April 21, 2017: The Baskin blues

Rational Israelis have concluded that releasing prisoners to Hamas for any reason is a losing proposition.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
The Baskin blues
As usual, Gershon Baskin is on the wrong side of logic (“Israel must bring them home,” Encountering Peace, April 18).
Rational Israelis have concluded that releasing prisoners to Hamas for any reason is a losing proposition.
It enhances Hamas’s reputation and weakens our deterrence. To exchange them for those who have chosen voluntarily to cross into the Gaza Strip for unknown reasons is insane.
I would suggest asking Hamas to return our citizens and the bodies of our soldiers killed in battle in exchange for Mr. Baskin.
Ma’aleh Adumim
Gershon Baskin’s favorite words are normally “I” and “me.”
This head of what seems to be a one-man organization claims an omniscience and infallibility of stupefying proportions.
He has on these pages claimed intimate friendship with key players in the Hamas thugocracy. He has told us repeatedly that they are far more flexible and malleable than we ordinary mortals – from our prime minister down to this writer – can possibly know. What’s more, he published an entire self-aggrandizing volume in which he took full and solo credit for the release of IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.
Hence, it is rather puzzling that Mr. Baskin is suddenly placing the onus on Israel to bring home two Beduin and one Ethiopian who crossed the border into the Gaza Strip of their own free will. On what basis does this grand wizard of omniscience even know that these three have any desire to cross back? And how come, with his virtually supernatural powers and intimate friendship with our murderous neighbors, he is unable to accomplish their return on his own? Why is Mr. Baskin besmirching Israel, as if it were somehow to blame? Has this self-proclaimed Samson of diplomacy been shorn of his locks?
Reason we’re here
It is undemocratic to prohibit the sale of hametz (unleavened products) during Pessah, and “forward looking” to allow it (“Kosher for Passover,” Editorial April 16).
What is our reason for being returned here after thousands of years in exile? To be a country like any other? For that we did not need to leave the galut (Diaspora).
Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg announced her intention to submit a bill to revoke the law, which should come as no surprise, as her ideas of democracy in the Jewish state are far removed from anything religious. The problem is that the galut has not left Zandberg, and all things Jewish, even in our own state, are anathema to her – and, it seems, to the editorial writer.
Too bad, but this is what we are all about, and despite the forward-lookers, we will prevail because it is our sole purpose in being here: to build the Jewish land for our people, as decreed by the One who gave us His laws, by which to live.
And no, we are not “sadly mistaken in thinking that Zandberg and other Jews who favor the freedom to choose their level of observance are trying to harm the Jewish character of the state.”
This is because they are when they make such a public display of it.
Make no mistake: Our enemies see this, and it gives them courage to continue their fight for our land.
• A sentence in “Aussie police probe claim that rabbi gave false evidence in scandal” (April 20) should have said: “The group also stated that Telsner still occupies the head rabbi’s seat during synagogue services and continues to receive the same salary,” referring to Rabbi Zvi Telsner, former head rabbi of Yeshiva Center, a Chabad operated institution in Melbourne, and not to Rabbi Chaim Tsvi Groner, a member of the Yeshiva Center board.
• In “’Adopt-A-Safta’ pairs young professionals with Holocaust survivors” (April 20), the NGO’s CEO is incorrectly identified. The CEO is Jay M. Shultz. We regret the error.