transfer of 80,000 non-heavy rockets, which we allowed,
is okay with Israel. Can someone explain such sleazy sophistry to us plain
folks? AVIGDOR BONCHEK
Jerusalem The cops know
Sir, – With regard to “Another
car bomb in Ashkelon injures reputed mobster” (November 3), experts on the
underworld affirm that without political protection, mobsters can’t operate like
they do here in Israel.
Police know the names and address of the illegal
casinos, protection nets and narcotics rings they run freely. They know
everything. But nothing is changing. The criminals operate freely and openly,
and from time to time they kill each other in gang wars with shootings and
Eighty percent of the police force works in administrative
positions, moving papers from here to there. What is going on in the streets is
the result .
Rishon Lezion Differing viewpoint
Sir, – I
take issue with Gershon Baskin’s claims in “No solace” (Encountering Peace,
October 31) that the “released murderers “ he met “live with the faces of those
they killed every day of their life,” and that he “witnessed tortured souls,”
particularly of “those who killed innocent civilians.”
cannot refute claims Baskin believes are true.
Perhaps the murderers he
spoke with took advantage of the opportunity to “suck up” to an influential
columnist whose leftwing ideology is close to theirs.
But from my
experience as deputy comptroller of the Israeli Prison Service for close to 25
years, during which time I met and spoke with many hundreds of security
prisoners, not one showed any remorse or anguish for killing the
I certainly did not witness any tortured souls. Perhaps the
only tortured souls were of the prison guards who are in the unfortunate
position of having to witness on a daily basis the laughing and joking of these
“poor souls” who continue to enjoy benefits and privileges beyond those of the
average Israeli prisoner.
It is imperative that Baskin’s viewpoint not
Tzur Hadassah Justifying an exit
– Susan Hattis Rolef attempts to justify her daughter’s preference to live in
Berlin rather than remain in Israel (“Why Israelis moved to Europe,” Think About
It, October 28).
She hypothesizes that perhaps her daughter and others
with similar values may be “sick to their stomachs” seeing how Israeli
authorities treat Arabs, including MKs, at the airport, seeing the callous and
insulting manner of some Israeli settlers and solders toward Arabs in the West
Bank, and seeing the way we treat African refugees.
There is also the
loss of hope for peace with our neighbors, for which Israel is just as much to
blame as the Arabs, and the lack of separation between religion and state. All,
Rolef says, are motivations for emigration.
A cessation of profiling at
the airport may be humanistic, but the resultant reduction in security might
end-up in a devastating tragedy. Also, Israel has made Herculean efforts to
absorb non-Jewish Falash Mura at great expense financially and socially, and
provided a home for “boat people” when no other country did.
To expect it
to integrate hoards of African refugees and seekers of a higher standard of
living is inconceivable. Today, south Tel Aviv is a nightmare for its
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