Letters: Readers react to prisoners-for-peace talks deal

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Sir, – After the catastrophic prisoner release for Gilad Schalit, the country was told that we would never do such a thing again. And here we are, indeed, doing it again (“Talks to begin as cabinet okays prisoner release,” July 29).
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu justifies the release of killers by saying, “People in positions of leadership need to choose between complex choices...when most of the public opposes it.”
Huh? What happened to democracy? By releasing convicted killers and overriding public opinion, we destroy democracy. We destroy our courts and the judges who sentenced these monsters to life in jail. We destroy our army. How many soldiers will be willing to risk their lives to catch these killers, knowing that sooner or later they will be free to kill us again? Why is the payment for peace talks – not even peace – to be made in Jewish blood? My solution? The death penalty for all convicted mass murderers.
Sir, – Where in history has a foe that started numerous wars and lost each time had the right to dictate the terms of negotiations? We are still waiting for the first action that the Palestinians will do to give us confidence that they want to live with us in peace. Until that happens, we cannot and should not succumb to their demands.
The time to stand our ground is now.
Sir, – While I oppose conducting peace talks with any preconditions, I can understand the Palestinian Authority’s demand for a settlement freeze and talks based on the pre-1967 borders, both of which strengthen their cause.
However, what does the release of terrorists have to do with the creation of a Palestinian state? Are the Palestinians doing us a favor by accepting to sit with us for peace talks?
Sir, – By giving in before negotiations even start, Israel will end up giving in more and more to Palestinian demands.
Israel has given in numerous times, with no positive result. It only shows that our prime minister is too weak to stand up to the Americans.
If the Palestinians won’t negotiate without this ridiculous demand, then the negotiations should be held back. Is there no feeling for the families of those who were killed or wounded?
Sir, – I have rarely heard such drivel as Prime Minister Netanyahu’s lament regarding the prisoner release. Is someone holding a gun to his head? Whoever heard of the victor caving in to the blackmail of the losing side in any dispute? If the Arabs really want a state so much, let them come to talks without a shopping list of preconditions.
What happens when the Palestinians walk out of the talks in a huff, as is their wont? Do we get the prisoners back? No other country gives in to such threats.
Sir, – Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu says the upcoming process of negotiations will last approximately nine months. If the proposed prisoner release is implemented, I suggest that it come with its own condition: At the end of the nine months, barring any actual agreements, these very same terrorists are to be rearrested and put back in jail.
I am sure that Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas’s sense of fairness would have him agree to this request for a “gesture” on the side of the Arabs.
ZE’EV M. SHANDALOVMa’aleh Adumim
Sir, – Lt. Col. Yonatan Netanyahu was killed in the 1976 Entebbe raid, which asserted the principle that Israel would not free terrorists in return for the 98 Israeli and Jewish hostages. How bitter it must be for his brother to agree to release more than 100 terrorists 37 years after Entebbe – so far in return for nothing.
When these agents of genocidal terror come home, they will be welcomed as heroes for the young to emulate. The recent respects paid to Ahmed Abu al-Sukkar (“PA holds military funeral for former Fatah terrorist who murdered 14, injured 60,” July 18) is the harbinger of things to come.
Israel’s precondition for the release of genocidal terrorists must be that the Palestinian Authority cease honoring them as role models. Israel should also cut the frequencies of Palestinian airwaves transmitting the motifs of revenge, violence and death that are still endemic in Palestinian society.
Why has the Israeli government abandoned zero tolerance for incitement as the precondition for negotiations on borders, settlements, Jerusalem, refugees and water?
Sir, – The cabinet’s decision following the prime minister’s lead makes a mockery of Israel’s justice system and indirectly accepts the Nazi doctrine that Jewish life is not as valuable as non-Jewish life.
It is understandable why we don’t have capital punishment in Israel, but freeing Arab terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands just because the tyrant who heads the Palestinian Authority requests it is morally and judicially unacceptable.
Sir, – Could the government make a clause stipulating that if any of the soon-to-be released Palestinian prisoners with blood on their hands are ever again involved in terrorist activity, the coming agreements with the PA will be canceled?
Sir, – When is our prime minister going to develop some backbone and tell US President Barack Obama and his secretary of state, John Kerry, that not one Palestinian prisoner with blood on his hands will be released before Jonathan Pollard, who has no blood on his hands, is released? It’s time the world understood that we are a sovereign state and not a Third World country. We need another Menachem Begin, who wasn’t cowed by anyone.
Enough is enough!
Sir, – Wouldn’t the release of one American, Jonathan Pollard, in exchange for more than 100 murdering terrorists, have demonstrated US sincerity in encouraging Prime Minister Netanyahu to make such a dramatic sacrifice in coming to the negotiating table? If Israel made no case for Pollard’s release at this time, Netanyahu is no poker player.
We can only wonder if American negotiations with Iran may be part of the secret deals for which we will have to pay an even higher price for American friendship and US Secretary of State John Kerry’s political ambitions.
Sir, – Is the release of murderers important for the country’s well-being? To quote George Bernard Shaw, “Not bloody likely!” If a two-state solution is important to the so-called Palestinians, they should come to the table without demands. Why do we have to pay a price to give them a state from our own land? Why can’t our prime minister stand up and say to all the world that Judea and Samaria are not disputed territories? They belong to the Jewish state under International Law. Let him stop this cringing, placating attitude to obtain what is ours by inalienable right.
It is Mr. Netanyahu’s persistent repetition of the West Bank and Gaza Strip as “disputed territories” that is the most serious cause for the world’s delegitimization of our country. Please, Mr. Prime Minister, lift your head a little higher and gain for yourself and the Israeli people a little more respect.