Steven M. Goldberg’s article “The Shame in Surrendering to Evil” (Oct. 21) exhibits the consummate hypocrisy of the World Zionist Organization. I believe that their credo has always been to give 100 percent support for the actions of any Israeli government. They have reversed themselves even though the Israeli populace, intelligence and defense forces, and the Cabinet, were heavily in favor of the deal to release Gilad Shalit.
Martin J. Weisman
Golda Meir famously said that there will be no peace in the Middle East until the Arabs love their children more than they hate the Jews. In exchange for Gilad Shalit, perhaps the best that we can hope to accomplish is that, by example, the Arabs learn that the value of all of our children is limitless.
The release of Sgt. Gilad Shalit can be viewed by most anyone, Jew and non-Jew, as the return of a hero, of a survivor, and as the embodiment of what’s truly great about a 21st-century democracy like Israel.
Although we can’t predict with accuracy what Shalit will do with the remainder of his life, we can be fairly positive he will be an asset to Jews and his country, and will go on to accomplish things anyone who sides with honor, humanity and decency would be proud of.
Individuals like Shalit have always been what makes Israel, if not the envy of the rest of the world, then the source of a high level of respect and admiration. He is an individual most any nation would love to have as a citizen. Most any nation except for the Palestinians.
I couldn’t help but notice the difference between what we Jews regard as a hero and the 1,000 criminals traded for Shalit that they hold up to be “heroes.”
Most of the 1,000 Palestinians released in exchange for one Jewish soldier are what we in the West almost universally label as the scum-of-the-earth types who bomb cafes, murder defenseless civilians and warp the minds of the young with twisted, deviated versions of their religion.
There shouldn’t be a shred of doubt that most of these 1,000 Palestinians released by Israel will not go on to cure AIDS, find a vaccine for malaria, design a space station, invent a computer chip or bring the world any positive innovations.
As some said on arriving fresh from Israeli prisons, unremorseful for their crimes — they will continue to attempt to kill Jews until all the land is free of them.
Could there be a greater example of the differences between the peoples than this prisoner trade?
Playa del Rey
Pathway to Peace
Two letters (Difference of Opinion? Time for a Paradigm Change? Oct. 21) cry out for comment. Referring to your previous editorial, “You and the UN,” Richard Gunther states “that negotiation and compromise is the only path to peace.” Those who agree with Gunther are dead wrong. The only viable path to peace is for Arabs and Muslims to stop brainwashing their children that the land where Israel exists, “All of that land is Arab land!” A tough problem is solved only by getting at the root cause.
And, addressing the prisoner exchange for Gilad Shalit, William Langfan (and others) bemoan the lopsided release of prisoners: over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for one Jewish soldier. To avoid such lopsided prisoner exchanges in the future, the emotional hurt to those whose loved ones were murdered, the danger inherent in putting murderers back onto the streets, and encouragement of future anti-Israeli terrorist missions, Israel would be wise to embrace the death sentence for those who kill other people. Speedy trial, sentence and prompt execution would solve the problem. (It would also save Israel the expense of taking care of these prisoners.)
Bravo to Rob Eshman for encouraging a commonsense reaction to the Palestinian U.N. statehood effort (“You and the UN,” Oct. 14). The Palestinian initiative really is not much more than recognizing U.N. Resolutions 242 and 338, which were adopted after the Six-Day War. Final status of border and security provisions must be negotiated by Israel and the Palestinian Authority, but the United States, the Quartet and the United Nations can take the initiative and use this as an opportunity to revive negotiations. It is also an opportunity for both Israel and the Palestinian Authority to call each other’s bluff and accept such an initiative.
Food for Thought
A preview of your Purim cover? Page 36 of the Oct. 21 issue positions Rob Eshman’s informative “Good Meats” description of “highest standards of humane slaughter and kashrut supervision” alongside Gelson’s “Great Traditions … Remember, this simcha is only once-in-a-lifetime” advertisement, ironically highlighting their attractive meat-and-cheese sky-rise on a kaiser roll. Maybe next time Gelson’s could just cut the cheese?!