January 12: Schalit, politics, time

Shame on Noam Schalit. He put our whole country in danger – and now he wants to run for public office.

Schalit, politics, time
Sir, – Shame on Noam Schalit.
He managed, with the aid of very adept publicists, to put our whole country in danger – and now he wants to run for public office (“Noam Schalit announces entry into politics with Labor,” January 10).
We all understood his campaign to release killers and would-be-killers. It was to gain the release of his son. But the bill hasn’t been paid yet. When we get the first recidivist terror attack and, God forbid, people are dead, what will he say? Sorry? What other fiasco could he lead the country into should he hold public office? I say to Schalit: You received Gilad back by placing the whole country in danger. Now stay home. Enjoy your son and have the grace to be quiet.
Sir, – Doesn’t this beat all! Noam Schalit is so used to being in the limelight that now, life is too quiet. He misses the action.
He may not be any worse than the Knesset members we have now, but his whole campaign would be on the back of his son, Gilad.
Many of us are still angry about showing Israel’s weak side and releasing 1,000 terrorists. It’s bad enough that Gilad will feel guilty when the first released prisoner kills Jews.
Heaven help us if Noam Schalit succeeds. Hamas will kidnap soldiers right and left because they’ll know they have a friend in the Knesset.
Sir, – Noam Schalit chose not to relentlessly fight Hamas, the guilty party. He chose not to set up a tent at the Gaza border. He chose not to fight the Red Cross and the UN by setting up a tent in Geneva, where it would have received much media coverage and put pressure on those who were really responsible. Instead, he chose to fight his own government and fellow Israelis.
Schalit pressured our country to release hundreds of killers of Jews. His needs were more important than ours. Is that the kind of person we want in our Knesset? Not in my mind.
Sir, – With all due respect to Noam Schalit, I think the Knesset should pass a Noam Schalit Bill that would require him to spend at least one year reacquainting himself with Gilad before being allowed to enter politics.
CHAYA HEUMAN Ginot Shomron
Sir, – Jerusalem Post columnist Gershon Baskin deserves our praise for his role in opening up negotiations over Gilad Schalit with Hamas when other tracks failed. Nonetheless, he is wrong when he argues that the deal should have been made much earlier (“Shamgar: Did you ask why it took almost five years?,” Encountering Peace, January 10).
It should never have been made at all.
Much as we all wanted Schalit safely home, the deal was outrageous in its disproportionality, and wholly irresponsible. It was a classic case of democratically elected leaders having their hand forced by an ill-informed public for short-term popularity against the long-term interests of the people as a whole. There is no greater way of incentivizing hostage-taking than the release of 1,027 combatants for one, young, inexperienced draftee.
As one who yearns daily for peace between Palestinians and Israelis, I pray there will be no more disproportionate exchanges. They only beget more blood-letting.
Red line of energy
Sir, – Regarding Yaakov Katz’s analysis (“Israel’s red line,” January 10), one of the most crucial red lines for Israel should be making Israel self-sufficient in energy.
Israel must never again be dependent on the supposed good will of other nations. Look what has happened so many times to the pipeline running from Egypt to Jordan and Israel.
The need to explore for oil and develop oil from shale should be Israel’s “Manhattan Project.”
What of another Jew?
Sir, – While it is always welcome news when a Jew like Jack Lew, who openly identifies with his people, is chosen for a prestigious public office (“Obama replaces White House chief of staff with observant Jew,” January 10), there remains a festering wound on the American Jewish scene.
It would be most appropriate and impressive if, instead of choosing a Jew for this position, Obama lets that other Jew, Jonathan Pollard, go! ZEV CHAMUDOT Petah Tikva Plenty of gratitude Sir, – After congratulating himself on his wonderful work, Shmuley Boteach blames the lack of gratitude shown him on the fact that he is a rabbi (“Absence of gratitude is the source of rabbinical burnout,” No Holds Barred, January 10).
Most of the many rabbis I know feel deeply appreciated for what they do. Perhaps Boteach should consider reasons other than his profession for his particular misfortune.

ZVI WOLFF Jerusalem The writer is a rabbi
Best we can expect
Sir, – I disagree with Kevjn L.’s main contention in his pedantic article: that there is a possible breakthrough for peace to be made with the Palestinians (“Israel-Palestinian breakthrough could change Iranian equation,” Comment & Features, January 10).
On what evidence is his contention based? Surely not on Israel’s withdrawal from Gaza.
Even if peace were to “break out,” there is nothing Israel could do to erase the Arabs’ fundamental urge to replace the Jewish state with an Arab one. An indefinite low-intensity conflict is the best we can expect until the West decides which side it is on.
STEVE KRAMER Alfei Menashe
Old ideas just fine
Sir, – Regarding “Death of the peace process means opportunity for new ideas” (January 10), I would venture that Israel stated clearly what it wanted by voting for Binyamin Netanyahu, who campaigned on a platform of building up the Jewish land, a commitment never to divide it and never to destroy what are called “settlements,” and absolutely no recognition of rights within our land for a Palestinian entity, otherwise known as the two-state solution.
The writing was on the wall when Netanyahu sat in the Sharon government and allowed the forcible removal of 10,000 Jewish people from their homes and businesses in Gush Katif and elsewhere in the Gaza Strip. As the saying goes, there are none so blind as those who refuse to see. Unfortunately, we fell for false promises.
I would further venture that there is no need for new ideas – just the old ones, this time with the commitment to keep all promises and build our land.
After all, that is why we are here.

In “Who’s threatening democracy?” (Candidly Speaking, January 10) it was reported that the Breaking the Silence and B’tselem organizations had accused Israel of “devotion to Nazi values” and “committing humanity’s worst atrocities.”
Those comments were in fact made by a former B’tselem staff member before she joined the organization. She was dismissed once they were made public. The Post regrets the error.
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