T. Belman. I generally agree with this moderate approach. But Oppenheimer missed a key complaint with Netanyahu’s conduct, namely he failed to assert our legal right to the land or even that the settlements were legal. He could have done this every time he said he was ready to meet or he was for the TSS. He would then have staked our claim to the land while are the same time offering to compromise on our rights to achieve peace. By not doing so he left Israel defenseless against the claim that the lands are occupied Palestinian land. By not doing so he left a vacuum for the UN to fill which they did in Res 2334. In that sense he is very much responsible.
Netanyahu was all defense with no offense.
To the Editor:
I read Shmuel Sackett’s “The UN Vote: It’s not Obama’s fault,” with a great deal of distress. In this article, Sackett claimed that there is only “one person responsible for this terrible UN vote. His name is Benjamin Netanyahu”. He then lists Netanyahu’s alleged shortcomings: having publicly supporting a two state solution, being unwilling to completely annex Judea and Samaria, having imposed a freeze on any settlement activity for some time and not allowing new settlements, and arresting Jews for praying on the Temple Mount. Not only that, Netanyahu has publicly stated that “he is ready to sit any time and any place with PLO President Abbas to continue the peace process, and that he envisions “a region where two democratic states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side in peace with secure and recognized borders”. He finishes, as usual, by saying that only Moshe Feiglin and his employer, the Zehut party, can save Israel.
While I am an admirer of Moshe Feiglin, it is clear to me that this is an awful and foolish thing to write at this time, when Netanyahu has to negotiate so many landmines in the – thankfully – final days of Barak Hussein Obama’s presidency. (It is only surpassed by the brilliance of Israeli AG Mandelblit’s decision to open a corruption investigation against Netanyahu now, and not wait at least a month.) More importantly, it belies a total lack of appreciation of the class, dignity, resoluteness, and wisdom that Binyamin Netanyahu has shown in the face of dealing with the hostility of the Obama administration.
Now that the masks have been removed and the true nature of Obama and Kerry have been revealed, one ought to stand in awe of the way that Netanyahu has handled himself over these many years. We only know a small part of what Netanyahu has been subjected to, it does not take much imagination to think of how often Netanyahu had to control himself and remain diplomatic in the face of the private venom that he received from Obama, Kerry and Hillary.
It is easy to criticize from the outside . . . How would Mr. Sackett have been able to withstand the enormous pressure of, on the one hand, the international community, the UN, the Obama administration and – worst of all – the Israeli Leftists, consistently demonizing him for his policies in the “Occupied Territories” and often for Israel’s very existence; while on the other hand, facing the anger and frustration of the Israeli right and the residents of Judea, Samaria and East Jerusalem demonizing him for not doing enough to support their agenda? How would he deal with a world press that is horribly biased and unfair with class and intelligence and with their grudging respect? How would Mr. Sackett deal with the rockets and terror tunnels and terrorists in protecting Israelis while at the same time dealing with a hostile hyper-critical world that finds fault in everything that Israel does? Does not Mr. Sackett know and understand, as everyone else does, that when Netanyahu says that he is for a two-state solution, he knows that this costs him nothing (except for Sackett’s approval), because there is no one on the Arab side willing to negotiate a real peace, and that he, in effect, is only calling the bluff of both the Arabs and Obama/Kerry?
I have often thought that Mr. Netanyahu has the hardest job in the world, and he is remarkably good at it. He has handled all the above beautifully, and in addition, has been a good Prime Minister in guiding the vibrant Israeli economy and other domestic affairs. Is he perfect? No one is. But he deserves our support, respect, and admiration, and not ridicule, especially at this time.
Rabbi Lenny Oppenheimer
About the Author: The writer lives in Queens NY and is in the process of Aliyah. He was the Rabbi of several congregations and is also an attorney and mediator with a background in engineering. He describes himself as a passionate lover of Israel and defender of Orthodoxy who blogs at http://libibamizrach.blogspot.com