Letters to the Editor September 13, 2021: Jail fail: Killers on the lam

By LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Photo by: PIXABAY

Jail fail: Killers on the lam

In “Zubeidi, three other Gilboa fugitives captured” (September 12) Defense Minister Benny Gantz says, “We must understand we’re talking about six people out of millions living here. We have to be able to handle these six and those who assisted them without disturbing the balance.” 

I am sure we are all happy that the State of Israel is working alongside the Palestinian Authority to find the escapees. The PA is of course run by terrorist- in-a-suit Mahmoud Abbas who denies us any rights to any of our land and constantly calls for our destruction but hey, we mustn’t disturb the “balance.” The balance, unfortunately, is in favor of our enemies who run rings around the government and its agencies, setting the agenda as to when they will attack, knowing there will be no retaliation of any significance. 

The prison service shakes with fear when the terrorists threaten violence or hunger strikes in jail and as reported by Yaakov Katz in “What’s really behind the Gilboa jail escape?” (September 10), the terrorists receive preferential treatment – satellite TVs, barbecues, ping pong tables and more – all in an attempt to keep them happy, satisfied and quiet. Whether on the outside or in one of our luxury prisons, the enemy wins while the State of Israel hasn’t even the pride or courage to declare sovereignty throughout the land and continue promoting our own goals. 

In essence we have already relinquished our historic rights to the Land to which God returned us to build and settle for the Jewish people.

EDITH OGNALL

Netanya

It is obvious that there have been a strategic governmental decisions – past and present – to treat Palestinian security prisoners with “kid gloves” in order to maintain “peace and quiet.” Otherwise they will riot, burn their cells, go on hunger strikes, attack the prison guards. Run amok. 

It is also obvious that the same ugly stalemate exists with Gaza. Allow cement to flow in, allow Qatari funds to pour in, ignore the terrorism, otherwise they will attack Sderot, Ofakim and if necessary Beersheba and Ashkelon with rockets.  The weakness on the Israeli side – the surrender to obtain the illusory all-important, “peace and quiet” has reached epic proportions that cannot go on. It has reached the point that if the Palestinian prisoners demanded larger, pointier, sharp spoons in order to expedite their tunnel activities, the request would be forwarded to a governmental committee for possible approval. 

YIGAL HOROWITZ, PHD

Beersheba

The objective term that should be used for the six escapees would be “convicts,” not “prisoners.” They have each been convicted of capital offenses, tried and found guilty in a court of law. 

“Prisoner” can be applied in a glorified way, such as a “prisoner of war” or a “prisoner of conscience.” Convicts deserve no glory.

DAVID BEDEIN

Director, Near East Policy Research Center

 Palestinians demonstrate in support to the escape of the six Palestinian prisoners from Gilboa Prison, in the city of Hebron on September 08, 2021. (credit: WISSAM HASHLAMON/FLASH90)

The most significant aspect of the escape of six terrorists (“The price of costly screw-up,” September 9) is the fact that, from inside the prison, the escapees were able to arrange a get-away car.

So much for the alertness of the prison authorities.

GERRY MYERS

Bet Zayit

Why did six Arab Jew killers escape from prison? One reason is because they were not put to death by the Jewish state before they saw the inside of a country club where they are fed five times a day, earn academic degrees, start families of Jew-haters and accumulate huge sums in their bank accounts.

They escaped because in 1967 when their traumatized fathers and grandfathers wanted to flee the victorious Israeli army, Moshe Dayan in his arrogance and apostasy turned them back to live among us and raise murderers of Jews.

Is there hope that we have learned something, or does the march of self-delusion just carry on? If and when they are returned to their prison they will probably be hungry. One of their five meals will ready for them...

SHALOM POLLACK

Jerusalem

So happy together

Regarding “A place for us all – together” (September 10), one wonders if Gershon Baskin was rooting for those six escaped convicts to make it to freedom. By the time this letter appears, all six will hopefully be back behind bars, so Baskin will have to wait for another time to cheer for whom he perceives to be the downtrodden and oppressed.

I rarely read Baskin’s opinion pieces, frankly. I usually give them some attention only when I’m feeling down and moody since his ludicrous ideas and arguments are good for a chuckle or two. I had some free time the other day, so I figured I’d see what he had to say. I’m still chuckling.

That he finds something wrong in providing for religious-centric neighborhoods or even cities as part of an overall urban planning scheme is offensive at best and insulting at worst. This is Israel, after all, and reserving some areas in which Shabbat and the holidays can be observed without external interference is in no way discriminatory. My understanding, by the way, is that individuals living in such locales do not themselves have to be particularly observant, they simply have to agree to the restrictions of those that are. And I’ve yet to hear anyone – religious or secular – complain about these arrangements.

That, though, was merely a preface. Baskin makes reference to Israeli Palestinians, but is not clear to whom he is referring. Are these Arabs who hold Israeli identity cards, or is he in fact suggesting that all of Israel is, in essence, Palestinian? Judging from the points of view he has shared in the past, the latter would be more likely than the former.

And while Israelis and Palestinians living together in peace and harmony is a fairy tale we would all like to see become reality, until the Palestinian leadership – including Hamas – declares their readiness to accept the existence of Israel and dismiss their murderous intentions and behavior, the two peoples will never live happily ever after. Tellingly, Baskin makes no such demand on the Palestinians. His vision, in other words, is for Israel to make a grand gesture and put our children’s well-being at risk. An idea truly worth chuckling over.

BARRY NEWMAN 

Ginot Shomron

I was a liberal American who in the 1960s fought for the rights of black families to move into our previously all-white neighborhood in New Jersey, yet here in Israel I choose live in a religious neighborhood where the neighbors gather on the street every evening to pray together. Superficially this may seem like a contradiction, but if I resided in a mixed neighborhood here, I could not live the religious life I came to Israel for.

I recently visited Lod and was assailed by noise from a neighborhood mosque that was so mind-numbingly loud that I had to cover my ears. If I had to be subjected to this every day several times a day I would have no choice but to move away to another town.

Jewish Israelis may desire to live and pray together; Moslem Israelis may enjoy being located near a blaring mosque. Is this wrong? Gershon Baskin apparently thinks so, even though there are many cities and neighborhoods in Israel that are mixed (Haifa, Pisgat Ze’ev, etc.)

Interestingly, he has nothing to say about the PA-enforced policies forbidding Jews to live or even purchase property in areas that Arabs control. Any Arab who sells land to Jews is subject to punishment up to and including the death penalty. Is this okay with Baskin? Who knows? Where is his voice of protest on this matter? He seems to relish criticizing one side only, no matter how egregious the reality on the other side is.

HENRY BRENER

Safed

Durban derby: Messaging miserably

Seth Frantzman (“The Taliban and implicit antisemitism,” September 10) correctly focuses on the main problem that “the Durban Conference illustrates a global antisemitism in which the hatred of the Jews has been replaced by international hatred of Israel.”

Take the Israel-bashing Durban Conference; the huge number of anti-Israel motions in the UN (many times more than those dealing with North Korea, Iran, etc.); the constant anti-Israel slurs of the foreign news media, particularly the BBC; as well as the recent horrific report of the unwarranted and unprovoked attack on an Israeli tourist in Italy, just because when asked where he came from, he had said “Israel” – and you are inevitably made to ponder as to whether this is all our own fault.

Well, I believe it is.

I am not suggesting that we are all the horrible things that are said about us, or that there is any truth in them at all. It is our fault because we are not getting our message across. We have failed miserably to project ourselves as the miracle that we are.

What is desperately needed is to set up an entire new and independent ministry (yes I realize that his means yet another minister) – the Ministry for International Public Relations. The mandate of this ministry is to show the world who we really are, the truth about the intolerable security situation that we have to deal with, to show how we are spearheading the international fight against terrorism, to tell about our phenomenal national achievements in every sector of human endeavor, to emphasize the assistance we provide to other nations, even those who are not our best friends: agriculture, intelligence, hi-tech, medicine, science, tolerance and diversity, help in a national disasters abroad – the list is endless – but not published, not placed squarely in the awareness of the world. 

We don’t deserve this ubiquitous enmity and we have to tell the world why.

LAURENCE BECKER

Jerusalem

Who knows 50?

I enjoyed reading your magazine on the 50 most influential Jews of the year.

However I feel duty bound to point out a glaring omission. The person excluded from your list should be, in my opinion, in the top 10 – never mind the top 50. He is Israeli born Dr. Tal Zaks the chief medical officer of the Moderna company. He was a very influential force in the development of the remarkably successful COVID-19 MRNA based vaccine produced by Moderna. This vaccine achieved the same efficacy as Pfizer with a seemingly longer effective period. It has saved countless lives and reaped billions of revenue for the company to date. I feel he is deserving of some sort of belated mention and recognition.

DAN SENDER

Ra’anana

Your 50 most influential Jews supplement failed to recognize an important person, Shirly Pinto. The world has already recognized her as a rising star. Working to provide handicapped rights for the State of Israel and even worldwide, she should have been included in your 50 most influential Jews. SHAME!

STEVEN FEINSMITH

Jerusalem

Brilliant, talented, accomplished, persuasive and supremely influential, Ben Shapiro – the prolific author, radio and podcast star with an audience of tens of millions – certainly should be on any list of the world’s most influential Jews.

HORACE PERLSON

New York

Like most readers of The Jerusalem Post, we anxiously await the annual supplement listing the most influential Jews. And, indeed, we can bask in pride over Jewish achievements in Israel and the Diaspora. The only question that I have is why Douglas Emhoff was included. To the best of my knowledge his only claim to fame is that he shares a bedroom with a non-Jewish vice-president of the United States.

JAY SHAPIRO

Jerusalem

Ben and Jerry’s stock shock

The “antisemitic social justice” of Ben & Jerry’s, led by Board Chair Anuradha Mittal, is having its effect (“Arizona divests from Ben & Jerry’s over its ‘antisemitic’ Israel boycott,” September 9). For every corporation the first responsibility of the board of directors is to increase the company’s value for its shareholders. The shareholders of Unilever must be so pleased by Arizona’s dumping $143 million of its stock.

RICHARD SHERMAN

Margate, Florida

Unilever’s stock price fell steeply from 4,358 just before the Ben and Jerry’s boycott announcement on July 19 to 4,031 immediately after, and continues to slump, today at an anemic 3,959, its lowest price in many months. Other companies contemplating taking to the social media to promulgate biased anti-Israel pronouncements may want to keep an eye on Unilever’s stock to gauge the effect that anti-Jewish racism has on share prices.

STEVE WALCOFF

Tel Aviv

Kabul: Saigon on steroids

Emmanuel Navon (“From Saigon to Kabul: Losing battle, winning war,” September 5) suggests that “the Afghan crisis can potentially be turned into an opportunity” for the US, similar to the collapse of the Soviet Union just 15 years after the fall of Saigon. He says this will require a strategy of “rebuilding and strengthening alliances” with America’s allies. 

Navon ignores critical differences in the two humiliating events. The US did not betray its allies by leaving Vietnam, nor did the departure cause its allies to question its ongoing dedication to their relationships. In fact, the South Vietnamese army continued the war for three years before being defeated. European allies who were fighting in Afghanistan at the behest of the US see the hasty and massively incompetent withdrawal from Afghanistan as a huge betrayal. The US departure on August 31, stranding an untold number of Americans and thousands of Afghanis, evinced a weakness that shocked many of America’s friends. 

The ramifications of the departures are also very different. The goal of the North Vietnamese was not to destroy the US, but to unite under communist rule two parts of what they saw as a single country. There were no subsequent Vietnamese attacks against the US homeland. The ultimate goal of the Taliban and their terrorist brethren is the creation of an Islamic caliphate that will challenge the infidels of the Western world. While the US believes it has ended the war by departing the battlefield, the enemy thinks otherwise. Attacks in the US and elsewhere by emboldened terrorists are likely. 

It is important to note that, unlike in Vietnam, the US has armed its enemies, leaving behind huge stores of highly sophisticated weapons while relinquishing an invaluable military and intelligence asset by evacuating Bagram air base. One of the Taliban’s first acts was to free over 5,000 security prisoners from Bagram prison, substantially increasing the number of combatants and potential terrorists. 

There is one similarity in the two events. Following the caretaker government of Gerald Ford, the US was saddled with Democratic president Jimmy Carter, during whose administration 52 Americans were held hostage by Iran. The hostages were freed and the Soviet Union fell only after Republican Ronald Reagan took charge. Similarly, the US is now faced with Democratic President Joe Biden, whom many believe is temperamentally and mentally incapable of leading. He is unwilling to confront China and is dedicated to reentering the disastrous Iran nuclear deal. It seems we will have to wait for a Republican president if the US is to regain the trust of its allies and its leadership position in the world. 

EFRAIM COHEN

Zichron Yaakov 


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