Letters: More readers weigh in on deal for peace talks

News flash: The president is a lame duck who will demand anything of us. Do we just roll over and give it to him?

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sir, –
Herb Keinon’s analysis “Here we go again” (July 29) truly speaks to me... and for me.
Releasing murders of our own children, women and men deeply hurts my soul.
I agree that Israelis need confidence- building because prisoner releases say we are defeated. I differ, however, from Keinon, who states that this confidence-building can come only through the Obama administration and actions of the Palestinians.
I say our confidence can be built up only by our own leaders.
Confidence comes from a supportive family, not from strangers. But Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and others seem to have become wussified, quivering at US President Barack Obama’s demands and telling us that capitulation is a difficult necessity.
News flash: The president is a lame duck who will demand anything of us. Do we just roll over and give it to him, roll over and expose our collective jugular? I want to see backbone! I want to stand proud again at Israel’s strength, not bent over in defeat.
Sir, –
“Here we go again” is the best assessment of the folly of the confidence-building argument for prisoner releases that I have seen. However, an additional aspect of the “confidence” game that is being perpetrated should not be overlooked.
Every time Israel has made these demonstrably futile gestures, its leaders (Rabin, Sharon, Olmert and now Netanyahu) and their coteries have crossed another red line they swore they would not cross. I believe the result is that the vast majority of Israelis have lost confidence in their leaders and in the politics of ex ante appeasement that they have come to endorse.
Can any one of us who is profoundly anxious about Iran’s imminent nuclear production and delivery capabilities now view Netanyahu’s red line for that effort as anything but bluster?
Sir, –
We are a state and the winner of all the wars, so if anyone requests something it should be us.
If Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is in the driver’s seat, he should be driving in the right direction. If not, he must turn it over to a more experienced driver.
HILARY GATOFF Herzliya Pituah
Sir, –
I cannot even begin to express my outrage, even more the heartbreak of the families of the terror victims.
The decision to release imprisoned terrorists will embolden even more acts of terror in the very near future. Those of us who ride on public transportation are once again fair game.
History has proved that Jewish blood counts for very little in the court of world opinion. Perhaps the Tourism Ministry should institute a new campaign slogan: “Welcome to Israel, where you can get away with murder.”
Sir, –
Suppose it was sovereign Palestine that occupied Israel, controlled Israel’s borders, settled at will throughout powerless Israel, and wouldn’t share or give back even a smidgen of Jerusalem. How upset would Israel be? Basic to ethics and all human relations, including negotiations, is the ability to imagine walking in the other fellow’s shoes.
Let’s hope both peoples are not too divided and proud and mired in a one-sided and cherrypicked view of history and historical grievances to be able to look to the future and see things according to an inclusive human morality and ethics as well as rational self-interest.
In Hillel’s words, especially apt at the start of these peace negotiations: “If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I? If not now, when?”
JAMES ADLER Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sir, –
Arab terrorists kill Jews, get one or two life sentences and go free. They are incarcerated and money goes to feed them, give them medical care, allow them visitors and give them a college education.
Why should they not kill? They get more in jail than if they were free and living among their own.
There is one answer to get the world off our backs: Implement the death penalty. No more prisoners who killed Jews, planned to kill Jews or organized the killing of Jews for others to do.
Off they go to their virgins. No terrorists in jail. No more goodwill gestures.
Sir, –
It is about time to pass a new law: Any released terrorist who is convicted of committing a further terrorist act that takes someone’s life will face the death penalty.
I know it is not very “Jewish” for Israel to enact a death penalty (even for terrorists who are bent on killing Israelis, no matter the cost). However, since the beginning of the state, the government has really had nothing Jewish about it and has been prone to destroying anything that seems Jewish.
I don’t think a death penalty would disturb anybody’s moral conscience.
Sir, –
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu stated in his open letter to the public that he wished to enter into a diplomatic process to “establish Israel’s position in the complex international reality around us.”
Neville Chamberlain, Britain’s pre-war prime minister, could easily have made the same claim. It was a mistake then and it would be a mistake now.
International realities don’t change on the basis of diplomatic maneuvers. If Netanyahu was referring to Israel’s position vis a vis the United States, I as an American can tell him that it is better to explain our position to the American people directly.
They will listen and understand.
Sir, –
I just finished reading Esther Pollard’s “Remembering Lior Tubul and Ronen Karmani” (Comment & Features, July 29).
The lady made me realize how low we have fallen. What a shame, what a disgrace! David Ben-Gurion is quoted as having said that never mind what the gentiles do or say,what really counts is what the Jews do. Here lies the source of our predicament: Jews don’t do. Not anymore.
We did not finish off Hamas in Cast Lead. Prime Minister Netanyahu did not condition his shameful apology to Turkey over the Mavi Marmara affair by demanding from Washington the immediate release of Jonathan Pollard. We did not expel such “loyal citizens” as MKs Ahmed Tibi, Jamal Zahalka or Haneen Zoabi. We have not enforced total control over the Temple Mount, the utmost expression of our roots in our land.
Neither the Arabs’ hatred nor US President Obama’s hostility can bring about the demise of the State of Israel. But by “not doing,” Jews will certainly do the job.
MOSHE KOLIN Kiryat Motzkin
Sir, –
After reading about the decision to release cold-blooded and unrepentant murderers I became sick at heart, and then angry and depressed all at once.
But my spirits received a much-needed shot in the arm and glimmer of hope from Ophir Falk’s and Boaz Ganor’s “Give deradicalization a chance” (Comment & Features, July 29).
The win-win reeducation program they describe that worked with Jama’ah Islamiya terrorists in Singapore is reminiscent of the denazification efforts after World War II.
Singapore has learned from us in many spheres. Now I hope we will learn about its attempts to deradicalize terrorists.
Let such a program be made a prerequisite for release from prison. Our tradition teaches that the true hero is one who turns his enemy into a friend.