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April 20, 2014 / 20 Nisan, 5774
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PM Netanyahu’s Open Letter on His Proposal to Free 104 Terrorists

Prime Minister Netanyahu

Prime Minister Netanyahu

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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.

I promise that we will continue thus.


Benjamin Netanyahu.

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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:


  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.

  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:


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