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December 20, 2014 / 28 Kislev, 5775
 
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Posts Tagged ‘Israel frees terrorists’

MK Danon Goes to US Jews to Make Case against Freeing Terrorists

Tuesday, March 25th, 2014

Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon, and increasingly popular Likud Knesset Member, went to the American Jewish audience Tuesday to repeat his threat that he will resign his post if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu pushes through a vote to free more Palestinian Authority terrorists, including Arabs who are car-carrying Israeli citizens.

Danon is in a win-win situation. If it happens, Danon will have pulled out the rug from under Netanyahu because a growing number of Israelis and Americans are sick and tired of Israel’s freeing terrorists for no reason other than to pacify U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry and the Palestinian Authority. If it doesn’t happen, Danon will have scored points by taking a stand long before Netanyahu has showed his cards. The Likud’s old guard doesn’t like Danon for one reason – they are afraid he is getting too popular, but they would be smarter if they understood why.

He wrote the following article that JTA featured on Tuesday as an op-ed:

It is no secret that when Israel’s government announced this past September that we would be returning to the table to negotiate with the Palestinians, I was not optimistic about the prospects of this latest round of talks.
I knew that as much as we desire peace and normalcy for this region, our Palestinian counterparts have never tired in making demands without any corresponding willingness to offer concessions and prove themselves as real negotiating partners. While many Israelis viewed these talks as a harmless diversion to placate some of our allies abroad, I warned my colleagues of the dire implications these talks would have on our security.
Though I was extremely concerned that our government might concede strategically important territory or relinquish parts of our historic homeland, what angered me most was the Palestinian demand as a precursor to even coming to the table that we release more than a hundred of their prisoners — men and women with blood on their hands. In essence, the demand was that we set murderers free for the privilege of negotiating peace.
Last week, I made the difficult but necessary decision that if the final round of the prisoner release goes ahead as planned on March 29, I will resign my position as Israel’s deputy defense minister.
It was not a simple matter for me to vocalize my opposition to these prisoner releases when they were first agreed to. Both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon fully endorsed the release, claiming that it would enhance our geopolitical standing.
While I respect my government colleagues, I could not remain silent amid the calls of mothers and fathers of victims of terror who were horrified by the notion of their loved ones’ killers being set free. I also knew that the release of convicted murders to the Palestinian cities and villages of Judea and Samaria would only encourage terrorists to increase their attacks on innocent Israelis.
Despite my strong protests last fall, the Cabinet voted to support the prime minister’s initiative. The murderers’ prison doors swung open while Israelis looked on in disgust at this injustice.
Flash forward nine months.
Despite our constant desire to find a peaceful solution, it is now apparent to everyone that these negotiations have failed. As much as our American friends wanted to make the impossible possible, the Palestinian leadership predictably held true to its demands for full Israeli withdrawal to the 1967 lines while maintaining its historic refusal to recognize our legitimate right to exist as a Jewish state in our ancient homeland.
If this were simply a matter of watching with proven skepticism as this charade of diplomacy was allowed to unravel, I too would likely have been ambivalent, but I wouldn’t necessarily have been angry. The ultimate disgrace, though, was that after a complete and utter failure, where the two sides are clearly no closer to the resolution of the conflict than we were a year ago, we are again being asked to release Palestinian prisoners.
This is a farce that I am not willing to accept.
I have done my utmost to serve in my role as deputy defense minister with pride and distinction, and I had looked forward to continuing to do so for the duration of the current government. At the same time, I have come to the conclusion that I cannot, and will not, represent a government that ignores the will of its people and kowtows to international opinion even when we know that doing so is harmful to our interests. If it comes to it, I will respectfully inform the prime minister of my resignation at the very moment that first prison door is unlocked, continuing to serve my nation instead as a dedicated member of Knesset.
The prime minister and the relevant parties still have the time and opportunity to recognize the danger of this planned release, and I hope that they will make the necessary decision to protect our national interest.
But if they do not, I will not stand idly by as the State of Israel further denigrates itself and harms the security of its people.

Supreme Court Rejects Appeal to Keep Terrorists in Jail

Thursday, December 26th, 2013

Israel’s Supreme Court rejected Thursday evening an appeal by victims of terror to stop the government from going ahead with its plan to free another 26 terrorists on Sunday.

The petitioners, whose parents and three of their brothers and sisters were murdered in a terrorist attack in Jerusalem in 2001, argued that the swap of 1,000 terrorists for the return of Gilad Shalit from captivity proved that many of those release from jail return to terrorism.

The court did not reject or accept the argument and ruled, as in previous cases of government releases of terrorists, that the issue involves security and is not in the jurisdiction of the court to interfere.

The Netanyahu government is going ahead with the third batch four releases of 104 terrorists for the stated reason of continuing talks with the Palestinian Authority, within the framework set down in July by  U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.

Netanyahu to Trade Freeing More Terrorists for More Yesha Homes

Wednesday, December 25th, 2013

Israel will trade 26 more terrorists for between 1,000 and 2,000 new homes for Jews in Judea and Samaria, according to a government official quoted by Israeli television Wednesday.

There is a broad consensus in Israel against freeing more terrorists in the four-step release plan to release 104 terrorists and security prisoners during the nine months that U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has scheduled for Israel and the Palestinian Authority to reach an agreement on a future PA state without endangering Israeli security.

Kerry has set the rules of the game, and Netanyahu knows that rejecting the release on Sunday of more terrorists, even though PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas has not lived up to a promise to play by Kerry’s rules, would leave Israel checkmated in Abbas’ game to have international backing to skip talks and go to the United Nations for recognition. The Cabinet on Wednesday approved the release of the third batch of 104 terrorists.

Netanyahu’s ploy has been to announce new homes every time a batch of terrorists are freed. He did this in July and last month and is about to do so again, infuriating the Palestinian Authority and the European Union but not violating Kerry’s conditions.

Kerry has implied it was assumed that Israel would announce plans for new construction for Jews in Judea and Samaria, even though the United States calls Israelis in those areas “illegitimate.” President Barack Obama has called the settlements, including Palestinian Authority-claimed neighborhoods, in Jerusalem, “illegal.”

The Prime Minister can always climb down from a weak limb simply by announcing new homes but not going through with issuing tenders, particularly since the bureaucratic process for doing so could take months.

When Kerry dug up the remains of the “peace process” in July and forced Israel and Abbas to get back to the so-called negotiating table, he demanded that both sides not issue interim reports on the talks. Israel agreed to release terrorists only if there is progress in talks and if the Palestinian Authority does not resort to more violence.

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Wednesday blamed Abbas and the Palestinian Authority for the escalation in terrorist attacks, saying they directly incite Arabs to attack Israelis.

Since July, Palestinian Authority terrorists have murdered at least four Israelis and have carried out numerous other terrorist attacks, not including rock-throwing and fire bombings.

In addition, Abbas and his negotiators have consistently complained that no progress is being made, and he has threatened more than once to end the talks and go to the United Nations.

Kerry has four months left to come back to Washington with a deal.

Jewish Home Punched Out in Losing Bid to Keep Terrorists Jailed

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

A Cabinet committee unsurprisingly defeated on Sunday a motion by the Jewish Home to propose a bill that would prevent the government from freeing heavy-duty terrorists.

The Ministerial Committee for Legislation voted 8-5 against the proposal, with Likud, Yesh Atid and Livni’s HaTunah party minsters opposing it and Jewish Home and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers voting for it.

With Justice Minister Tzipi Livni heading the committee, the bill had no chance. Click here to understand how she wears three hats, all of them oversized.

Interior Minister Gideon Sa’ar, a senior Likud member and a close aide to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, characteristically played the role of a sore winner and told Jewish Home Minister Uri Orbach, “If you don’t like it, you can resign.” Sa’ar berated the Jewish Home for daring to propose a bill that would have gone against government policy.

Livni was even cruder with her snipe that the government does not act on the orders “of the rabbis in the West Bank.”

The party stated after the vote, “This is a sad day for the struggle against terrorism in Israel.”

For his part, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu did not directly mention at the Cabinet meeting Sunday morning the second step in the four-stage plan to free 104 terrorists, a program that started in July to pave the way for the resumption of talks between Israeli negotiators, headed by Livni, and the Palestinian Authority. Instead, he made an undisguised reference to the deal, stating that “promises” must be kept, as reported here in an article on mortar shelling attacks on Israel today.

No one reminded him that he once promised that he never would vote to expel Jews from their homes in Gush Katif. That was before he passed up every effort to vote against the expulsion of 9,000 Jews from Gaza until after was a done deal and his vote did not matter.

Sa’ar and Livni got in their licks, and the terrorists will be released, but the Jewish Home party is far from down and out.

Freeing terrorists, especially for talks and not even for a solider, a civilian or a dead body of one of the two, is decreasingly popular, and it is doubtful that a majority of Israelis are much more than unenthusiastic over the idea.

Every previous release of terrorists has been followed by attacks by several of the same terrorists. Every time, the government finds another reason to say it won’t happen again. Two years ago, it went through he ludicrous procedure of forcing each one to sign on the dotted line, “I will be a good boy, and will not return to terror,” before being free to kill more Israelis, more than 120 at last count.

This time, the government experts on terror says the terrorists are too old to return to terror. Time will tell how they celebrate their birthdays, but it would not wise to attend the party because the cake might blow up in your face.

With every attack by freed terrorists, the voters will remember who voted to free them and who voted to keep them in jail.

But the Jewish Home has a lot of other reasons to be confident that it can buck the government even if it is a member of the coalition.

Every poll in the past several months has shown the party is more and more popular. It has shed the old National Religious Party’s stigma of considering a Jewish presence in Judea and Samaria as the only thing that matters in the country. Unlike the NRP, Jewish Home and its chairman Naftali Bennett do not “take orders from rabbis.”

It has taken popular stands on civil marriages, leniency towards homosexuality, like it or not, and it has forged into the area of consumer rights, once a monopoly of the Meretz party.

Elections are probably a long time away, but Sa’ar and Livni may end up taking it on the chin.

Gaza Terrorists Attack Israel with Mortar Shells

Sunday, October 27th, 2013

Terrorists from Gaza attacked southern Israel Sunday afternoon with two mortar shells, but the government and the IDF have not commented. No damage or injuries were reported.

The attacks may have been timed with the expected release of more terrorists this week as part of the four-stage plan Israel announced in July to free 104 terrorists in return for the privilege of Israeli negotiators sitting down to talk with their Palestinian Authority counterparts.

Hamas, which rules Gaza, would like nothing more than to embarrass the rival Fatah movement, headed by the Obama administration’s peace partner known as Palestinian Authority chairman Mahmoud Abbas, and cause casualties on the Israeli side that might abort the second stage of the plan.

The military policy, dictated by the Defense Ministry, has been to “retaliate” for every mortar attack by bombing a weapon storage depot or a tunnel, leaving a few hundred other “terror sites” remaining. After all, if Israel were to knock all of them out, what could the IDF do next time around when Hamas or Islamic Jihad terrorists strike the country with missiles and mortar shells? Invading Gaza or bombing areas where terrorists hang out among civilians would be considered a “disproportionate” response.

That strategy goes by the boards if, God forbid, one of those mortar shells or Kassam missiles explodes on a kindergarten.

But as long as that does not happen, Israelis living in the Gaza Belt region continue to be victims of the government’s version of Russian roulette.

In between the mortar shell and Kassam rocket attacks, there is no scarcity of attempts to kill soldiers. The IDF last week prevented a possible mass casualty attack when soldiers discovered a large roadside bomb that was intended to be detonated as a vehicle drove by. Army sappers neutralized the explosives, and no one was hurt.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu does not want to rock the boat right now and punish Hamas, face an escalation in terrorist attacks and then risk a suspension of the talks, which are being conducted under the misguided hand of President Barack Obama’s personal Middle East envoy Martin Indyk.

The Prime Minister is dead-set to go through with the second round of freeing terrorists even though it has all of the right reasons not do so. The Cabinet agreed in July to spread out the release of terrorists to test the Palestinian Authority’s ability and intentions to preserve the peace, at least until all of the terrorists are safely home where they can return to terror.

Since the start of the talks, terrorists have murdered four Israelis and tried to murder several others, including a nine-year-old girl.

Prime Minister Netanyahu told the Cabinet Sunday morning, “We have to honor government decisions even if it is difficult and unpleasant; we can’t constantly change our stance.”

But which promise? No, not the promise that Abbas keep up his end of the agreement.

The only promise that Israel has to keep is the one that Netanyahu made to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry to resume the so-called negotiations.

There is one other promise that Netanyahu may keep, although almost a year late. He said earlier this year than 3,000 more homes would be built for Jews in Judea and Samaria and in parts of Jerusalem that Abbas wants to turn into the capital of a Palestinian Authority state without any Jewish residents.

To this date, zero new homes have been built in PA-claimed Jerusalem, Efrat, Maaleh Adumim, Kiryat Arba, Beitar Illit and other cities. There have been announcements of new homes, which is good material to keep the nationalists in line, but facts on the ground equal zilch.

In the horse trading that reduces the human factor to a piece of paper on which Abbas can sign another agreement to be tossed in the waste can , Netanyahu is prepared to start building homes in return for freeing terrorists.

Once upon a time, Israel negotiated with terrorists by killing them.

Then, Israel started trading them for a handful of Israelis who had been kidnapped.

And the Olmert government under the leaderless Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, agreed to release heavy-duty terrorists for corpses of IDF soldiers.

Two years ago, the Netanyahu government freed 1,000 terrorists for the release of a single soldier, Gilad Shalit.

Kerry Jumps on Okay for Freeing Terrorists, Announces Peace Talks

Monday, July 29th, 2013

It’s official.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry followed up on the Israeli Cabinet approval in principle to free 104 terrorists, and announced that Palestinian Authority and Israeli negotiators have been invited to resume direct talks in Washington on Monday and Tuesday.

No RSVP was attached to the invitation, and PA negotiator Saeb Erekat will come without any gifts.

Israel already has sent its present, the Cabinet approval to release terrorists who were sentenced to jail instead of being executed for brutal and cruel murders of soldiers and citizens, including children, mothers and the elderly.

Media all over the world reported the Cabinet decision to free “prisoners” while avoiding the “T” word, lest the character of the murderers be tarnished.

“Today, Kerry spoke with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu and personally extended an invitation to send senior negotiating teams to Washington to formally resume direct final status negotiations,” State Department spokeswoman Jen Psaki said in a statement.

“Initial meetings are planned for the evening of Monday July 29 and Tuesday July 30,” she said.

This is great news for travel agents, airlines and luxury hotels, all of which will be busy taking care of the VIPs.

Livni and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s personal envoy Yitzchak Molcho are to fly out of Ben Gurion Airport Sunday night or early Monday morning and meet with their Palestinian Authority counterparts, Mohammad Shtayyeh and Saeb Erekat the same day.

He refrained from praising Israel for freeing the terrorists, and for good reason. The Cabinet in fact approved that a smaller Inner Cabinet will review the list of terrorists and decide who will be released.

Erekat and other officials have insisted that all must be freed of the talks are to continue. “We will continue working for the release of all our political prisoners,” he said, upgrading the terrorists to some kind of workers for humanitarian rights who were summarily court-martialed for being Arabs.

The whole scheme cooked up by Abbas and Kerry could come apart because the list of 104 terrorists includes 15 who are Israeli citizens. Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon of the Likud had swallowed hard to vote to approve Netanyahu’s request to free them, but he put his foot down when it comes to the Israeli Arabs. Time will tell if he caves in again.

No one in the government has yet explained – and in fact no one else has asked – why it is the Palestinian Authority’s business to worry about Israeli Arabs. Maybe , just maybe, the PA had some kind of connection with the terrorists. Just maybe.

In the meantime, Livni will have the time of her life, getting all of the attention she craves and competing with Kerry to see who can pour more honey on the poisoned peace process.

Kerry will repeat twice a day and three times a night how brave and courageous Israel is, State Dept Doublespeak for weakness and cowardice.

Livni will say how Israel is willing to make “painful concessions,” and Erekat will continue to say that negotiations mean, “Continue to make painful concessions until we get everything we want because after that you won’t be around to feel any pain.”

Cabinet Approves Freeing 104 Terrorists

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

The Inner Cabinet late Sunday afternoon voted 13-7 to free 104 terrorists who were convicted and jailed before the Oslo Accords in 1993, but the decision does not necessarily give blanket approval to free Israeli Arabs who are on the list.

A mini-Cabinet, packed by ministers on the side of Prime Minister Binymain Netanyahu, will decide which terrorists can be freed in four stages stretching over a period of nine months.

Two ministers, Limor Livnat and Silvan Shalom, both of the Likud party, abstained.

Voting with Netanyau were:

– Likud ministers Yuval Steinitz, Moshe Ya’alon and Gideon Sa’ar;

– Yesh Atid’s Yair Lapid, Yael German, Yaakov Peri, Shai Piron and Meir Cohen;

– Yisrael Beiteinu’s Sofa Landver and Yitzchak Aharonovitch; and

– Tzipi Livni and Amir Peretz of Livni’s HaTnuah party.

Likud ministers Gilad Erdan and Yisrael Katz voted against the government, as did the three Jewish Home ministers – Uri Ariel and Uri Orbach – and Yisrael Beiteinu ministers Yair Shamir and Uzi Landau.

Livni said the Cabinet should free the terrorists “for the sake of the future,” meaning the resumption of direct talks this week with the Palestinian Authority.

Likud Minister Yisrael Katz replied, “Releasing terrorists is a mistake, just like the building freeze was a mistake. There are ministers sitting here today who supported the building freeze and claimed it would lead to negotiations, and we have seen how far it got us. In six months, it will be clear that freeing terrorists will not bring us anything except  to worsen out situation in the region, and in the international community.”

Jewish Home chairman, Minister of Economy Naftali Bennett, voted against the government of which his party is a coalition member. “We used to free a terrorist in exchange for a soldier,”  he said, “After that, we freed terrorists for the return of the bodies of soldiers, Now, we free hundreds of terrorists in exchange for a process. We are teaching the world that everything is for sale.”

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/cabinet-approves-freeing-104-terrorists/2013/07/28/

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