October 30: Readers react to decision on prisoner release

Israel has honored – and, regrettably, continues to honor – its commitment. But what has the PA done in terms of a gesture of good will? Nothing.

Letters 370 (photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Letters 370
(photo credit: REUTERS/Handout )
Readers react to decision on prisoner release
Sir, – The US pressured Israel to release terrorist prisoners in an effort to get the Palestinian Authority to sit down and resume negotiations (“Gov’t approves release of 26 Palestinian prisoners,”October 28).
Israel has honored – and, regrettably, continues to honor – its commitment. But what has the PA done in terms of a gesture of good will? Nothing.
Constant demonization of Israel is rampant. The PA must stop the continuous flow of incitement against Israel in its mosques, schools and media, and begin to portray Israel’s agricultural, technological and medical advances as potential benefits for present and future cooperation with the Jewish state.
It’s time for Israel to stand up to the US and explain the folly of any negotiations and Israeli concessions unless the Palestinians begin to prepare their people for genuine peaceful co-existence.
In the meantime, it is idiocy on our part to continue releasing terrorists in an effort to give gestures of good will to our adversary when they make no sincere preparations for real peace.RON BELZER Petah Tikva
Sir, – Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar’s scathing comments directed at Economy and Trade Minister Naftali Bennett, as noted in “Gov’t approves release of 26 Palestinian prisoners,” are unworthy of a minister of his caliber.
Calling Bennett’s criticisms of government decisions, including those related to releasing terrorists from our prisons, a “moral depravity,” and saying to Bayit Yehudi ministers “If you don’t like it, you can resign [from the government],” has given me a new impression of Sa’ar, who had very smartly instituted a national policy of having students visit Judaism’s second most holy city, Hebron, while heading the Education Ministry.
Bennett speaks for many, if not most, Israelis who are livid at this government’s deal to release prisoners for absolutely nothing, for a return to these so-called peace talks. Good for Bennett for speaking up! Besides the anger and anguish of bereaved family members who see this batch of terrorists released, probably to return to terrorist activity, what about the message the release sends to our current soldiers in the field? Why should a soldier risk his life to capture a terrorist, knowing that the prisoner might be released in our revolving-door policy toward convicted terrorists? Enough with releases. They are the real moral depravity.
If a terrorist is not shot dead on the spot during an attack (not a bad policy to encourage), I say we should be enacting capital punishment for such acts.
That way there will be no terrorists left in our jails to release, and our taxpayers will not be paying to feed and house them for decades.
MARCIA KATZ Ma’aleh Adumim
Sir, – I read your editorial “Anti-Semitism in Australia” (October 28) about the attack on Jews that left them with “a fractured skull, facial fractures, a broken nose....|” The government of Israel, which releases unrepentant murderers, certainly has no moral grounds for protesting the Australian attack.
DAVID FEIN Jerusalem
Sir, – Both Danny Danon and the Bayit Yehudi party are using the release of additional prisoners as a disguise for their opposition to the current peace negotiations (“Bayit Yehudi MKs, deputy defense minister link terror attacks to release of prisoners,” October 27).
They claim such action endangers Israel’s security – as if no settlement of the conflict, which is what they intend, makes Israel safer. Past experience has proven this theory wrong.
It’s perfectly legitimate to oppose negotiations with the Palestinians on the basis that they could lead to territorial concessions.
No need to hide behind irrelevant reasons – just say it clearly so we don’t waste US Secretary of State John Kerry’s time in futile talks.
Danon and Co. seem to be living in times of biblical Korach, where the earth will open and swallow our enemies, thus ending all our problems. Good luck with that.
HENRY WEIL Jerusalem
Sir, – Nobody can complain that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu is freeing murderers.
It is we, the Israelis, who are at fault.
As long as the Israeli government, the US and the rest of the world do not see millions of us going to the streets in protest and calling for a complete national strike, nothing will happen.
No law will be passed to stop this madness and we can be sure that in few months more murderers will be freed.
It is Israeli cowardice, incompetence, apathy and failure of duty that are the problem.
Sir, – Presumably, the release in stages of Arab prisoners with blood on their hands was intended to encourage the cooperation of the Palestinians in peace negotiations.
I can think of no other reason.
If, indeed, that was the reason, and if, indeed, the Palestinians continue to insist on the right of return for Palestinian refugees (despite the population exchange of 600,000 Arabs for 850,000 Jews in Arab lands that took place at the time of and just after Israel’s establishment) and territorial concessions by Israel (despite the fact that we should not and are not obliged to give up any land west of the Jordan River), then cold-blooded murders will have been released to murder again, for no reason whatever.
Sir, – While it is easy to blame the spinelessness of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahui and his cohorts for the unconscionable, immoral release of unrepentant murderers, it is important to remember that we are not truly an independent, sovereign nation and that the ultimate responsibility lies with our master, the United States of America, its unprincipled leader, President Barack Obama, and his lackey, Secretary of State John Kerry.
Without their pressure, our prime minister would never have debased himself to such a degree.
It is interesting how America never releases prisoners, let alone one who continues to endure an immoral sentence for spying. Just another example of how the Jew/ Israel gets “special treatment.”YISRAEL GUTTMAN Jerusalem
Sir, – It’s been many years since that first prisoner release in order for us to show good faith in negotiations. Since then we have seen a good percentage of the released prisoners go back to murdering Israelis, and yet we continue.
When did Jewish blood become so cheap? I propose that in order to show “good faith” we now release Israeli prisoners with Arab blood on their hands.
Sir, – Releases of murderous prisoners will take place no matter what the protest, but it was a terrible mistake to have promised this kind of release to begin with.
US Secretary of State John Kerry should have a very guilty conscience about this kind of release as a good-will gesture to the Palestinians, and so should our leadership.
It is an absolute moral outrage to say that we are releasing murderers out of “good will.” To normal countries, good-will gestures mean making economic concessions, adjusting people across borders, lowering taxes, etc. It cannot ever mean that we give up dastardly murderers.
Yosef Trumpeldor of Tel Hai said, “It is good to die for one’s country.” These prisoners took innocent lives, and the Palestinians have made these murderers into martyrs.
They haven’t died for their country. They have just killed people. What kind of society can the Palestinians want to build?