Here’s an important postscript to our longer blog posting on the damage to notions of justice in releasing convicted murderers and terrorists [“21-Jul-13: In the debate over whether Israel should free convicted terrorists, one key argument is mostly ignored“]
Yaron Kelner writes in Ynet today:
On November 20, 2007, Ehud Olmert’s government approved the release of 411 Palestinian prisoners ahead of the peace conference in Annapolis, which took place on the 28th and 29th of that same month. Netanyahu, who served as opposition chairman at the time, expressed his staunch opposition to the release of prisoners before the commencement of peace negotiations and without receiving anything in return.
“The release of prisoners before the conference is not the path to peace, it is the path to terror,” he said prior to the government’s vote on the matter. “The Olmert government is repeating the mistakes of the (Ehud) Barak government at Camp David – then they gave everything, and all we received in return was terrorists.”
Netanyahu continued to criticize the release of prisoners on the day the government approved the move and said he believes it will hurt Israel’s security interests.
“The government decided today to free more terrorists, without even getting recognition of Israel as a Jewish state. The Israeli public wants a same peace, not a hallucinatory peace,” he said at the time.
But then that was six years ago. And again as now, his views were based on political considerations and not justice or the views of the victims.