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October 1, 2014 / 7 Tishri, 5775
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PM Netanyahu’s Open Letter on His Proposal to Free 104 Terrorists

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Prime Minister Netanyahu

From time to time, prime ministers are called on to make decisions that go against public opinion – when the matter is important for the country.

In order to make decisions that are supported by the public, there is no need for prime ministers.

At the present time, it seems to me that it is very important for the State of Israel to enter into a diplomatic process. This is important both in order to exhaust the chance of ending the conflict with the Palestinians and in order to establish Israel’s position in the complex international reality around us.

The major changes in our region – in Egypt, Syria and in Iran – not only place challenges before the State of Israel but they also create considerable opportunities for us.

For these reasons, I believe that it is important for the State of Israel to enter a diplomatic process that will continue for at least nine months – in order to check if it is possible to reach an agreement with the Palestinians during this time.

But even with all of the importance that I ascribe to the diplomatic process, I was not prepared to accept the Palestinians’ demands for withdrawals and freezes as preconditions for entering negotiations.

Neither was I prepared to accept their demand to release Palestinian prisoners before the start of negotiations. I did agree to release 104 Palestinians in stages after the start of the negotiations and in accordance with the circumstances of their progress.

This is an incomparably difficult decision, it is painful for the bereaved families and it is painful for the entire nation and it is also very painful for me.

It collides with the incomparably important value of justice.

It is a clear injustice when depraved people, even if most of them have sat in prison for over 20 years as in this case, are released before they have finished serving their sentences.

The decision is difficult for me seven-fold because my family and I personally know the price of bereavement stemming from terrorism. I know the pain very well. I have lived with it every day for the past 37 years. The fact that previous Israeli governments have released over 10,000 terrorists does not make it easier for me today, and did not make it easier when I decided to bring back Gilad Shalit.

Gilad Shalit’s return home entailed an incomparably difficult decision for me – releasing terrorists. But I believed that the value of bringing children back home needed to overcome this difficulty.

People in positions of leadership need to choose between complex choices and sometimes the necessary decision is especially difficult when most of the public opposes it.

Thus I decided to end Operation Pillar of Defense after the elimination of arch-terrorist Ahmed Jabari and after the severe blows the IDF dealt to Hamas and the other terrorist organizations.

I made the decision to end the operation even though most of the public supported continued action, which would have required entering the Gaza Strip on the ground. As Prime minister, I thought that the goal of deterrence had been mostly achieved by the determined actions that we carried out.

Today, almost one year after the end of Operation Pillar of Defense, we are witness to the quietest situation in the south in over a decade. Of course, this quiet can fray at any minute but my policy is clear on all fronts: We will, as much as possible, foil threats against us in a timely manner. We will react strongly to any attempt to harm our people.

In the next nine months, we will consider whether there is a Palestinian element opposite us that, like us, truly wants to end the conflict between us.

Such a conclusion will be possible only under conditions that will ensure security for Israel’s citizens and ensure our vital national interests.

If we succeed in achieving such a peace agreement, I will submit it to a referendum.

Such a fateful decision cannot be made by a close vote in the Knesset.

Every citizen must be allowed to directly influence our future and our fate on such a crucial issue.

The best answer we can give to those same base murderers that sought to defeat us through terrorism is that in the decades that they sat in prison, we built a glorious country and turned it into one of the most prosperous, advanced and strongest countries in the world.

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58 Responses to “PM Netanyahu’s Open Letter on His Proposal to Free 104 Terrorists”

  1. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Netanyahu principles can not be indivisible and honor and right, and the Secretariat is the message of man on earth for all humans remember well the Pharaoh and Moses folk even know that in the case of non-repelling injustice on vulnerable people Falcon him sitting on her throne employer is the owner of King.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Netanyahu principles can not be indivisible and honor and right, and the Secretariat is the message of man on earth for all humans remember well the Pharaoh and Moses folk even know that in the case of non-repelling injustice on vulnerable people Falcon him sitting on her throne employer is the owner of King.

  3. Perhaps there IS a chance for real peace. I will wait and see.

  4. Benjamin Fox says:

    It has never worked before, you give them terrorist and they give you back 99% of the time dead Jews, when will you learn Bibi? They don't want peace so prepare for war, the only thing a Arab understands and the only thing that doesn't make you weak in their stupid eyes.

  5. Abraham Santiago says:

    With all due respect, this decision is not in the best interest of Israel as a whole. Peace will not come by releasing prisoners with blood on their hands. The vast majority of Israelis 83% do not support this position.

  6. What a sensitive, touching and well composed speech.I love President Nethanyahu. He is a man of principle, insight and above all of great intelligence. He is a strong and reasonable leader.If a safe and secure peace for both parties is achieved I will be greatly surprised and pleased. But I would have to believe in miracles. Meanwhile, President Nethanyahu will have shown that Israel really wants peace provided the peace treaty keeps Israel safe and secure as a separate nation. Abbas will show his true colors and the world will be able to determine based on that if he really wants peace too.

  7. I believe the prime minister is a very tactfull diplomat, and pray G-d that his decision is acceptable in His eyes My the Lord continually bless Israel and its people.

  8. I am sorry but I cannot make sense out of your comment.. Why don't you get help from someone who can translate from Arabic, a little better?

  9. Veronica Varallo says:

    Don't worry Abraham, those terrorist released for Gilad are no longer on this earth.

  10. Veronica Varallo says:

    Do you people not study the Prophecies. There will only be Peace over Jerusalem when our Lion of Judah returns.. until then we have a Gog and Magog War on the way. Not to mention the destruction of Nuclear Power in Iran, Damascus being a heap of ruins…. and G-d Himself is going to bring Fire upon the Walls of Gaza. They scream Peace, Peace where their is no Peace. Let Bibi do what G-d speaks to his heart… G-d will do what He had Promised over His people Israel. L'Shalom

  11. Veronica Varallo says:

    Everyone is getting so upset about these terrorist being released but the last batch of terrorist released for the return of an IDF Soldier… they are no longer on this earth. When they release these terrorist they also will not be long for departure from this earth. I say go ahead and release them.. it saves on food cost and medical bills for the State of Israel. Plus it guarantees swifter Justice for the murdering crimes they committed.

  12. Shmaryahu Minischevits says:

    PLO, Hamas and all the like are murderous pagans that deserve nothing. It is embarrassing to see PM Netanyahu bend over and kiss their ends to appease America… America needs Israel more because it is the only democracy in the middle east. May all the prisoners released be removed from earth by HaShem!

  13. Netanyahu cannot be depended on to defend Israel's interests and make honorable decisions under pressure as he has demonstrated in the Shalit release, the Turkish apology, the removal of checkpoints during a revival of terror in the West Bank, and his refusal to publicly embrace the reasoning of the Levy Committee report on Israel's legal right to all of the West Bank and Gaza except for what it voluntarily cedes in the interests of peace and self-determination. He made foolish decisions during the election campaign for the purpose of getting a plurality of votes for his own combined party at the expense of the right as a whole and now is aiming at a Nobel prize at the expense of Israel's security by giving away strategic territory in the Jordan Valley and mountain ridges. It is time for Likud to rein him in.

  14. Exit stage left. It's time for Israel to get new leadership. Perhaps Netanyahu is under the influence of something. Maybe that would explain his off the wall proposals. You never, ever propose to release terrorists. The answer is pretty simple, they will regroup, rearm, and then kill more of your people. This guy has absolutely no clue what he is doing. Netanyahu has repeatedly offered to give land, What's next, Judea and Samaria? Maybe Israel needs to follow the Egyptians and have a cue of their own to get rid of this guy. If Israel is going to continue to have weak, cowardly leadership, I would suggest we stop wasting time and hand the country over to the Palestinians. Everyone will be happy. The anti Semitic, pro Arab side will finally rid themselves of Israel and Netanyahu can bask in the glory of those who want to destroy Israel. It's obviously more important for Netanyahu to please our adversaries than do the job he was elected to do, take care of Israel's interests and people. As Golda Meir said, anytime Israel is weak politically or militarily, is the time when Israel will cease to exist. I suggest Netanyahu go back and listen to Golda Meir's statements, maybe that will shock him back to reality. Still, Israel needs to get this guy out of office, fast.

  15. Cristi Lanier says:

    Amein! May HaShaem remove them with his mighty sword!

  16. Don Mcglaun says:

    Only history will tell if your decision is beneficial to Israel or not. As an outsider, I am very afraid it will turn out just as have all other appeasement efforts made by Israel and America. It is impossible to make nice with a cobra. Israel has made concessions, given up land, released prisoners, and for what? Hamas, Hezbollah, the PLO, etc., have yet to make one sincere offer of peace. Whether or not u believe in prophecy, u have only to look at history to realize the only peace they desire is one completely without the nation of Israel. Nothing else is acceptable to them. So be careful of land and or people u release. After all, it is Gods land that He gave as the Promised Land of Israel. I can't imagine Him looking kindly on ANYONE who willingly gives the land to others. And any prisoners he put in your care, should perhaps stay in your care. Do u really think Israel has been victorious in such a spectacular fashion without Devine Intervention? But, once again, I'm an outsider.

  17. I'm with you Veronica!!!!!!!!

  18. Ltc Howard says:

    Unfortunately, the US knows; the world knows. However they don't care and will keep telling Israel give a little more and maybe this time it will work.

  19. Shmaryahu Minischevits says:

    Amein!

  20. Anonymous says:

    Any Jew or concerned Gentile who has supported Israel in the past should stop immediately. Not one penny should be donated to this defeatist nation. Netanyahu is the Quisling of the Jews. He is not worthy to clean any ones boots, this cesspool Prime Minister. To think that Jewish young men and women have given their lives fighting for the freedom of Israel so that this Chamberlain can give away the territory and release these prisoners with Blood on their hands. Netanyahu is the Whore of Babylon as far as Israel is concerned. I recommend no support for Israel, and no donations to this so called Jewish Nation.

  21. Nick Thomas says:

    It is the fault of the Israel government for not have a Death Penalty for murderers. I there was an active death penalty there would not be 104 killers.
    so readily available to be exchanged or freed,

  22. Jenny Ahmed says:

    People forget history repeats itself.

  23. EngineerGirl French says:

    Just cave in to really bad ideas and those who don't care about the safety of Israelis!

  24. John Keytack says:

    Has he lost his mind? I didn’t know John Kerry had that much power over him.

  25. David Ifergan says:

    Until you are in the same place as the bereaved, you cannot free those killers.
    AL TISHPOT OTO AD SHE TYHIE BIMKOMO.
    YOUR CHILDREN AS SAFE AND WELL. THEN YOU DO NOT KNOW. THE FELLING.

  26. Sam Meyer says:

    Israel should be strong and not give in to terrorist. Trust me there can never be peace they will never be satisfied with ever you give them. What they want is remove Israel from the map. Don't be bullied by Obama and Kerry

  27. Sorry … I do not believe in the bible.

  28. Manuel Sand says:

    YOU CAN'T OBSERVE THE LAW BY BREAKING IT, WE KNOW BY EXPERIENCE THIS WILL ONLY PUT KILLERS INTO OUR STREETS, SO QUIT THE B.S., THIS IS A PAYOFF TO THE U.S.A. WHO ARE WILLING TO RISK OUR LIVES, SEE OUR LAWS BROKEN, BUT WILL NOT EVEN RELEASE POLLARD. SHAME ON YOU BIBI, SHAME ON US ALL FOR ALLOWING YOU TO GET AWAY WITH THIS. YOU WILL NEVER GET MY VOTE AGAIN.

  29. Anonymous says:

    I am Jewish but I don't live in Israel so I respect the opinions of those living the reality daily more than I value my own. I am active in FIDF and travel frequently to Israel to visit directly with the soldiers in addition to fundraising in the USA. I was, for many years, a man of the "Left" until the "left" worldwide became a hotbed of raving lunatics violently anti-Israel and anti-Semitic. I now despise that tiny sector of society whose only reason for existing is to hate Israel. For those who might care, Alice Walker personifies them. She have never condemned anything in Africa involving the slaughter or millions. Here is the US, was MIA in regard to the outcome of the Trayvon Martin case. For all of her howling about Israel, she has lost contact with the real world and the plight of real people. I still dream of the ideals of social justice, but unfortunately most of those who speak in those terms despise Israel and hate Jews. I thought the PM made a huge mistake in getting involved, in the losing side, with the American presidential election. On this issue of the the prisoner release, I was deeply moved by the letter. One cannot doubt the PM's willingness to use force as needed nor his personal sense of loss and grief for his brother, something that Israelis know but is little known outside Israel, even by politically active Jews. Again, I defer to those on the front lines to make their decision, but I personally found the letter both politically courageous and personally moving. To all of those in Israel who are making a better world for all Jews, I salute you. I hope to join you soon, physically as well in spirit.

  30. Mark L. Shane says:

    big mistake.repeating the same lessons over and over again will be our demise. no more land for peace. one terrorist for pollard and that's the end of negotiations. then we retake gaza, Sinai, the west bank, east Jerusalem, the temple mount, medina and mecca. no more nice guy. whether our enemy's are within( BB) or without(Islam) we don't need more of our blood shed for such a meritless goals therefore one must read the Koran , KNOW YOUR ENEMY and wake up.

  31. Myriam Obadia says:

    Dear PM, the only way the citizens of Israel will support such a decision is, if the murderers you propose to free are freed in exchange of the recognition by the UN of the annexation by Israel of Judea and Samaria. Even the "Peace at all cost" Tel Aviv fanatics are opposing you latest cave in to the US demands.

  32. REGARDLESS of the leadership's mendacious spin, the fact of the matter is that releasing blood soaked terrorists is against Israel's own Basic Laws, and also contravenes international law – Nullum Crimen Sine Poena, No Crime Without Punishment. Moreover, the mantra, "what we see from there, you don't see from here" is also outrageous spin, yet Zionists allow them to continually get away with trampling on their dignity and actual rights for justice! – http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7296#.UfTC4Y0wdn0

    Simply put, Israel is led by legal outlaws!

    Adina Kutnicki, Israel http://adinakutnicki.com/about/.

  33. Please start a poll or Facebook page
    We all will Pray that, Those who vote to release these murderers should be their FIRST customers.
    Perhaps some Mks will see it and will vote against it.

  34. Agree.

    I always supported Bibi. Now it is time for him to be deposed and bring in Ya'alon as PM
    Israel needs a strong leader who will not give in to the demands of the murdering PA.
    NOT ONE KILLER ON THE LOOSE.
    NOT ONE INCH OF G-D GIVEN LAND TO THE KILLERS OF JEWS.
    AND US JEWS VOTED FOR OBAMA.
    WHEN HE APPOINTED KERRY AS HIS SEC OF STATE, THE JEWS SHOULD HAVE REALISED WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS FOR ISRAEL

  35. THE PROBLEM IS THAT ISRAEL DOES NOT EXECUTE MURDERING TERRORISTS
    The Islamic countries execute gays who have done nothing wrong.
    Wake up Israel. keeping terrorists alive is expensive and will lead to more demads.

  36. Please explain "They are no longer on this earth"

  37. No pre conditions. You accepted the release of prisoners as a pre-condition. The US doesn't care about Jewish blood, dignity or pain. Refused to release the terrorist Pollard who killed nobody. This after not allowing him to visit his dying father or attend his funeral. The Palestinians still teach hate the Jew. Their preachers preach hate the Jew. They never changed their Covenant which they undertook to do at Oslo and now we make under American pressure – more gestures to show how stupidly decent, sincere and good we are. We have only shown how foolishly we negotiate with them over land that is ours. Bibi this is a boo boo.

  38. First the headlines are misleading, no figure has been sanctioned, read the letter through. Where does it say your PM accepted prisoners release as a pre-condition? These figures were leaked last week by Streiniz? There is to be a referendum, this means that every Jewish vote should outnumber ever Israeli arab vote, just over 2.5 million of them and 6 million Israeli's be they Jewish, Christian, secular or atheist. Nothing has been set in stone. As your PM states Syria, Egypt and Iran have a tremendous bearing on these talks. Why no one has suggested a written report from intelligence on the number of rockets targeted on Israel surprises me, on the other hand this may just not have been made public. 60,000 rockets targeted on Southern Israel is a seriously high number, how many rockets have broken November's Cease Fire. Papers will not remember two such salient points which could well be brought to the table. Abbas is anxious to force the issue, before things change out of his favour in Syria and Egypt and they could down the line. As for Iran it has been in the papers that Saudi has a 2500 range missile targeted on Iran Sunni, the other on Israel, Saudi is Shiia, both countries produce OIL and Iraque is in the Middle a mixture of Sunni and Shiia. Kerry is desperate to make a name for himself. With all of the above factors a PM has to appear to be acquiescing how long he takes to commit is up to him. In the meantime Israel gets to vote in a referendum. Also on his plate is China a very smart and cool operator, when China deals with Saudi it won't be $ petro it will be some other currency and she can really bargain, think how much money Saudi and Iran can make out of growing China. Abbas must be aware of all these contingencies so he is shoving and Israel has to keep him off her back. The EU according to your own Minister Mr. Ya'alon will no longer receive Israeli protection in the West Bank and Gaza, wait and see how that pans out. Stand behind your country and government as for Zipi she's panicking ain't old enough to play the waiting game.

  39. Zvi Burg says:

    Even if there may, indeed, be a chance for concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians, there is also a principle of justice. Releasing convicted terrorists is an abominable travesty of justice. No peace agreement justifies this travesty!

  40. Zvi Burg says:

    Even if there may, indeed, be a chance for concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians, there is also a principle of justice. Releasing convicted terrorists is an abominable travesty of justice. No peace agreement justifies this travesty!

  41. Zvi Burg says:

    Even if there may, indeed, be a chance for concluding a peace agreement with the Palestinians, there is also a principle of justice. Releasing convicted terrorists is an abominable travesty of justice. No peace agreement justifies this travesty!

  42. Penina Lehrer Reichenberg says:

    תתבייש לך ביב!

  43. Yael Zerbib says:

    What are you talking about? what terrorists are not on this earth?! Out of the thousands who were freed, give at least 10 names of some who are dead, please.

  44. Yael Zerbib says:

    What are you talking about? what terrorists are not on this earth?! Out of the thousands who were freed, give at least 10 names of some who are dead, please.

  45. Yael Zerbib says:

    Veronica Varallo Excuse me but it really seems you're talking non-sense. Give some solid proofs of what you claim please.

  46. @ Veronica Varallo…. Please educate yourself because you make Ignorant statements in light of what the absolute Majority of Jewish and Israeli Peoples Know and feel…..This is what Jewish Israelis think in light of President Obama's Unpecedented and Historic Military Aid and Money Appropiations to the Jewish State; which is the Most over any other U.S. President in Israel's 60 Year History!……http://www.njdc.org/israelisonobama

  47. @ Veronica Varallo…. Please educate yourself because you make Ignorant statements in light of what the absolute Majority of Jewish and Israeli Peoples Know and feel…..Ehud Barak says "President Obama has been the Most Supportive U.S. President to Israel ever!!!! Especially within his tenure in the Israeli Government" (Watch the Video!) The Current Israeli Defense Minister and former Prime Minister Knows Best!!! The Israelis themselves and their Leaders are the Final Judge on this Matter Proving that any Descent is an Out Right Lie!….http://www.theblaze.com/stories/israeli-minister-of-defense-claims-obama-is-doing-more-for-israeli-security-than-any-other-u-s-president/

  48. @ Veronica Varallo…. Please educate yourself because you make Ignorant statements in light of what the absolute Majority of Jewish and Israeli Peoples Know and feel…..The Official Facts of Barack Obama's Historical Record with the Jewish State of Israel from the Jewish Authority: http://www.njdc.org/ObamaTopTen……

  49. Bibi is this a "witz" ("joke"), remember "ARBEIT MACHT FREI"("work makes free"), now "FRIEDEN MACHT FREI" ("peace makes free"), we are the same incredule sheep that believed 70 years ago, are you not ashamed with your lackeys.

  50. Bear Klein says:

    Moshe Ya'alon implied that USA was using a big stick to have Israel release the terrorists out of prison. He said he will reveal later what the horrible choice would have been if Israel did not agree to this bad despicable decision to release the 104 terrorists.

  51. Anonymous says:

    Omits some times in estimating things after the Cold War on the Union Alsowicay everyone said that the Russian regime fell at full strength and now stands Russia at full strength before the world bottom line is that anesthesia political suited as that of the per-modern knowledge of the loser and the winner of those battles and perhaps everyone are the losers why because of greed.

  52. If the released terrorists go after Netanyahu and his cronies families to strike again, I will gladly say "I told you so" & now it's your turn to cop it.

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