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April 24, 2014 / 24 Nisan, 5774
At a Glance

Posts Tagged ‘shalit’

Who Killed Sgt. Tomer Hazan?

Monday, September 23rd, 2013

Last Friday morning, Nadal Amar, 42, a resident of the Arab city of Kalkilya who worked in a fast food restaurant in the Jewish city of Bat Yam, talked his fellow employee, IDF Sergeant Tomer Hazan, 20, to come visit him at his home, over in the area under Palestinian Authority rule. They took a taxi together, stopped outside the Jewish town of Sha’arey Tikva in Judea and Samaria, and proceeded on foot to an open area outside the Arab village of Sanniriya. Shortly thereafter, Hazan was thrown into a water hole and died. Investigators suspect that he was not killed before being thrown in, but rather it was the fall that caused his death.

The distinction is important, because, according to Hazan’s abductor, Amar, his purpose in luring Hazan to his side of the “green line” was to use him as a bargaining chip in getting his terrorist brother released from Israeli jail.

Amar had a very good reason to do what he did: it is a well established Israeli government policy that Israel will always negotiate with terrorists, and will always—without exception—be willing to let go of hordes of Arab murderers, sometime in exchange for an abducted citizen, sometime in exchange for the dead bodies of fallen Israeli soldiers, and on occasion simply as a good will gesture. When an Arab murders a Jew anywhere in Israel and is lucky enough not to get killed during the act, he knows he would never serve out the full sentence imposed on him. And to get out he doesn’t even need to show good behavior, much less remorse – he just needs to wait for a good abduction.

This policy of letting go of busloads of murderers was always part of Israel’s insane policy of respecting the rights of Arabs to a fault while treating Israeli citizens like human trash. But it was carved in stone, for eternity, with the support of the vast majority of Israeli media, on October 18, 2011. Back then, 1,027 Palestinian prisoners were released to obtain the release of the Hamas abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.

Some of the released in that infamous deal had been convicted of multiple murders of Israeli civilians. According to Israeli government sources, they were collectively responsible for 569 Israeli deaths.

When my government releases the murderers of 569 citizens as part of a negotiation with terrorists, what does that say about the value it accords those 569 victims? Simple: they don’t exist, they’re merely the price of getting the next political reward – and my prime minister decided to sweep away the memory of those victims in exchange for the life of a very popular young man at the time, IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit.

I have more sympathy for No’am Shalit, Gilad’s father, who led a relentless crusade for the release of his boy. I actually admire his resourcefulness, his sheer energy. It was a father’s love in action. But I did not appreciate the demonizing of those who objected to the astonishingly uneven proposed prisoner exchange (analyst Dan Schueftan called the swap “the greatest significant victory for terrorism that Israel has made possible.”). There were sound reasons for exceptionally sane people to oppose the exchange, and the media, taking its cues from Shalit Sr. presented them as heartless and, worse, right wing extremists.

But if the PM did it because he gave in to media pressure, and No’am Shalit did it for love of his son, the third culprit in this story, Jerusalem Post writer Gershon Baskin did it with unhidden joy, to advance his political agenda.

Baskin, an adviser on the peace process to prime ministers Yitzhak Rabin and Ehud Barak, and founding Co-Chairman of the Israel Palestine Center for Research and Information, negotiated through secret back channels for the Gilad Shalit swap.

Baskin’s book, “Free Gilad,” relates those secret negotiations. For more than five years, the NY born Baskin “dedicated and risked his life towards achieving a goal that had both national and human significance, to redeem the life of a human being who was confined in captivity.”

As a society — and a vast majority of Israelis, duped by their media, supported the Shalit exchange rate of one innocent Jew for more than 1,000 Jew killers — we have shown a deep disdain for the value of Jewish life. Our enemies are tenacious in their labor to free their own, blood on hands and all, while we are showing, day in and day out, that we do not honor our living or our dead.

I am deeply ashamed of my country today.

Killed Arab was Released in Shalit Deal

Monday, August 26th, 2013

At least one of the Arabs killed this morning, after attacking an Israeli Border Police jeep in the Qalandiya refugee camp, was possibly a terrorist released in one of the prisoner releases.

Younis Jahjouh, 23, who was killed this morning, is believed to to be the same Younis Jahjouh who was released in the Shalit deal in 2011, when Israel released 500 terrorists to purchase the freedom of Gilad Shalit from Hamas in Gaza.

A second Arab killed this morning is also suspected to have been released in one of the deals, but JewishPress.com has not corroborated the name yet to a specific release.

Abbas’s Threat and Denial at the WEF

Monday, May 27th, 2013

Today’s Haaretz quotes the president of the Palestinian Authority (elected in 2005 to a term that expired on January 15, 2009) Mahmoud Abbas speaking to the World Economic Forum meeting on the Jordanian shore of the Dead Sea this evening:

“Do you want us to abduct other Shalits? This is not part of our culture.”

There’s a context to the issuing of this threat. Abbas, the de facto head of one of the two Palestinian Arab statelets, devoted part of this evening’s speech to lamenting the refusal of Israel to negotiate on two specific issues: Palestinian Arab refugees, and Palestinian Arab prisoners.

On “refugees,” Abbas says the Israelis tell him “…only that we don’t want to talk about this issue.” And concerning prisoners, he says the Israeli side tells him “Why should we release these prisoners for free?’ [Source: Haaretz]

There’s a context as well to the difficulties that peace-loving Mahmoud Abbas keeps running into.

Six weeks ago, the Palestinian Ma’an News Agency laid out Abbas’s preconditions to getting into negotiations with the Israelis. In “Abbas tells Kerry: We are committed to peace“, they are listed as:

* “Settlements could not be tolerated, particularly Israel’s planned E1 settlement project which would divide the West Bank and isolate Jerusalem.”
* “There would be no return to negotiations without a settlement freeze… The PLO would only return to negotiations with Israel if it stopped building illegal settlements…”
* “…And released all prisoners, particularly those detained before the Oslo Accords were signed.”
* “Abbas also wants Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to present a map of the borders of a future Palestinian state before talks can resume… [He] wants to know, through a map to be presented by Benjamin Netanyahu to [US Secretary of State John] Kerry, what the prime minister’s view of a two-state solution would be, especially the borders…”
* “Any return to negotiations requires Netanyahu to agree on 1967 borders,” his political adviser Nimr Hammad said, referring in fact not to borders but to the 1949 ceasefire lines.

In that same week, a Jerusalem Post article “Kerry in another bid to get Israel, P.A. to talk” quoted two additional demands that Abbas has placed as preconditions to re-starting negotiations with Israel:

* “That Israel hand control over parts of Area C in the West Bank” to the P.A. “Under the terms of the Oslo Accords, Area C of the West Bank is under Israel’s exclusive control.”
* Israel must “promise to refrain from withholding Palestinians’ tax revenues in the future.”

None of these are put forward as the goals of peace negotiation. They are all pre-starting points, conditions to walking into the room.

Small wonder that even in the politest of diplomatic circles, Abbas sees no reason to refrain from the threat to carry out additional acts of hostage taking. It’s hard enough for the great man to live with the morale-boosting public opinion coup achieved by his despised rivals from Hamas when they secured the release of 1,027 seasoned terrorists, the large majority of them convicted of murder and conspiracy to murder.

It’s sadly familiar to hear Abbas invoking cultural values that reject kidnapping and hostage-taking while threatening to do exactly that. And worth noting that the Google search term “kidnapped by Palestinian” currently produces more than 660,000 hits.

Visit This Ongoing War.

An Appalling Critique of Gilad Shalit

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

I don’t know who this character Ben Caspit is. But I have absolutely no respect for him. What he has done – no doubt in the safety of his own office – is write a hit piece on Gilad Shalit (published in the Jerusalem Post, March 28). I can think of little else more appalling than ripping into a man who while serving his country was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists for 5 years.

Admitting that he was opposed to the deal that freed him and asserting that the jury is still out about whether it was the right thing to do – he goes into detail about the circumstances of Shalit’s capture. Based on Shalit’s own detailed account he hammers away at how this could have all been prevented had Shalit done his duty properly.

How a man sitting in an office can criticize someone who sat in a prison for 5 years fearing he could be be-headed at a moment’s notice – is beyond me. It is beyond Mentchlich in fact.

His criticism amounts to Shalit’s dereliction of duty in that he did not follow procedure during the attack. Had he done so, Caspit says – the entire episode may have been prevented. That’s easy for him to say. He was not under rocket attack when he made these judgmental comments. Shalit and his fellow soldiers in that tank were under deadly attack. Can Caspit say that he would have acted any differently?

Taking advantage of Shalit’s soul searching debriefing by the military – Caspit reports that by Shalit’s own admission he did not pay attention to details provided by his tank commander. He simply relied on him and would follow any order by him based on his knowledge. But even if he had known the details- it is not that uncommon for people to panic when they are under attack. No matter how much training they had. In fact the tank commander panicked and did not follow procedure either. By leaving his tank he got himself killed. Shalit stayed in the tank and his life was spared.

Caspit says that he could have notified nearby troops or used the weapons in his tank that were still operational… or just come out of the tank with ‘guns ablazin’ …and that could have very well taken care of the situation. He decided not to do any that. And instead was ultimately captured.

All easy for Caspit to say. But Shalit had no way of knowing how many attackers there were or whether they too had nearby reinforcements. He believed that if he had left his tank firing he would have been killed by an overwhelming force outside the tank. He decided to stay put and not resist by force. And because of this his life was spared; he was captured… and ultimately released.

One can debate whether Shalit did the right thing or not. In my view saving his own life was paramount. So whatever action he took in that vein was the right thing to do. One could argue that he should have died trying to resist being captured. I think that’s what Caspit was getting at – without actually saying so. But… let him walk a mile in Shalit’s shoes and see what he does then.

Today one and a half years after his release, I am proud to say that I supported the deal that got him released. I cried out for any deal that would save Shalit’s life – a Jewish life involved in serving his country in dangerous ways.

I strongly urged the Israeli government do whatever it took (short of actual murder) to ascertain his release Even in the face of strong criticism by those who felt the price for saving Shalit’s life was too high. The claim was made that the danger that terrorism would increase and more people would die as a result did not deter me.

Releasing all of those Palestinian prisoners – some with blood on their hands in exchange for his release was a scary thought. But not as scary as allowing an innocent soldier to remain in captivity in enemy hands. A cutthroat enemy. Literally. Prime Minister Netanyahu did the right thing. He authorized the exchange and saved a young soldier’s life. A young soldier that clearly was put in harm’s way to guard the border between Gaza and Israel.

What about all the predicted fallout by the naysayers? Didn’t happen! Could it still? Sure. World War III could break out too. But neither of those have happened and the more time passes the less likely that the release of those prisoners will have anything to do with anything bad.

Caspit says that despite his opposition to the deal that gained Shalit’s freedom, he teared when Shalit was actually set free by his terrorist captors. What human being with a heart didn’t have those feelings? I sure did. Caspit showed his humanity then. He should have stopped while he was ahead!

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Redeeming the Captives and Jonathan Pollard

Sunday, March 17th, 2013

There is, to the outside world, something a bit incomprehensible about Jews. Most of the world cannot grasp what idiocy would bring Israel to exchange 1,000 prisoners (and yes, among them hundreds of terrorists and murderers) for the life of one person, a young soldier of no worth in terms of security or military knowledge. The sum value of Gilad Shalit’s life was simply that he was one of ours.

By contrast, here in Israel, though we knew it was a stupid and dangerous exchange, it was never something incomprehensible. Rather, it was completely understood, if not something logical. This is what we were commanded to do, above sanity at time, certainly coming within inches of danger to ourselves. We are not supposed to cross the line of endangering ourselves, but even that line blurs as the desperation to bring out own home grows.

We brought Gilad home – others may well die as a result. Perhaps even this past week, as a young child is in very critical condition because the car in which she was riding was stoned. No one regrets for a moment that Gilad is finally home, finally free. We celebrate each victory he claims on his journey to live his life and take back what was stolen from him. I don’t know if what we did was right, but it was good, and it was needed.

And we as a people continue, as we did with Gilad, always aware that there are others out there still held in captivity. Once it was millions – Russian Jews not allowed to emigrate. We protested, we demonstrated, we demanded, we bargained…until the doors of the former Soviet Union opened and more than a million came out. They are part of Israel now and everywhere mixed in with Hebrew, you hear Russian…or at least Russian accented Hebrew and we know that what we did was good, right, needed.

And there were Jews in Ethiopia and Yemen – and we flew planes to bring them home. Jews in Iran that still need to be brought home, though very few. Jews in Syria who have been smuggled in and even Jews from France, who are coming home. And we know that all our efforts are good and right and needed.

And there is a Jew in the United States. Yes, there is. He is a captive and unfairly so. The price he is paying is not for the crime he committed. There was a price to be paid – and he paid it, but he was betrayed by those with whom he made an agreement. It is to their shame that Jonathan Pollard is still in jail, not his. He has done his time and amazingly enough, the vast majority who condemn him – don’t actually know what he was convicted of doing.

You can’t imprison someone for what you think they did, not even for what you know he did. If you respect American law, than you must accept that Jonathan Pollard was sentenced for committing a crime that, on average, results in a sentence of 3-5 years. He has served more than 28 years.

President Obama wants to come to Israel this week and as recent poll showed 79% of Israelis want to see Obama get off the plane with Pollard. There are few things on which you can get 79% of Israelis to agree and given that approximately 20% of the population is Arab and would presumably not be in favor of Pollard being released, that amounts to an almost complete agreement.

The overwhelming feeling among those I know is very simple. There is really nothing to be gained by Obama’s visit. It will be a nightmare of traffic and delays for Israelis a critical week before the Passover holidays. Many of our relatives are flying in or out of the country – honestly, who needs this?

If…IF he were bringing Pollard home, we would greet him with the respect due the President of the United States, even though personally we know he is far from a friend of Israel. We will listen to the nonsense and unfair position he will spout, how WE should do this and WE should do that. We would ignore his pressuring us and ignoring endless violence by the Palestinians.

Freed Terrorists Caught Plotting Murder of Jews

Wednesday, March 6th, 2013

From a distance, it’s possible to live with the delusion that the terrorist attacks on Israel’s civilians are at an end or at least in some sort of quiet mode. But as we keep reporting here, the truth is far more dangerous and threatening than that misconception.

Via a statement on the IDF website posted yesterday (Monday), it was reported that at some undisclosed time in the recent past the Shin Bet working with the army exposed the workings of a terror cell in the Hebron area.

Several individuals were arrested, and as in previous such busts it turns out that the ring leader was (a) operating by remote control from far away and (b) had been set free in the unjust and deplorable Shalit Transaction in October/December 2011.

Three terrorist names are given in the IDF bulletin: Manjed Musa Diab Junidi, 23, said to be the leader and recruiter of the cell, released in the 2011 Shalit deal and deported to the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip;  Muhammad Hassan Rajab Abu Sahidem, 25, who confessed to preparing pipe bombs and shooting and explosive devices in preparation for an attack on Israelis; Anas Rateb Ahmad Davik, 23, a foot soldier in the cell. The three are charged with membership of an illegal organisation, conspiracy to commit murder, and with firearms and explosives offences.

Junidi was being directed from Gaza by Bassel Hashem Abd al-Fatah al-Haymuni (at AFP, they call him Bassel Haymouni; at Times of Israel, Basel Himouni) who remains free. Al-Haymuni was prisoner number 329 in Phase One of the Shalit Round of released murders and other terrorists. He had been arrested in 2004 and convicted of attempted murder and sentenced to 23 years imprisonment, of which he served a mere seven, and now he is well and truly back in business.

Visit This Ongoing War.

The Shalit Deal Continues to Haunt Us

Tuesday, December 11th, 2012

The following snippet from a longer Ynet analysis today of the worsening security situation in the Judea and Samaria districts underlines what we have been saying since the October 2011 deal between Israel and the terrorist Hamas regime was consummated in October 2011.

The IDF and Shin Bet’s near-complete intelligence network in the area has enabled the arrest of five terror cells in the Ramallah sector in the past four months alone, all of which were planning to abduct soldiers. The defense establishment believes the timing was not coincidental, as all of the plots were set to be executed on or around the anniversary marking the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in the Shalit deal. The coming weeks will see dozens of former Palestinian prisoners return to the area, after the term of their imposed exile – stipulated in the deal – will end. [More]

Over at the excellent Elder of Ziyon blog, there’s a fresh report that sharpens the point:

The father of the imprisoned terrorist Abdullah Barghouti says that that his son told him that Khaled Meshaal plans a “surprise” on the issue of prisoners in Israeli jails, without giving further details. The father said in an interview with Al-Quds TV morning this morning that his son told him the surprise will be revealed at the right time. According to him, Meshal told the mother of another prisoner, Hassan Salameh, during a meeting with families of prisoners on Sunday: “I swear to God, I swear to God, I swear to God, a plan to free all the prisoners in safety.” [More]

This Barghouti (several murdering terrorists have the same surname) is the one who assembled the explosive guitar case that murdered our daughter in the 2001 Sbarro massacre. The Hamas regime that controls Gaza proudly claimed, and continues to claim, credit for that slaughter of children.

There is abundant and growing cause to deeply regret the extorted decision that led to October 2011′s mass release of unrepentant killers and other terrorists from Israeli prisons.

Visit This Ongoing War.

Noam Shalit’s First Political Interview

Monday, March 19th, 2012

Noam Shalit, father of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, has decided to enter politics. Shalit campaigned for his son’s release during Gilad’s five year captivity, leading to the controversial exchange of Gilad in return for 1,027 Palestinians, the highest price Israel has ever paid for one soldier. In January, less than three months after Gilad’s release, Noam stood at a press conference next to Labor’s new leader, Shelly Yachimovich, and announced his candidacy for a spot in the next elections as an MK on Labor’s list. Since that time, Shalit has been meeting voters and campaigning –  but has refused to conduct interviews. The first interview of his campaign aired this week on Channel 10. The 37-minute interview was enlightening, to say the least.

Shalit had trouble addressing his positions on key issues or on what ticket he will be running. He refused to discuss Iran or security in general. At one point he candidly confessed that he does not have an answer as to why he is worthy to be an MK. He said that he is still learning the issues so he does not yet have established positions nor a clear picture of what he wants to change. He did stress that he supports increasing the resources given to the North and South and in strengthening the education there.

Addressing the issue of religion and the state, he said he supports a full separation, but made a major gaffe when he praised Israel’s civil marriage system. The interviewer corrected Shalit, informing him that there was no civil marriage framework in Israel, and that people who want to marry civilly must fly to Cyprus. Shalit admitted he had a lot to learn.

In discussing Hamas, Shalit announced that he would talk with them if they agreed to it, and he would even shake the hands of Gilad’s kidnappers, also saying he would kidnap Israeli soldiers if he was a Palestinian. His advice for future captives’ parents was to fight politically, through the media,  and not wait for the government to take action.

Shalit sees no problem running against Netanyahu – the man who made the decision to free his son. He was very critical of Netanyahu and insisted that the PM was not solely responsible for the release of Gilad, and did not deserve all of the credit. He charged that Netanyahu only released his son because the polls showed that 70-80% of the public supported the deal. He criticized both former Prime Minister Olmert and Netanyahu for not having the courage to take a better deal earlier in the process. He stated that he would have implemented collective punishment in Gaza until Gilad was released. He did note that Olmert told him that he would not return Gilad, and that Netanyahu promised to return Gilad in their first meeting. But he charged that Netanyahu was part of the government that was responsible for Gilad’s captivity, which was another gaffe – since Gilad was captured in 2006 during Kadima Prime Minister Olmert’s term, when Likud was in the opposition. His criticism of Netanyahu was not limited to his son’s captivity, as he attacked Netanyahu’s handling of the Carmel fire as well.

He conceded that Yachimovich never visited the Shalit tent, nor active in pushing for Gilad’s release, but said that this did not matter. He rejected claims that he was an opportunist, saying if he was he would have run for a spot in Likud. He said that he thinks Yachimovich picked him because of his activities and not because of his last name, but agreed that if he ran in 10 years he would be irrelevant. He found it very important to stress he will not use Gilad to get votes.

He admitted that Gilad doesn’t want to write a book, but that he is pushing him to do it because he feels it is important to have Gilad’s story heard. In a sensitive moment, he confessed that the death of his twin brother in captivity was what moved him to launch a high-profile campaign for releasing Gilad. He said that he is not upset by former Shas Minister Ben Izri’s statement that Ben Izri had it worse in jail than Gilad had in captivity. He also stated that the rumors about him having a French lover did not bother him and he summarily dismissed them.

Towards the end of the interview there was a segment in which he spoke to Labor party voters at an event. They interviewed attendees after, and their feedback was less than positive.

Following Noam Shalit’s first public in-depth political interview, it’s understandable why he waited so long to have one. The Israeli public in general and the Labor party members in particular got a chance to see a different side of the man they previously knew only as ‘Gilad’s father’. The internal Labor election could be over a year away, and from Shalit’s perspective it would seem the later the better.

The full interview, courtesy of Israel Channel 10 TV

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/knesset/knesset-corner/noam-shalits-first-political-interview/2012/03/19/

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