Two convoys left the Ayalon prison on Tuesday night at around 9 pm, carry 26 terrorists who were released as the first part of an Israeli gesture to the Palestinian Authority.
One convoy, carrying 15 terrorists traveled to the Erez junction, near Gaza, where those terrorists were released. The second convoy, carrying 11 terrorists, went to Ofer prison, and then on to the Beitunia checkpoint. The conveys reached their destinations after midnight.
Palestinian Authority Arabs have gathered to greet the terrorists upon their arrival. Over 1000 Arabs have gathered at the Muqata in Ramallah to greet the freed terrorists, and Palestinian Authority leader Mahmoud Abbas will be leading a welcoming ceremony.
Hamas has issued a ban on Fatah (PLO) organized celebrations in Gaza, and instead will be holding their own celebration event later in the week.
Correcting a mistake made in the many previous terrorist releases, Israel decided to use windowless vans to transport the terrorists, so at least within Israel controlled areas, they couldn’t make their victory displays to the media. Israel also released the prisoners late at night, in order to minimize attendance at the Palestinian Authority celebration parties.
The news of the sudden release of a Mexican drug kingpin implicated in the murder of a U.S. DEA agent caused outrage in Washington. The Justice Department weighed in with its “extreme disappointment” while DEA officials past and present talked of bribes and corruption. There can be little doubt that the prisoner in question was involved in illegal activity that would include his ordering the murder of an American agent, but why is the U.S. so upset?
In October of 2011, Israel—which. like Mexico, is a staunch ally of the U.S.—let to go of more than 1000 terrorists in exchange for the captured soldier Gilad Shalit. Eighteen of those released had been directly involved in the murder and maiming of American citizens in suicide bombings and other violent attacks in and around Israel.
I can guarantee you that if you do a Google search for responses to that release, you will see no anger, no outrage, no disappointment, no official questioning—the U.S. simply did not care. After years of intense effort by this terror victim in anticipation of terrorists being swapped for Shalit, the most I could muster was a request—the day before the release—from the U.S. embassy to the Israeli prime minister not to release prisoners with American blood on their hands.
Israel completely ignored the request, and the U.S. said nothing. This official U.S. apathy is bookended by the Mexican release last week and the Scottish release of the putative “Lockerbie Bomber” in 2009. In the latter case, the current Attorney General wrote a blistering letter to his Scottish counterpart on the inappropriateness of the release of the convicted mass murderer.
American victims of Palestinian terrorists did not merit such a letter to the Israeli justice minister. The most some of us received was a letter in January 2012 from Holder telling us how hard they are trying to prosecute Palestinian terrorists who killed American citizens. As of today, Washington is 0 for 72 in these cases, the latter being the number of attacks in which American citizens were killed or maimed by Palestinian terrorists since 1993. Where there is no will, there is no way.
My son and I were injured in a suicide bombing in 2002. Since 2004, I have had contact with officials in the local U.S. embassy, the FBI, the Department of Justice and the State Department. I have begged, cajoled, and pleaded that the U.S. make the prosecution of Palestinian terrorists who harmed Americans a legal priority.
If words alone were enough, every such terrorist would today be in some Super Max facility in the mainland U.S.. We have been repeatedly told that our cases are very important, the DOJ is investing resources, that the FBI is working hard, etc. Yet, in spite of dozens of possible prosecution candidates, the U.S. has not arrested, tried, prosecuted or even extradited a single Palestinian terrorist. The question is why? In the past, we have been told how hard it is to prosecute such cases without full Israeli cooperation. Yet, I think that the reasons go far deeper than technical considerations. I think that the base reason is a pro-Palestinian attitude of officials in the State Department. When I corresponded with a senior official at State, she said that the U.S. would not prosecute Marwan Barghouti, who was implicated in supplying funds for our attack. When I asked why, her response was simple: “Because the Israelis caught him.” Apparently, the official in question had never heard of extradition.
American Jews who live or visit Israel are somehow seen as being “Israeli”, some how no longer deserving of American protections and law enforcement assistance. While I hold only U.S. citizenship and while two of the women from our attack were released from their life sentences in the aforementioned release, I know that the U.S. will never prosecute them or their colleagues from our attack, even though the anti-terror laws are on my side.
The U.S. government—under both George Bush and Barack Obama—does not see me.
The Israel Prison Service has released the names of the first batch of terrorists that Israel will be releasing due to US pressure, in exchange for the Palestinian Authority to agree to talk to Israel. The captured terrorists are expected to be released in the very near future.
Twenty years ago, a soldier, a friend I met at enlistment, Yehoshua Friedberg, was murdered by Arab terrorists. The last time I saw him must have been on a Friday, I guess it was a week or so before he was murdered.
We were in Jerusalem, it was getting late. I was rushing home. I was on one side of Yafo street, and he was on the other. We waved to one another, and we continued on our way. Yehoshua was a very special person. He had gone out of his way to help me when I was having some initial difficulties in the army.
Around a week later, back on base, we heard they were organizing search parties for a missing soldier, then I heard it was Yehoshua. Then I heard they found his body.
I was just talking to another friend, Ari Fuld, who also enlisted with us. He said Yehoshua’s killer was released in the Gilad Shalit deal.
I checked again, because I saw his killer’s name on the current list. It turns out one of them was released in the Shalit deal.
But Yehoshua had two murderers.
The second is apparently now on this latest list of murderers to be released, just so Abbas will agree to talk to Netanyahu.
Ari and I were just on the phone, we were somewhere between speechlessness and voiceless rage. I’m reliving what I felt 20 years ago.
These “Palestinians” killed our friend. They should be dead, not freed to be lauded as heroes by their sick and demented society.
I am speechless. I am at a loss. I don’t have the words to express how I feel right now.
News broke out last week that the US has captured Osama Bin-Laden’s son-in-law, Sulaiman Abu Ghaith. It appears that the former Al-Qaeda spokesman was picked up as he was traveling from Turkey to Amman.
But in Amman, capital city of Jordan, resides a woman who was far more active than Abu Ghaith in killing and maiming American citizens. Ahlam Tamimi, described as a university student and part-time journalist, planned the Sbarro massacre of August 2001 in Jerusalem, and personally led the guitar-case carrying bomber to the crowded destination.
President Obama is planning to visit Israel, the Palestinian Authority, and Amman, Jordan this month. He could do a great service in the fight against terrorism by publicly committing his administration to the active prosecution of Palestinians who willfully murdered and wounded American citizens. U.S. terror victims are not asking for favors; we are asking our government to bring justice to those who have been devastated by wanton Palestinian terror funded by U.S. tax dollars.
Fifteen people were murdered in the Sbarro massive explosion, including two American citizens, and another four Americans were wounded. Tamimi was arrested, tried, and sentenced to sixteen life sentences in Israeli jail. But in October, 2011, she went free as part of the deal Israel made to release captive soldier Gilad Shalit. Today, Tamimi sits in Amman where she has her own talk show. As to her role in the bombing, one can hear it in her own words:
The story of Tamimi is the story of failed U.S. law enforcement as it should apply to Palestinian terrorists. After the murder of Leon Klinghoffer on the Achille Lauro, in 1985, the U.S. passed a set of laws to make a terror act against a U.S. citizen anywhere in the world an offense prosecutable in U.S. federal court. A summary of the laws may be found here. These laws form the basis for the extradition of terrorists and pirates, but, to date, the U.S. has never applied these laws to a Palestinian terrorist involved in the death or injury of an American citizen.
This state of affairs is not due to a lack of information: from the 1993 signing of the Oslo Accords to 2006, the tail end of the “Second Intifada,” Palestinian terrorists have murdered 54 American citizens and wounded another 84—including this author and his son—a total of 72 separate terror attacks. The FBI dutifully opened files on every attack and a new office was opened in the Department of Justice to “monitor” such cases: the Office of Justice for Victims of Overseas Terrorism (OJVOT).
If anything should be abolished during the present “sequester,” it is this office: the number of Palestinian terrorists tried since this OJVOT came into existence in 2005 is equal to the number prior to that date: Zero.
While no Palestinian terrorist has ever been extradited by the U.S., the DoJ has been busy coordinating with Israel the transfer to the U.S. of accused drug dealers and wanted criminals. Since 2004, two years after my son and I were the recipients of Palestinian shrapnel from a suicide bombing, I have begged and pleaded with U.S. officials to prosecute Palestinian terrorists. While their responses have uniformly been of sincere concern and determination (“The United States is committed to seeking justice for our citizens victimized by terrorism whether at home or abroad…”—AG Holder to this author), no Palestinian terrorist has ever been prosecuted.
When Israel was set to release hundreds of convicted terrorists in the aforementioned Shalit deal, I frantically contacted officials in the US government: the two women who brought “our” bomber to downtown Jerusalem were on the launch pad for release. The U.S. belatedly passed along to the Israeli government that no terrorist with American blood on his or her hands should be released. This note was given the day before the prisoner exchange. Needless to say, Israel ignored the request and not a word was said in Washington about the matter.
The reason is simple: Washington never expected Israel to comply, because our cases are irrelevant to the FBI and the DoJ. When the terrorists were released in exchange for the Israeli soldier, the FBI could not even figure out who got out: they could not translate the names because identity numbers were missing digits. Finally, an American lawyer who has worked harder than all of the various governmental agencies combined for U.S. terror victims, informed the FBI that 15 terrorists directly involved in the murder and maiming of American civilians walked free.
On October 17, 2011, Palestinian terrorists shot and killed Israeli Minister Rechavam “Gandhi” Ze’evi. Ze’evi was the founder of the right-wing Moledet party, and a strong advocate for finding and returning home Israel’s missing soldiers.
In 1974 Ze’evi retired from the IDF with the rank of Major General.
Among his other many accomplishments were his extensive and well-researched writings on the Land of Israel and as director of the Eretz Yisrael Museum.
Ze’evi was born in Jerusalem on June 20, 1926.
Ze’evi was killed in his Jerusalem Hyatt hotel room on Mount Scopus by Palestinian terrorists. The terrorists fled to the Palestinian Authority were they were given safe haven. Eventually the IDF captured them, and they were given life sentences in prison.
It is now official. Rachel Corrie, patron saint of the pro-terror radical left and its Islamofascist allies, essentially committed suicide in order to assist Palestinian terrorists. She was not killed in cavalier fashion by Israel. Israel had no particular reason to want her dead (as opposed to deported).
The Haifa district court last week tossed out a petition by Corrie’s clueless parents. They had sought damages and a court proclamation that Israel was at fault in their daughter’s death. Instead, Judge Oded Gershon made it very clear that Rachel Corrie was responsible for her own death.
She intentionally placed herself in harm’s way interfering with Israeli anti-terror operations in Gaza. She did so in a place where Palestinian terrorists had fired at Israeli soldiers just hours earlier. The troops were there to destroy smuggling tunnels beneath residential buildings, tunnels used to smuggle in explosives, missiles, and other weapons – you know, the things used by terrorists to murder Jewish children and other living things.
Corrie had been sent to Gaza as part of a Solidarity-with-Genocidal-Hamas-Murderers delegation organized by the pro-jihad International Solidarity Movement, which notoriously hosted two terrorists the day before they murdered several Israelis at the Mike’s Place tavern in Tel Aviv in 2003.
Corrie entered Gaza to serve as a human shield for Hamas mass murderers. On March 16, 2003 she decided to play chicken with a large Israeli earthmover. The irony is that the driver would have stopped and capitulated to Corrie’s shenanigans if he had seen her. But he did not and struck her. She later died in a Palestinian medical facility.
Since then both the totalitarian left and the goose-stepping ultra-right have beatified Corrie. She is the darling of the Iranian Holocaust deniers. A ridiculous theater play has been making the circuits proclaiming Corrie a victim rather than an accomplice of terror. The most lasting image of Corrie was that of her face contorted with rage and as she burned an American flag.
When Reuters reported that Palestinians “honored” her after her death in a “symbolic funeral” by flying U.S. flags, James Taranto of the Wall Street Journal remarked that if Corrie were still alive, no doubt she’d have burned those flags.
Since her death, Corrie’s parents have been serving as an Israel-bashing SWAT team. They frequently come to Gaza to show their support for the same Hamas terrorists their daughter served. Ironically, on one occasion the terrorists kidnapped the Corrie parents but then quickly released them when it became clear they were far more valuable assets for terrorism while they run about free. The Corries also have been leading the jihad against the Caterpillar company because it sells equipment to Israel.
When the Corrie parents began their legal assault against Israel here in Haifa, where I live, I wrote an open letter to them, an excerpt of which is still relevant:
The city of Haifa is still recovering from the trauma of the summer of 2006, when it, along with the rest of northern Israel, was targeted by thousands of Katyusha rockets, fired from southern Lebanon by Hizbullah terrorists. Haifa has also been targeted by suicide bombers who carried out mass murders against civilians in buses and restaurants. Now Haifa is about to become the victim of yet another indignity. It is to be the scene for a legal assault by the parents of Rachel Corrie….
You have stated, “She [Rachel] had been working in Rafah with a nonviolent resistance organization, the International Solidarity Movement, trying to stop the demolition of Palestinian homes and wells.”
Well, she was not. Rachel was trying to prevent the demolition of tunnels used to smuggle weapons for Palestinian terrorists seeking to murder Jewish civilians. Your daughter was in a war zone as a belligerent, on behalf of a movement of Arab fascists seeking to destroy Israel and murder as many Jews as possible.
You demand that we feel your pain at the loss of your daughter, yet your daughter conscripted herself as an accomplice for those seeking to murder my children. You feel no pain for the scores of martyrs in my own city of Haifa murdered by those same terrorists.
You write, “Clearly, our daughter has become a positive symbol for people.”