January 2: 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."

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Difficult decisions
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 country.
That would, of course, also be the moral and correct decision.DEBORAH BUCKMAN Beit Shemesh
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 alike.
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.
It’s 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.
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.
Annexation proposal
Sir, – Your editorial of December 31 (“The Jordan Valley’s fate”) seriously errs in bemoaning the effect of the annexation proposal.
In all kinds of negotiations, the one who demands gets, and the one who compromises gives. Watch the Palestinians.
They are 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 it.
TZVI MEIR Jerusalem
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 Arabs.
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.
The Jordanian king sits on a precarious throne. His demise is not a question of whether, but of when.YOHANAN AV-YAIR Jerusalem
New Year’s wishes
Sir, – 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 for granted.
Let us use this year to the fullest, and may there be peace among all Jews, and especially within the State of Israel.
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.MICHELLE MAZEL 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 camps.
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 counterparts.
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 WASSERMAN Plainview, New York
Out of touch
Sir, – It is with some concern that I have noticed the growing need for charitable organizations in our society.
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 community.