December 12: We have a problem

Ben Caspit’s column on Naftali Bennett’s lively conversation with Martin Indyk at the Saban forum is a perfect example why we should be thankful for social media.

Letters (photo credit: REUTERS)
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Sir, – Ben Caspit’s opinion piece (“Houston, we have a problem with Bennett,” Comment and Features, December 10), contains a number of factual inaccuracies.
Mr. Caspit ought to visit Judea and Samaria; he would then learn that Palestinians and Israelis do share the same roads, and the only segregated roads are in Area A, which Israelis are forbidden to enter.
Mr. Caspit refers to the horrible murder of Mohammed Abu Khdeir. That one exception was roundly condemned by all Jewish leaders, including “right-wing, settler” rabbis who called for the death penalty for his murderers. In contrast, PA officials have justified and hailed the Har Nof massacre.
Even Mahmoud Abbas’s obligatory condemnation was tepid, at best.
Like Martin Indyk, Mr. Caspit chose not to contest the substance of Mr. Bennett’s ideas, but to cast inaccurate accusations and irrelevant, snide remarks.
The fear expressed by Mr. Caspit is justified. Be afraid, Mr. Caspit. Very afraid.
Alon Shvut
Sir, – Ben Caspit’s column on Naftali Bennett’s lively conversation with Martin Indyk at the Saban forum is a perfect example why we should be thankful for social media. Thanks to Facebook and YouTube we can all watch and share the entire conversation and form our own opinion on how each fared. We are not restricted to the distorted leftist observations and conclusions of Caspit.
While polite but confident, Bennett did not let Indyk’s positions go unchallenged.
All present heard a clear and thoughtful presentation on why/how we must dump the failed policies of the past. It was interesting that most traditional media outlets had little coverage of the session, a good indication on how well Bennett did.
Sir, – I read Ben Caspit’s explosion of dislike against Naftali Bennett with great amusement. I looked in vain for one sentence about what Bennett stood for, or a quote perhaps about his proposal to annex Area C, but all Caspit could come up with was a breathless barrage of warnings that seemed to indicate the sky would fall in if Bennett were to be elected.
And then there was Caspit’s description of Indyk, “a veteran diplomat, polished, experienced and calm.” My memories of Indyk when he was here as US ambassador were just the opposite. It seemed he was always threatening that if we didn’t behave in the manner he indicated, we were in for trouble. I recall he was pretty unpopular with the Israeli public. It could just be Caspit has unwittingly served up growing support for Bennett among those of us still unsure of our vote.
Sir, – It is clear Ben Caspit wrote an opinion piece and not news, and he is certainly entitled to his opinion.
However, he is not entitled to change facts to fit his opinion. Although he accuses Bennett of being inaccurate with his facts when he said “price tag” incidents did not kill Palestinians, it is Caspit who was inaccurate. His condescending response “really? What about Mohammed Abu Khdeir?” has nothing to do with “price-tag” since that was a terrorist attack.
Don’t put too much stock in his assessment that the people in the audience were “horrified,” because all we really know is what Caspit was thinking.
Sir – It appears Ben Caspit is morphing from Bibi bashing to Bennett bashing. So be it! But some of what Caspit writes is simply incorrect: “[Bennett] didn’t let Indyk get in a single question, and it appeared as if any moment he would banish him from the stage.”
Not so! Indyk freely asked a series of questions which were qualified by rambling statements about contending with the fall-out of international approbation, sanctions and boycotts.
And throughout the interview, Indyk did not hesitate to interject often. It’s a long interview, and a fascinating one. Bennett is smart, diplomatic and persuasive.
In comparing Caspit’s article to the actual video, it seems to me: “We have a problem with Caspit.”
Tel Aviv