Letters: The prisoner release

It is about time that Washington and the non-backboned Israeli leadership learned about the infinite value of a single life and the infinite evil of terrorism.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS)
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – Living as I do in the reality of Israel’s precariously fragile security situation, I must admit to being nonplussed when reading in “Mexico releases drug lord behind 1985 DEA agent killing” (August 11) the statement: “The move angered the US government.”
What was the move that incurred the wrath of the United States? It was the fact that Mexico released a drug lord who had been behind the murder of an agent of the US Drug Enforcement Administration.
Ordinarily, as a good citizen who tries to act with the guidance of a moral compass, I, too, would have felt a sense of outrage and the feeling that justice had been betrayed. After all, this villain was responsible for the death of an American law enforcement official, and the fact that he spent 28 years in prison should not and does not absolve him of the guilt of this heinous crime.
When, however, I am left acutely aware and completely heartbroken by the pressure brought to bear on Israel by the United States for the release of 104 terrorist murderers of innocent civilian women and children, I remain completely unmoved by the US discomfort concerning the Mexican drug lord.
It is about time that Washington and the non-backboned Israeli leadership learned about the infinite value of a single life and the infinite evil of terrorism.
Sir, – The die has been cast.
Arab prisoners with blood on their hands will be set free. Let’s see if we can grasp the lessons that will be learned by young Arabs and Jews from this repulsive act.
1. Arab youths will learn that if they are looking for a sure shortcut to becoming heroes in the Arab world, all they have to do is kill Jews in cold blood. If they are captured, in the course of time their actions will be put aside by the Israeli government and they will be let free before justice is served.
2. Jewish youth will learn that the Israeli justice system is flawed. It is no wonder that the so-called price-tag movement, as despicable as it is, has taken hold in this country. Will we be seeing a rise in vigilante groups in the future? Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu must surely understand that the advice from the Americans will always be: “Do as we say, not as we do.” There has never been a large-scale release of terrorists by any US president for the sake of luring anyone to the negotiating table.
It would be truly insane to contemplate such a ridiculous move.
I cannot think of any other single act that could lower the morale of the Jewish people than the one the prime minister has advocated. He is going to have a very busy day come Yom Kippur.
P. YONAH Shoham
Sir, – Let’s admit it – we are an apartheid state. If you are an Arab murderer our government laughs at our judges and after a slap on the wrist you go free. A Jewish murderer? Forget it! You will pay the full price.
R. ABT Jerusalem Sir, – What is strange is that the US is still maintaining prisoners at its Guantanamo Bay facility. The crimes against mankind by these prisoners are identical to those of the 104 terrorists held by Israel, whose release was demanded by US Secretary of State John Kerry on behalf of his client, Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.
Guantanamo Bay was supposed to be closed down according to an order signed by the American president in January 2009. To my mind, what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander!
Sour on Obama
Sir, – Emily Schrader (“Peace is more than a piece of paper,” Comment & Features, August 11) mentions how the US government ignored Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s statement to the Egyptian press that a Palestinian state will be judenrein.
The mere suggestion of ethnic cleansing by Israel would be condemned by US President Barack Obama. As a law professor, he taught reciprocity in first-year contract law. Accordingly, he most certainly must support an equal number of Arabs in Israel to those in Palestine.
Sir, – Can anyone explain why US President Barack Obama is so chummy with Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who puts political opponents, generals and journalists in jail and is destroying the country’s secular heritage by implementing Islamist extremism in its place? Or why Obama defends ousted Egyptian president Mohamed Morsi, who was in the process of copying Erdogan’s program of Islamization?
Meat of the matter
Sir, – Jews debate over whether laboratory-grown meat is kosher (“The kosher conundrum,” August 11). Muslims debate whether it’s halal.
For the person with true love in his heart, there is no need for debate. It’s obvious that if meat is going to be eaten, eliminating the need to inflict pain and terror on other sentient beings is the right and ethical thing to do.
JENNY MOXHAM Monbulk, Australia
Great treatment
Sir, – With regard to “Netanyahu leaves hospital after successful hernia surgery” (August 12), I would like to wish the prime minister a complete recovery.
I would also like to know which health plan he belongs to. The doctor came to him.
The surgeon came to him.
There was apparently no need for a referral by his personal physician, and no need to obtain a promise of payment by the health plan. He was operated on immediately.
I would like to be treated this way. You can wait a very long time to see a doctor in this country, and the wait in an emergency room can be very long, too.
Let us all be treated as Netanyahu was. We would be healthier and happier.
A sad Catch-22
Sir, – Ira M. Sheskin (“In the US, a strong Jewish presence,” Comment & Features, August 7) takes the temperature of the American Jewish community and declares it still to be in relatively good health. I believe his thermometer requires recalibration.
Yes, there are pockets of quality Jewish education and other cultural activities in many American Jewish communities, and these should be praised and increased in number. But unfortunately, they are the exceptions to the rule.
In a sense, the plethora of American Jewish organizations serves as a kind of smokescreen for the true paucity in Jewish life.
So many of the organizations cited by Sheskin are devoted to retaining merely a subsistence level of Jewish identity. As one Jewish educator told me, “Anything is better than nothing.”
Should these organizations give up and close their doors? Absolutely not! However, if the reported monetary and membership crisis of the Conservative Movement is any harbinger, the very organizations that Sheskin takes pride in are certainly in jeopardy.
The increasing diminution of strong Jewish identity throughout the United States is already taking its toll. Most Jewish philanthropic dollars already support charitable programs and institutions outside the Jewish community.
The loss of a sense of Jewish people-hood is rather quickly turning into a loss of personal loyalty and fiscal support for the very institutions that help foster Jewish commitment. This is the sad Catch-22 of American Jewish life at the beginning of the 21st century.