Sir, – In “Erekat says talks have already failed as 26
Palestinian prisoners are set to go free” (December 31), you quote Prime
Minister Binyamin Netanyahu as saying that “leadership is tested by making the
difficult decisions. We were not elected... to make the easy decisions.”
Okay, so when is he going to start making those difficult decisions? We, who
elected Netanyahu and his coalition members, are neither so stupid nor so
shallow as to think that the decision to release murderers of Jews was
difficult. It was the weak, easy and cowardly way to simply let the Obamas and
Kerrys of the world tell us what to do.
The really difficult decision,
the one we all want and need our government to make, is to insist on our
sovereignty and refuse to release murderers who were justifiably and with full
due process found guilty and sentenced by a court of law in our democratic
That would, of course, also be the moral and correct
Sir, – It can’t be difficult for
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to make statements such as true leadership is
“tested by making the difficult decisions.”
He’s said similar words many
times. Yet, from a distance it’s difficult to imagine that he fully appreciates
how much his decisions have undermined Israel’s standing with friends and foes
Releasing terrorists with blood on their hands, breaking a
commitment to cooperate in the terror financing trial against the Bank of China,
and provocative announcements on settlement construction in the midst of closely
monitored diplomacy by US Secretary of State John Kerry are among the most
recent examples that have led a once highly respected leader to be more often
regarded as lacking a stable moral compass, if any compass at all.
tragic to see someone long revered among a large segment of American Jewry
become a faint shadow regarding the intellect, courage and sacrifices for which
his family is known.SETH EISENBERG
Sir, – Shame on you! It’s
heart-wrenching enough to read day in, day out about the release of terrorists.
But do you have to rub salt in the wound and publish a picture, especially on
the front page, of a terrorist family celebrating the release? Your editorial
policy in this regard is as warped as that of the government.AVRAHAM
Modi’in Illit Annexation proposal
Sir, – Your editorial of December 31
(“The Jordan Valley’s fate”) seriously errs in bemoaning the effect of the
In all kinds of negotiations, the one who demands
gets, and the one who compromises gives. Watch the Palestinians.
keen practitioners of this.
Israel keeps raising its offer and reducing
its demands, and the Palestinians don’t budge.
Exactly what kind of
compromise do you think results from such negotiations? It will not be
acceptable to the majority of Israelis who know from experience that the
Palestinians do not feel bound by agreements.
By putting annexation on
the table, Israel has more to give, so if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
wants to make a deal, the proposal does more to encourage a deal than harm
Sir, – All the debate concerning Israel’s need to
control the Jordan Valley ignores the 500-lb. gorilla – namely, why it is
so critical to Israel’s security, and why it is so resolutely rejected by the
Absent Israel’s control of the area, the Jordanian monarchy would
be overrun within days after Israel withdraws from the West Bank, thereby
instantly creating a Palestinian state nearly twice the size of Israel, and with
all its military bases, airports and hardware in place. That the Palestinians do
not overthrow Jordan’s King Abdallah now – which they could easily do,
considering their majority in Jordan – is because this would complicate their
effort to disenfranchise the Jewish state from its historic heartland. And to
their credit, the Arabs are a far more patient people than we are.
Jordanian king sits on a precarious throne. His demise is not a question of
whether, but of when.
Jerusalem New Year’s wishes
Concerning “Some thoughts as 2014 begins” (Comment & Features, December 31),
I would like to say thank you for reminding us that even though as Jews we don’t
go by the secular calendar, we can still use this milestone to take a step back,
set goals and remind ourselves that life is a beautiful gift we shouldn’t take
Let us use this year to the fullest, and may there be peace
among all Jews, and especially within the State of Israel.TOVA SLEPOY
Jerusalem No sign
Sir, – With regard to “Was Jesus a Palestinian?” (Comment
& Features, December 31), it might be worth mentioning that the term
Palestine, let alone Palestinian, does not appear even once in the Gospels or
the Letters of the Apostles.
Jerusalem Safer to the Right
Sir, – After reading Caroline B. Glick’s “The Left against Zion” (Column One,
December 20), many issues became focused for me.
For years I had prided
myself in thinking and living in the centrist areas of life, believing that
nothing was either black or white, and that there was some truth in both
Glick’s column confirmed for me that the Left of today, regarding
Israel, is no longer Left. There is no word for it. We are soon to fall off the
left-hand side of the Earth altogether, what with certain Israeli thinkers,
politicians, columnists and pundits, as well as their American
I’m not comfortable with all that Israel says and does, but
so what! The oft-stated view that Israel is judged by a different or higher
standard has new and dangerous weight. As to Israel’s right to exist, that the
question is raised at all is an abomination that needs to be obliterated as
strongly as Haman’s name. For what other country has this been questioned? The
Left, and now the far, far- Left, have been circling the wagons. I wonder what
they hope to find in the Middle East 20 years from now.
I never thought
I’d say it, but if I can’t have a centrist position, the Right seems safer to me
than the Left, despite the Left’s purported desire for peace.SANDY
Plainview, New York Out of touch
Sir, – It is with some concern that I
have noticed the growing need for charitable organizations in our
For many years, when Israel was a fledgling state, it was
acceptable to expect that the needy would largely have to be assisted by funds
raised locally and abroad. The question is, why, when we are now a financially
viable country, just about all needy citizens, from hungry children to the
elderly and infirm, have to be cared for by charitable organizations, and not by
the state? My impression is that members of our Knesset, their own needs and
concerns well cared for, have become disconnected from the general population.
If Finance Minister Yair Lapid is seriously concerned about homosexual couples –
a tiny percentage of our general population that by nature have no more than one
or two children – he simply has no idea of the needs of the general