March 15: Letters

Readers weigh in following Friday night’s bloodbath at Itamar.

Sir, – Our so-called peace-loving Palestinian partners have massacred an innocent civilian family, including a three-month-old baby. As far as I know, Israel does not attack sleeping families, although if they happen to be sleeping in proximity to a military or terrorist target collateral casualties might occur.
Could someone please tell me what this sleeping family had to do with anything military? Oh, I forgot, their very existence as Jews in the Land of Israel made them legitimate targets.
And where is the reaction of the world – which gets up in arms when three bricks are laid in Har Homa – to the murder of a three-month-old child? As long as our so-called partners teach their population that the murder of sleeping innocents is acceptable – nay, desirable – there will never be peace here.
Sir, – The mass-murder of the family in Itamar is an unfortunate reminder of why it is very difficult to believe that the Palestinian people (or its government) will faithfully honor any peace agreement or take the necessary action to bring violators to justice. Do we want to be in a position where we are more likely to suffer such attacks?
Sir, – So unspeakably horrific.
First, a devastating hell for the innocent victims and their families.
Their blood cries to heaven and deserves first comment all its own – silence and prayer just about this, a tragedy, injustice and hell beyond words.
But these innocent victims and their families with destroyed lives, whose horror is simply beyond language to express, also live in a larger world. And how horrible also for prospects for peace, and what an excuse for Netanyahu to continue the occupation and settlements, and for continued Palestinian suffering.
Nonetheless, today this is beside the point.
The first moments should be reserved only for these innocent victims and the shattered lives of both the dead, whose blood again, like Abel’s, cries out to heaven, and for their surviving loved ones.
Cambridge, Massachusetts
Sir, – The tragic attack that took place at Itamar is just one more example of what awaits innocent Israelis once a Palestinian state is established.
Ignore at your own peril the brutality that Arabs showcase everyday in Iraq and throughout the Middle East toward each other. Remember that the great moderate Mahmoud Abbas called Samir Kuntar, the monster who smashed the head of a Jewish child against the rocks, a Palestinian hero.
Their brutality is not random.
It’s endemic, and you in Israel are its prime target.
Give them a safe haven – go ahead. The world will love you again.
San Antonio, Texas
Sir, – Not long ago our “peace” partner, Abu Mazen, dedicated a school in memory of a Palestinian “martyr” who murdered a few innocent Jewish men, women and children.
I wonder how long it will take him to commemorate those responsible for the heroic act of slitting the throats of five Jews, including small children, while they were asleep. I am curious whether it will be a town square or a new school that will be named after these “heroes.”
Sir, – We who support peace in Israel/Palestine remain particularly – and disturbingly – quiet.
How can we not condemn fully, openly such a brutal attack, murdering a young couple and three precious children? Slicing their throats! Truly barbaric! How dare we remain silent yet call ourselves peacemakers? We arm ourselves with excuses: They were settlers, they brought it upon themselves; they were occupiers, so they are not innocent, not even the children; we’ve been occupied for 40-plus years and we’re warped, frustrated and driven mad because of it, and not responsible for our own actions; it’s justifiable revenge for what they have done to us for decades....
We who support a free Palestine offer our excuses... or remain silent. We will become irrelevant, as many prophesize, unless we condemn categorically these repugnant murders.
Nothing excuses such murderous brutality.
Those who remain silent deserve their irrelevance.
O'Connor, Australia
Sir, – When Israel finds – and it will find – the terrorists who murdered the family in Itamar, a process should be undertaken quickly to enact a death sentence for terrorists. These murderers does not deserve to be put in a comfortable jail.
Sir, – It is time for Israel to develop a plan that will put an end to the terrorist savagery that resulted in the slaughter of five innocent members of one family in Itamar. My plan calls for Israel to demand that the Palestine Authority find and turn over the terrorists involved within five days. Otherwise, we will bomb Ramallah and PA installations until the murderers are turned over.
Such action would not harm the reputation of Israel at the UN, which cannot get much worse.
Any further concessions to the PA without decisive actions against terrorists encourage more of the same and endanger the lives of innocent Israeli families.
Sir, – When will Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak realize there is no way peace can be established between Israel and those whose main goal is to eradicate it? When will they stop begging the Palestinians to make peace? It’s obvious that they they want nothing of the kind.
The response to the slayings at Itamar, other than prosecuting the murderers, is to establish a brand new settlement right next door of 500 units – 100 for each life taken. Will our leaders have the courage to do this?

Sir, – I am shaken to the core.
Are we living in Kishinev or are we in the modern Jewish state of Israel? The government should immediately begin building hundreds of homes in Judea and Samaria in response to these savage murders. This is the fitting, Jewish response.
It is an outrage to continue dismantling roadblocks and to continue the construction freeze in the wake of this atrocity.
Sir, – Surely, no one would advocate for allowing the murderers of babies in their beds to go unpunished. Yet so many well-intentioned Israelis advocate just that when they pressure our government to seek Gilad Schalit’s freedom at any cost. I hope and pray that the soldier’s return is obtained through other means.
May God comfort and protect the surviving Fogel children so that their lives may be rebuilt.
Sir, – Our prime minister has promised to bring the perpetrators to justice. I am sure that stirring words are just what’s required to scare off future terrorists and force the PA to take concrete steps to eliminate incitement against Jews and the Jewish state.
Each time Netanyahu flaps his wings and squawks like a frightened duck he loses another few thousand votes. In the last election I voted Likud, but not again. If Netanyahu wants to regain my support he must change his rhetoric and, most important, his actions.
The first duty of the leader of this or any country is to protect the lives of citizens. On this test, Netanyahu is failing dismally. It is time to change.
Ma’aleh Adumim