Bodies of terrorists
I suggest that in the future, all terrorists killed “in the line of action” be given a burial at sea.
The family can send up to five representatives to witness the burial. The Israel Navy will transport the body for a fee to be paid by the family. If the family refuses, the state will dispose of the body anonymously. (Why should we waste money storing it in a morgue?) This will ensure that the funeral does not become a rally, and the terrorist’s grave will not become a shrine.
If the Palestinians don’t like this, they can cease becoming terrorists.
Some might object to this idea, but I will refer them to your article “Hadar Goldin’s parents urge UN officials to help bring son’s body home from Gaza” (February 8). We, at least, would be willing to bury the body at sea, with family representatives present as witnesses. The Palestinians are not so considerate.
KAL FEINBERG Jerusalem
What is wrong with our cringing government? Here we have the bodies of many vile, murderous terrorists in our hands, and instead of using them as bargaining chips to get the bodies of our soldiers back, we return them. What does it think the poor families of our boys must be feeling? It is a total disgrace.
OSCAR STRAUSS Petah Tikva
With regard to “Thousands attend terrorists’ funerals in W. Bank” (February 7), when will our government learn that every time we try to be humane, we get kicked in the face? We make conditions for returning terrorists’ bodies, and they do the opposite. We destroy their families’ homes, and the Palestinian Authority comes and gives them the money to build new ones.
What I propose might not solve the problem altogether, but it will make some of them stop to think.
The government must let it be known that from now on, a terrorist’s body will not be returned, but will instead be buried in an unmarked grave.
Furthermore, any money paid to the families of such terrorists will be deducted from taxes collected by Israel for the PA.
It is high time we go by the old adage: “The best defense is a strong offense.”
KURT SIMON Jerusalem I can’t understand why Israel returns the bodies of dead terrorists to their families. If the terrorists plan to become martyrs, it could thwart them by burying them anonymously, along with pig guts.
No martyrdom. No 72 virgins.
It’s not rocket science.
AARON GOVENDIR Blaxland, Australia Dangerous game
Seth J. Frantzman’s passionate Zionist intellect appears to have deserted him in “Israel’s dangerous anti-strategic game” (Terra Incognita, February 8).
Knowing full well that no Israeli “strategy,” long- or short-term, for addressing Palestinian hatred of Israel or the toxicity of “Brand Israel” in western Europe has the slightest chance of surviving Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s zero-sum demands, Frantzman’s disdainful reference to Judea and Samaria (“West Bank”) as something we “chose to conquer,” and its 500,000 Israeli residents as people we “chose to export,” appears to lean heavily toward a resolution of the conflict on Palestinian and western European terms.
That’s not a “strategy.” That’s a suicide note. Given the constantly reiterated intention of Hamas, the PLO and their jihadist supporters to employ their newly liberated “Dar es Salaam” as a springboard for the final blow against the Jewish state, it should be viewed as nothing less.
Mundane and uncreative as it sounds, the only “strategy” available to an Israel whose survival instincts remain intact in a Middle East that continues to convulse is the management of its less-than-earth-shaking conflict with a kleptocratic PA.
That’s going to take clear-headed and unwavering strategic and spiritual resolve that is devoid of magical solutions, along with an investment in a quality of life capable of spurring both a massive European aliya and an altered mindset, however incrementally, of the Arabs living within its autonomous precincts.
It is eminently worth trying.
BILL MEHLMAN Efrat
Seth J. Frantzman makes a fallacious assumption that is far more dangerous than what he perceives to be the reigning state of affairs.
He opines that the “long-term strategy of the Palestinians is the creation of a Palestinian state.” Perhaps that is their short-term strategy, but most of us strongly believe, having read their pronouncements, that their long-term strategy is the destruction of the Jewish state.
Like most critics of Israeli policy, Frantzman implicitly believes that there is a solution to be had, the failure of which is largely of Israel’s doing. But maybe the “failure” to act is the completely logical response to unyielding Palestinian rejectionism, a fundamental Palestinian desire to wait us out until we go away, or a hope that we ultimately cave in to the likes of Frantzman, for whom non-action is tantamount to failure.
When the goal of our adversaries is not peace or an enduring side-by-side modus vivendi, but a long-term plan to get rid of us, there seems little to do but try to get them to make a new goal. This, too, is a longterm game, but after all, we are the people who prayed for 2,000 years for this state of affairs, so we should be at least as able to play such a waiting game as they are.
Contrary to what Frantzman laments, we have no choice.
DOUGLAS ALTABEF Rosh Pina
While containing many interesting observations, Seth J. Frantzman’s analysis of Israel’s inability to make peace with the Palestinians misses the heart of the story.
He claims that the Palestinians’ aim is a state of their own, and seems to imply that we are denying them. But the present consensus of the Israeli public is that the Palestinians will accept nothing short of the demise of the Jewish state. The evidence for this is not only in current public opinion polls, but in the historical rejection of offers of a state, most recently made by former prime ministers Ehud Barak and Ehud Olmert.
When one takes into account the Palestinian position, the demand Frantzman makes – that the Israeli political elites show a more creative form of strategic thinking – seems to me problematic. What specifically does he suggest that they do? SHALOM FREEDMAN Jerusalem Seth J. Frantzman responds: The column states that most Palestinians “reject the existence of the State of Israel.” I would say to those who keep saying that “the Palestinians hate us” to keep reading the column again and again until they come to the right conclusion about their vision for the State of Israel in 20 or even 50 years. “The Palestinians hate us” is not a vision.
Discouraged reader It seems that Susan Hattis Rolef never misses an opportunity to vilify Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. This is most conspicuous in her latest column (“Reason for optimism,” Think About It, February 8): With both of the issues she raises (the natural gas outline and the new Western Wall prayer area), precious column space is devoted to criticism of his involvement.
Instead of enlightening her readers about these controversial issues, she obviously prefers to focus on her distaste for our prime minister. The reality is that the obvious bias expressed in her writing discourages me and others from reading her columns.
RON SPIRO Jerusalem