Just Tell Him: “No.”


A bully is in town again. He is insisting that Israel give up the heart of its ancient, God-given ancestral homeland to a rag-tag bunch of Holocaust-denying terrorists. And what are the thugs of Ramallah expected to give to Israel in return? A promise to refrain from more terrorism?

What nation in the world other than Israel would allow itself to be painted into such a corner? How will Mr. Netanyahu stand up to such a provocation?


“… Cassius has a lean and hungry look. He thinks too much; such men are dangerous.” (William Shakespeare, “Julius Caesar”, Act 1, Scene 2, 190–195)

Dear Prime Minister of Israel Binyamin (“Bibi”) Netanyahu:

Today you have welcomed to Israel a tall, gaunt Cassius-like guest: United States Secretary of State John Kerry. Ostensibly to please the Arab leadership in Ramallah – but in reality to appease Mr. Kerry – you recently completed a third round of prisoner releases. Every one of the 26 Arabs you sent away Scott-free from Israeli jails was serving a life sentence for the calculated murder of innocent citizens of Israel. And what did Israel get in return? Nada, unless you count the scorn of the world.

Not surprisingly, none of the lowly lifers to whom you handed out an unconditional pardon expressed the slightest remorse for his actions. Just as was the case in the previous two rounds of murderer releases that your government authorized and accomplished, the Arab leadership in Ramallah welcomed the fresh crop of convicted killers with open arms and microphones. Ramallah went wild with celebration, calling them freedom-fighters and national heroes and heaping upon them praises – and prizes.

Mr. Netanyahu: the ease with which you have surrendered to Mr. Kerry’s increasingly strident demands is deplorable. And puzzling, even to your detractors.

What has happened to you?

But it’s still not too late for course correction.

Back to Mr. Kerry.

John Kerry is one of the wealthiest politicians in America. Very rich people who make it to old age can go in one of two directions. Some grow satisfied with their wealth, thankful for the opportunity to use it as they see fit. Others discover that their quest for money, once achieved, morphs into a higher-grade vice: the lust for power and influence. Mr. Kerry has clearly chosen the second route.

As a past and future contestant for the Presidency of the United States, Mr. Kerry needs to show his backers that he can achieve something big. And he has chosen the Middle East as the place where he can earn his trophy for bringing back with him to the States. Never mind if he tramples the national interests of America’s loyal friend Israel. For when one has inhaled deeply the scent of beckoning political power, sneaking the life of Jonathan Pollard onto the negotiating table as a bargaining chip is no problem. And snatching it away just as fast, when it no serves the purpose of getting Israel to do one’s bidding, is a completely legitimate move.

Mr. Kerry wants results now, because the ends justify the means. After all, what better way is there for diverting attention as he and President Obama drive America headlong into the ground?

Mr. Netanyahu: Just tell him: “No.”

That’s what my friends – American pundits, Jews and gentiles alike – are advising. Here’s what they are saying:

Friend 1: “You need to greet him with a huge ‘Delegitimize Kerry’ protest. (…) he will cave to whoever scares him most. Stand up to him, refuse to release the terrorists, and he will surrender to you and declare victory like he always does.”

Friend 2: “Israel has to do what’s best for Israel. If you can ride out Obama, well and good. The US government is close to rock bottom. I do not think Israel has a friend in the Obama regime.”

Friend 3: “Israel should call Kerry’s bluff. The US would never turn its back on Israel. The political fallout would destroy the Democrats. After all, they are only interested in their party’s well-being. Stand strong, Israel and JUST SAY NO to Kerry.”

Mr. Netanyahu, it is widely known that you and your family are true fans of the Tanach, the Hebrew Bible. Look at what the Torah has to say about the situation:

“And if after this, you still do not listen to me, and you walk with me         with Kerry – then I will walk with you with the anger of Kerry, and I will even torment you seven times more for your sins.” (Leviticus, Chapter 26, Verses 27, 28)

But that’s not all. In your studies of the Bible, surely you remember the Book of Esther and Mordechai’s words when she ponders shirking the opportunity facing her to save her nation:

“And Mordechai said in reply to Esther, ’Do not imagine you can escape from among all the Jews to the palace of the king. For if you really remain silent at this time, breathing room and rescue will arise for the Jews from a different place, and you and your father’s household will be lost. And who knows? Maybe it was for this very moment that you made it to the monarchy!’” (The Book of Esther, Chapter 4, Verses 13, 14)

Come on Bibi. You can make it easier for everyone. Sooner or later, the Americans are going to have to live with the word “No” from Israel. It’s inevitable. And certainly you know that not even John Kerry and the Obama Administration can stop history when the time for Israel to return in full to its land and its heritage has arrived.

About the Author
Yisrael Rosenberg is a former New Englander who made aliyah 30 years ago. He lives with his wife and four children in Jerusalem.