Photo Credit: courtesy
Malki Roth (HY'D)

Rehavam Ze’evi may have been in favor of transfer—but not the kind where the mastermind of his own murder gets transferred from Israel to Jordan. A member of Knesset, Ze’evi, also known as “Ghandi,” was gunned down in 2001. The man who planned his assassination, Majdi Rahima Rimawi, was sentenced to life in 2008. Now Rimawi’s name appears on a very long list of prisoners with blood on their hands, said to be slated for release to Jordan in exchange for four Israeli captives in Gaza, two of whom are dead.

This is difficult to fathom. How has it come to the point where the Israeli government would even consider releasing the man behind the murder of one of their own: an Israeli member of parliament? In fact, in their sentencing of Hamid Quran, a member of the team that assassinated Ze’evi, the three-judge Israeli panel pointed out the exceptional nature of the killing, “Murdering a minister differs from murdering an ordinary citizen by the fact that it constitutes direct harm to a symbol of the State and harms its sovereignty.”

Former Tourism Minister Rechavam Ze’evi

Now it appears that this symbol of State and sovereignty has no more meaning.

Rimawi’s name draws one’s attention because of his involvement in the murder of an MK. But the long list of prisoners to be released also includes Abdullah Barghouti. Barghouti made the guitar bomb that was used to blow up the Sbarro restaurant, the attack in which American citizen Malki Roth was murdered. Malki was 15. But she was not Barghouti’s only victim.

From Ynet:

Among the prisoners slated for transfer to Jordan is Abdullah Barghouti, who was convicted and sentenced to 67 life sentences and an additional 5,200 years in prison for his involvement in attacks that resulted in the deaths of numerous Israelis and the injury of hundreds of others during the second Intifada from 2000-2004.

In the case of the Sbarro attack, Barghouti’s bomb was transported to the site by his relative, Ahlam al-Tamimi, a beast who crows with delight over the number of Jewish children she has killed. Her crowing is done in Jordan, where she is celebrated by Jordanian society for having murdered so many Jewish children. Tamimi and a further 1,026 other prisoners were exchanged for a single Israeli prisoner: Gilad Shalit. This time we’ll get four kidnapped Israelis, two of them already dead.

It was Arnold Roth who reminded me of the prisoner exchange, in response to a tweet in which I held America responsible for not bringing Tamimi to justice.


As Roth was quick to point out, no one is without blame in regard to the lack of will or caring to do anything about Tamimi, a terrorist on the FBI most wanted list. It’s not only America, but Israel too, that indulges King Abdullah. And it’s an unfathomable betrayal of Jewish victims by the Jewish State.

The White House wines and dines King Abdullah, but apparently says diddly-squat about his refusal to honor the US/Jordan extradition treaty.

We know what will happen. The terrorists will be released to Jordan where they’ll spend a bit of symbolic time in Jordanian prison cells before they are pardoned by the king and freed. We cannot even blame the planned prisoner exchange on the outgoing Israeli government as it appears Netanyahu was briefed and seems to be onboard with the plan, thus far.

More from Ynet:

According to a source close to incoming Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, the details of the plan to release Hamas prisoners and secure the release of the bodies of Israeli soldiers and civilian captives being held by Hamas in Gaza are known to Netanyahu.

The source also indicated that the incoming prime minister is not opposed to the plan in principle, and that it will be discussed in the political and security cabinet of the new government for further consideration and decision-making. The plan was reportedly formulated by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), Mossad (Israel’s intelligence agency), and representatives from Aman (military intelligence) in the Israel Defense Forces.

Perhaps the incoming prime minister is not opposed to the plan because he’s responsible for setting precedent with the Shalit deal–after writing in his book that prisoner exchanges are a terrible idea.

From the Jerusalem Post:

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu warned against exchanging terrorists for kidnapped soldier in his 1995 book, Fighting Terrorism, writing that it was “a mistake that Israel made over and over again” and that refusing to release terrorists from prison was “among the most important policies that must be adopted in the face of terrorism.”

“The release of convicted terrorists before they have served their full sentences seems like an easy and tempting way of defusing blackmailed situations in which innocent people may lose their lives, but its utility is momentary at best,” Netanyahu wrote. “Prisoner releases only embolden terrorists by giving them the feeling that even if they are caught, their punishment will be brief. Worse, by leading terrorists to think such demands are likely to be met, they encourage precisely the terrorist blackmail they are supposed to defuse.”

Here is the Arab-language report from Arabi21, where Roth tells me Tamimi briefly had her own opinion column (better photos of the Hebrew documents signed by a prisoner on December 5th, below the report):


Until now, the prisoner exchange has only been whispered about, with media reports short on details. The Arabi21 article changes everything by appearing to confirm that the release is already a done deal. Done, that is, with Israel. “In my opinion the emphasis in the story is a horrifying one,” said Roth. “This is a deal that has evidently been done with Israel. No one has spoken about it from an Israeli point of view, but the documents make the rumors, no longer rumors.”


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Blogger and mother of 12, Varda Meyers Epstein is a third-generation Pittsburgher who made aliyah at age 18 and never looked back. A proud settler who lives in the biblical Judean heartland, Varda serves as the communications writer for the nonprofit car donation program Kars4Kids, a Guidestar Gold medal charity. The author's political opinions are her own and not endorsed by her employer.