web analytics
August 27, 2014 / 1 Elul, 5774
At a Glance
InDepth
Sponsored Post
Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat (L) visits the JewishPress.com booth at The Event. And the Winners of the JewishPress.com Raffle Are…

Congratulations to all the winners of the JewishPress.com raffle at The Event



Home » InDepth » Op-Eds »

Releasing Killers Endangers Israelis


Last week, in return for a video – not the freedom of a kidnap victim, but a video of a kidnap victim – Israel freed 20 Palestinian prisoners. This has to stop.

At one time Israel would release terrorists – but not those with “blood on their hands” and only in return for living Israelis. In July 2008, however, Israel had agreed to release to Hizbullah a gruesome murderer, Samir Kuntar, and four others prisoners in return for the corpses of two kidnapped Israelis.

In August 2008, Israel also freed a further 198 jailed terrorists, including two with blood on their hands and 149 others guilty of attempted murder, as a “confidence-building measure.”

Clearly, Israel is giving more and receiving less – and that is not the worst of it. The fact is, freed terrorists frequently return to terror and end up murdering more Israelis.

The evidence for this is clear: Col. Meir Indor, director of Almagor Terrorist Victims Association (ATVA), disclosed in April 2007 that 177 Israelis killed in terror attacks in the previous five years had been killed by terrorists freed on the basis that they were “without blood on their hands.”

An earlier ATVA report showed that 123 Israelis had been murdered by terrorists freed during the years 1993-99.

This exposes the fraudulence of the criterion “without blood on their hands,” which lulled the Israeli public into thinking no serious danger was courted by freeing terrorists.

This was an illusion, and the loss of more lives was inevitable. “Without blood on their hands” is a misleading criterion that encompasses those convicted for attempting to kill, for planting or throwing bombs or for shooting at Israelis in attacks that just happened to prove non-lethal.

Israelis were fooling themselves if they thought freeing attempted murderers and accessories to murder carried few risks.

Additionally, such releases provide a major incentive for more kidnappings of Israelis. As Hamas chief Khaled Meshaal said only days ago, “The resistance … is capable of capturing [another] Shalit and [another] Shalit and [another] Shalit, until not a single prisoner will remain in the enemy’s jails.”

Yet for years Israelis have been inundated with false arguments for releasing terrorists. It has been argued that Israel would not risk more kidnappings by releasing, for example, about 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in return for Shalit, because if Hamas could kidnap more soldiers it would, regardless of the price paid for Shalit’s release.

This is simply dangerous nonsense. As the cited evidence indicates, the chief security issue raised by releasing Palestinian terrorists is not only more kidnappings, serious and real as that problem is, but freed prisoners murdering more Israelis. This aspect of the problem is routinely ignored in discussion of prisoner releases.

The August 2008 prisoner release was described by analyst Yossi Alpher as a “smart and courageous move” because “draconian sentences” on jailed terrorists create “incentives” for other terrorists to kidnap Israelis in order to spring those locked up. This is shortsighted. Israel’s willingness to release live terrorists in return for even dead soldiers provided the terrorists all the incentive they required.

Alpher claims such releases could be used as “confidence building measures.” He did not mention that freeing even hundreds of terrorists has never improved Israel’s standing among Arabs, moderated their demands or mollified their hatred.

As Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shalom Harari of the Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herzliya noted after the August 2008 prisoner release: “On the morning after … we heard Fatah blaming Israel. Whatever happens, they will blame Israel and fault everyone except for themselves.”

It has also been argued that those who oppose the exchange of jailed Arab terrorists in return for kidnapped Israelis should put themselves in the shoes of the families of the kidnap victims and then test their resolve.

This argument is no less false for being emotionally manipulative. Would we allow relatives of people held up by bank robbers to decide whether or not the police accede to the demands of their captors? The duty of the state is to protect its citizens. Therefore, the most important consideration must be preventing the loss of further lives to terror.

Moreover, when Israel frees terrorists for corpses, it endangers the lives of those kidnapped because it demonstrates that their deaths pose no obstacle to an exchange. This puts the lives of other kidnap victims in jeopardy.

About the Author: Morton A. Klein is national president of the Zionist Organization of America. Dr. Daniel Mandel is director of the ZOA's Center for Middle East Policy.


If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.

Our comments section is intended for meaningful responses and debates in a civilized manner. We ask that you respect the fact that we are a religious Jewish website and avoid inappropriate language at all cost.

If you promote any foreign religions, gods or messiahs, lies about Israel, anti-Semitism, or advocate violence (except against terrorists), your permission to comment may be revoked.

No Responses to “Releasing Killers Endangers Israelis”

Comments are closed.

SocialTwist Tell-a-Friend

Current Top Story
Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman
Political Fallout Begins From Ceasefire
Latest Indepth Stories
Front-Page-082914

While there is no formula that will work for everyone, there are some strategies that if followed carefully and consistently can help our children – and us – gain the most from the upcoming school year.

Palestinian patient enters Israel for emergency treatment.

We risk our lives to help those who do what they can to kill to our people .

Mark Twain

Twain grasped amazingly well the pulse of the Jewish people.

Brudner-012414-Hollywood

The entertainment industry appears divided about the conflict between Israel and Hamas.

Israelis in Gaza border communities need to get out; who will help them?

The contrast between the mentality of Israel and the mentality of Hamas was never so loudly expressed as when the Arab killers became heroes and the Jewish killers became prisoners.

There is a threat today representing a new category of missionary:They call themselves “Hayovel.”

Just as we would never grant legitimacy to ISIS, we should not grant legitimacy to Hamas.

Is Woodstock still leading the world to destruction?

Wye would be seen to have set the groundwork for the creation of a Palestinian state

Blaming Israel for the violence in Gaza, he ends up justifying Hamas’s terrorism.

In the Thirties it was common for anti-Semites to call on Jews to “go to Palestine!”

Obama never hid his contempt for the Israeli government or the majority of Israel’s voters.

“This arbitrary ban is an ugly stain on our democracy, and it also undermines the rule of law.”

We take US “aid” for psychological reasons-if we have an allowance, that means we have a father.

ZIM Piraeus isn’t Israeli-owned or flagged, incidentally, it is Greek operated.

More Articles from Morton A. Klein and Dr. Daniel Mandel
Israel is giving in on the release of Palestinian prisoners with Jewish blood on their hands.

In this morally unjust, tactically unwise, strategically harmful, militarily hazardous and life-endangering unilateral concession, we see the erosion of Israeli will.

President Obama spent his first term pushing from power longstanding Arab allies in Egypt and Tunisia, seeking to engage the now blood-soaked Syrian dictator Bashar al-Assad, pulling his punches against Iran’s nuclear program, and putting “daylight” between his administration and Israel.

The United Nations General Assembly’s vote to make “Palestine” a “non-member state” of the UN has done no less than legitimize the two Palestinian regimes that promote terrorism and Israel’s destruction. How can the world claim to be fighting terrorism when it has just declared that two terrorist regimes should enjoy sovereignty?

A recent news item shed piercing light on the reason for the intractability of the Arab war on Israel. The well-known 1970s disco group Boney M, invited by the Palestine International Festival to give a concert in Palestinian Authority-controlled Ramallah, was pressured to drop performing one of its signature hit songs, “Rivers of Babylon.”

Recent polls show that Americans, American Jews and Israelis all disapprove of President Obama’s policies toward Israel. One reason for the disapproval that emerges in these polls is that the Obama administration pressures and criticizes Israel, while giving Mahmoud Abbas’s Palestinian Authority a free pass.

Last week, in return for a video – not the freedom of a kidnap victim, but a video of a kidnap victim – Israel freed 20 Palestinian prisoners. This has to stop.

After nearly three weeks it is clear that Israel’s military operation in Gaza is a just and necessary undertaking. The operation followed the termination of a so-called cease-fire that was in any case frequently violated by Hamas.

    Latest Poll

    Do you think the FAA ban on US flights to Israel is political?






    View Results

    Loading ... Loading ...

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/opinions/releasing-killers-endangers-israelis/2009/10/14/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: