Israel’s darkest week

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The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's liquidation sale of Israel's strategic assets opened officially this week. Iran's proxies have pounced on the merchandise.

The first asset sold was the security of southern Israel. The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's "cease-fire" with Hamas transferred all power to determine the fate of the residents of southern Israel to Iran's Palestinian proxy.

Under the "agreement," Hamas will refrain from attacking Sderot, Ashkelon, Netivot and surrounding kibbutzim for as long as it serves its interests. Since temporarily halting its attacks on southern Israel is the only thing that Hamas has agreed to do, it will use the lull in fighting to build up its arsenal and its military infrastructures in Gaza. When it has built up its forces sufficiently, or when its Iranian overlords give it the order, Hamas will again attack southern Israel. And when it reengages, it can be assumed that it will do so with a vastly expanded missile range. So under the guise of the "cease-fire," Hamas will place hundreds of thousands more Israelis at its mercy.

The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's agreement with Hamas does more than sell out the security of the South. The agreement also divests Israel of its former ability to isolate Hamas diplomatically. Fatah's renewal of negotiations toward reconciling with Hamas is a direct consequence of Israel's actions. As these talks unfold, it is clear to all concerned that they will not lead to any sort of power sharing agreement between the two parties. Hamas today holds all the power in Palestinian society. Israel's acceptance of Hamas's power over the safety of Israeli citizens only amplified this fact. Fatah leader Mahmoud Abbas – who cannot even travel to Nablus without IDF protection – is not approaching Hamas as an equal, but as a supplicant.

Moreover, Israel's willingness to allow Gazans to enter Israel, and its acceptance of Hamas's control over the Rafah international terminal that separates Gaza from Egypt, constitutes de facto Israeli recognition of the Hamas regime in Gaza. And the direct consequence of Israel's diplomatic and strategic capitulation to Hamas is that no one in either the Arab world or the West today will agree to isolate or boycott Hamas.

But the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government apparently doesn't care. Israel's leaders actually don't want anyone to isolate or boycott Hamas anymore. The government's reported negotiations regarding the deployment of an all-Arab "peacekeeping" force in Gaza in a later phase of the "cease-fire" make clear that Israel is pushing for Hamas's international legitimization.

After all, unlike Israel, Hamas would never allow any government that doesn't recognize its legitimacy to deploy forces in its territory or along its borders. So any Arab force that deployed in Gaza or along Gaza's borders would have to recognize Hamas's regime. Beyond that, of course, Israel's advocacy of such a force indicates that the government has no interest in ever confronting Hamas militarily and is ready to tie the hands of any future Israeli government to do so since the presence of Arab forces in Gaza will render it much more difficult for Israel to defend itself. For if such a force is deployed, any future counter-terror operation in Gaza is liable to cause casualties among foreign Arab soldiers and so risk escalating the conflict to the level of regional war.

Israel's decision to embrace Hamas is so outrageous that even the US State Department apparently hasn't had a chance to get its bearings. Reacting to the news on Wednesday, State Department deputy spokesman Tom Casey said, "Saying you've got a loaded gun to my head but you're not going to fire today is far different from taking the gun down, locking it up, and saying you're not going to use it again." The agreement "hardly takes Hamas out of the terrorism business," Casey added.

The "cease-fire" with Hamas also has direct implications for Judea and Samaria. If Hamas holds its fire for six months, then Israel will be obliged to end its counter-terror operations in Judea and Samaria. That is, if Hamas keeps its powder dry until January, Israel will effectively enable it to assert its control over Judea and Samaria and so place Iran in control of the outskirts of Jerusalem, Kfar Saba, Afula and Netanya.

IF THE US was aghast at the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's capitulation to Hamas, UN officials are aghast at its second asset drop. This week the government conducted its second round of negotiations toward the surrender of the Golan Heights to Syria. Speaking of the surrender talks to a group of Israeli diplomats, Terje Roed-Larsen, the UN Secretary General's Special Envoy for the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, condemned the move, arguing just by holding the negotiations, "Israel has given Syria a huge gift, without thus far receiving anything in exchange."

Larsen continued bitterly, "Syria is receiving legitimacy for free. Europe is courting the Syrians because of the negotiations with Israel, and they are no longer being asked to give anything in exchange."

Indeed, far from moderating their behavior, the Syrians seem only to have strengthened their already intimate ties with Iran since Israel initiated the surrender talks last month. Reacting to the second round of talks, Iran's Ambassador to Syria, Sayyed Ahmed Moussavi, told a German news agency that Iranian-Syrian ties have strengthened still further over the past four months. Moussavi, who also serves as a general in Iran's Revolutionary Guards and as a senior adviser to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, hinted that Iran is planning on sharing its nuclear arsenal with Syria. As he put it, "Islam taught us to pass on our knowledge and we can pass our [nuclear] experience to Syria if it wants it."

In its rush to obliterate Israel's defensive positions, the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government apparently doesn't care that Iran may well attack Israel with nuclear warheads launched from a post-withdrawal Golan Heights. What is most important to the government is to make Syria look good. And so, following the second round of negotiations with the Syrians, Olmert practically got down on his hands and knees to beg Assad to meet with him face to face when they visit Paris together next month. The two have been invited by French President Nicholas Sarkozy to participate in the launch of his Mediterranean Union initiative on July 13. Assad, no doubt enjoying the moment, rejected Olmert's pleas. As Larsen warned, Assad has no reason to pay for something he is already getting for free.

APPARENTLY, THE Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government couldn't suffice with capitulation on three fronts in one week. And so it moved to a fourth one. Far from displaying alarm or anger over US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's decision to visit Beirut and give the US's blessing to the new Hizbullah-controlled Lebanese government, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert joined her defeatist bandwagon. He announced that he wishes to open negotiations with Iran's Lebanese proxy and to that end he is willing to surrender strategically critical Mount Dov – or what Hizbullah refers to as Shaba Farms – to Hizbullah. So eager is Olmert to surrender, that even after Hizbullah's puppet Prime Minister Fuad Saniora rejected his offer, he reiterated it.

Like Assad and Hamas, Hizbullah sees no reason to honor Olmert and his colleagues with direct talks. As Hizbullah parliamentarian Nawar Sahili said this week, "If they really want to give us back our land, they can withdraw."

Finally, there is the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's handling of the Israeli soldiers being held hostage by Hamas and Hizbullah. The government agreed to the "cease-fire" with Ha
mas without securing Gilad Schalit's release from captivity. Rather than acknowledge that they have likely signed his death warrant, the government insists that it's not done capitulating. It will begin begging Hamas to accept hundreds of Palestinian murderers jailed in Israeli prisons in exchange for Schalit next Tuesday.

As for Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, who were kidnapped to Lebanon by Hizbullah two years ago and haven't been heard from since, the Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government is poised to spring arch-murderer Samir Kuntar from prison together with three other Hizbullah terrorists in exchange for their release – dead or alive.

In a naked attempt to divert the public's attention away from its surrender drive, Thursday morning the government initiated a violent confrontation with Israeli residents of Samaria by ordering the destruction of homes in the community of Yitzhar. In other words, while surrendering to Iranian proxies on four fronts, the government has turned its guns against Israeli citizens.

THE GOVERNMENT'S actions no doubt increase prospects for a major war. But beyond that, it is important to note that Israel is discarding its strategic assets in the face of the burgeoning threat of nuclear annihilation.

No doubt buoyed by the government's strategic incapacitation, Iran mockingly told the Europeans that it will be happy to consider their European-American offer to build Iran nuclear reactors and normalize relations with it – so long as it is understood that they will accept their largesse while continuing their uranium enrichment activities.

In Israel's 60-year history, there is no precedent for the government's actions this week. And if history is any guide, Israel can only expect more of the same in the government's remaining time in office – however long that might be.

Until Olmert was elected prime minister in 2006, Defense Minister Ehud Barak enjoyed the distinction of being the worst prime minister in Israeli history. And Barak's behavior in his waning days in power is instructive for understanding what we can expect from Olmert and Livni and Barak today.

In July 2000, after he lost a no-confidence vote in the Knesset, Barak went to Camp David and shot for the moon, offering PLO chieftain Yasser Arafat a state in all of Gaza, 90 percent of Judea and Samaria and parts of Jerusalem. Arafat rejected his offer and went to war. Facing the rejection of the Israeli electorate at the polls, rather than curtail his capitulation efforts, Barak redoubled them. As Arafat's soldiers were busy blowing up buses and lynching Israeli soldiers, Barak offered Arafat still more land in Judea and Samaria and the Temple Mount.

And today, with Barak at his side, Olmert – who similarly has been rejected by the electorate – is repeating Barak's move fourfold. And he can be expected to continue on this course until elections are held and he is sent packing.

Next week the Knesset is expected to vote on a motion to disband and move to general elections. It is far from clear that the vote will pass. Barak and his Labor Party may well decide that capitulation suits them just fine and remain on board Olmert and Livni's sinking ship.

As the Israeli public stares at the wreckage and danger that has marked this disastrous week, hopefully it understands that this is what happens when we elect bad leaders. All of this was eminently predictable in 2006 when Kadima and Labor both ran for office on capitulationist platforms. Choices have consequences. And we will be suffering with the consequences of the 2006 elections until its winners are finally thrown from office.

Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.

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11 Comments

  • Phil S 06/20/2008 at 17:29

    When I saw the title “Darkest Week” I wondered which one she was referring to. There are certainly many candidates. Just in the last few years we had the expulsion of Jews from Gaza, the government mugging of Jews in Amona, the jailing of anyone who opposes these things and the jailing of any Jew who defends himself, while Arab murderers are given free reign. I guess this week is the natural outcome of those items.

    Reply
  • Marcel Cousineau 06/20/2008 at 17:54

    Never Again, All Over Again.
    I hope the average Israeli is aware that because of their indifference to corrupt ,godless and faithless leadership that another holocaust is on the way and not peace.
    Sadly the just shall suffer becasue of the unjust.
    Where is the revolt ,the arresting and triial for treason of these kapo’s who rule Israel to destruction ?
    How many times could a segment of Israel arisen enmasse and demanded the end of this defeatist corrupt capitulating government and yet evil Olmert continues on with impunity the same failed criminal appeasment and surrender.
    The nation of Israel gets the leaders they deserve,a faithless,sodomy embracing,baby killing nation wich imitates their U.S. gods get’s evil leaders who for sure bring great disaster upon the land.
    The land of Israel will be cleansed of Kadima,Labor and spineless Likud as with the many other idols which fill the land.
    How sad that it will take another catastrophe to get the Jewish people to give up on their false god’s and their failed peace plans and return to Hashem.
    ‘Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared.Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him not; for he will not pardon your transgressions: for my name is in him. But if thou shalt indeed obey his voice, and do all that I speak; then I will be an enemy unto thine enemies, and an adversary unto thine adversaries. For mine Angel shall go before thee, and bring thee in unto the Amorites, and the Hittites, and the Perizzites, and the Canaanites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites: and I will cut them off. Thou shalt not bow down to their gods, nor serve them, nor do after their works: but thou shalt utterly overthrow them, and quite break down their images. And ye shall serve the LORD your God, and he shall bless thy bread, and thy water; and I will take sickness away from the midst of thee. There shall nothing cast their young, nor be barren, in thy land: the number of thy days I will fulfil. I will send my fear before thee, and will destroy all the people to whom thou shalt come, and I will make all thine enemies turn their backs unto thee. And I will send hornets before thee, which shall drive out the Hivite, the Canaanite, and the Hittite, from before thee. I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beast of the field multiply against thee. By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land. And I will set thy bounds from the Red sea even unto the sea of the Philistines, and from the desert unto the river: for I will deliver the inhabitants of the land into your hand; and thou shalt drive them out before thee. Exd 23:32 Thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor with their gods. They shall not dwell in thy land, lest they make thee sin against me: for if thou serve their gods, it will surely be a snare unto thee.’ Exodus 23

    Reply
  • Marc Handelsman, USA 06/20/2008 at 18:58

    Hopefully, the Knesset will vote to dissolve and call for new elections. The status quo cannot continue, and the policies of the current regime are imperiling Israel. It would be best, if the Likud Party won the premiership because Israel needs strong and decisive leadership. Israel must have a new prime minister who will keep the country strong, and prepare to confront Iran.

    Reply
  • Fran Meaney 06/20/2008 at 21:06

    I follow closely what is happening and the madness of the Olmert administration aided and abetted by Secretary of State Rice to me is almost beyond belief. Yet here is David Horowitz at the JP writing very calmly about whether Olmert can skate past all the investigations and charges and survive. Another article is about all the interviews Olmert is giving to the world’s press about how he is the next “Middle East miracle” and he will survive and win the party primary and go on to victory in the next election. Where is the outrage? The call to arms? Where are the patriots in the cabinet who will bring down this shameless, inept, corrupt government that is in the process of handing Israel over to its enemies?

    Reply
  • TJ Skylark 06/21/2008 at 18:08

    Caroline shouldn’t someone in Israel be addressing Moslem propaganda vs. Moses reality?
    http://www.danielpipes.org/comments/132402

    Reply
  • TJ Skylark 06/21/2008 at 18:12

    IF we only matched Elam-Jiroft (ancient Persian)history with reality of Moses outline of the Genesis 10:10 cities through the times of Abraham’s UR, Its an important step in getting people to question Ahmadinejad’s sanity!

    Reply
  • TJ Skylark 06/21/2008 at 18:48

    They are coming into a Holy War with the intent of killing some 6,000,000 men,women & Israeli children. Syrian foreign minister tells Israel Jewish children are not safe in the Golan Heights.
    Moslems were the late comers in ancient history appearing on the earth’s radar screen some 2,800 years after humanity left the Tower of Babel. In the sands of the Middle-East artifacts have been uncovered proving Moses was right.
    The evidence never hits the global newspapers cause Saudi petro dollars own 25% of CBS & 12% of Fox news and World top universities OXFORD–(Britain)Georgetown & Cambridge (USA) are now being given generous donations by Saudi oil sheiks not to verify Jewish history.
    Come on! Exodus 1:8 states a pharaoh arose in Egypt who knew not Joseph at MOSES birth? Means the ancient Egyptians purged Egyptian records of Joseph!–the Jewish guy whom saved Egypt from global famine Genesis 41:57 before Moses was born!
    Caroline don’t even ancient anti-Semites make you sick? If Egypt would have told the truth about a Jewish prescence in Egypt throughout the ages there might have been less anti-Semiticism directed at the Jews via an Egyptian account in history saying GOD protected the Jews & starving Egyptians alike.
    Pagan nations/kings kept purging Jewish accomplishments out of history just like modern Arafat born in Cairo, Egypt establsihed hate against Israel in modern times.
    Expose the hate for the Hebrews in ancient times Genesis 46:34 Egyptians mocked Jewish shepherds-yet Joseph a Jewish shepherd became governor saving Egypt,Canaan,Minoan Greece & other nations buying grain at Avaris,Egypt from starvation. Joseph reigned as governor from Heliopolis, Egypt (Biblical On) and Avaris, Egypt was an international port city in Egypt. These two cities were the only chariot cities in Egypt. They were destroyed by pharaoh Ahmose who hated foreigners. Avaris,Egypt Genesis 47 chapter Amorites/Canannites traded their horses for bread. Genesis 47:13-22. Joseph bought all the land for the pharaoh except for the Egyptian priest land.
    Ahmose (18th dynasty rhetoric) Shepherd kings (Hyksos) riding in horse driven chariots conquered Egypt is a lie.
    One shepherd governor Joseph stabilized the economies of both Egypt and Canaan. Egyptian temples were not destroyed either! Ahmose drive the Canaanite Amorite horse traders out of Egypt and destroys the chariot cities of Heliopolis, Egypt & Avaris after Joseph dies. Canaanites from Avaris flee to Shuruhen,Canaan while Hebrews still live in Ramses,Egypt. Thutmose III then creates trouble for Hebrews in Egypt wanting to worship Moses’s god. Thutmose III Egypt’s Napolean is pharaoh of the Exodus! (1 kings 6:1) 480 years after Exodus to Solomon’s 4th year–places Thutmose III via biblical numbers as Exodus tyrant king!
    Verify your history in front of 6.9 billion people and should the world population still support terrorism don’t cry when the God of Israel sends plagues against other nations whom mock Jews and God’s word!

    Reply
  • Dan 06/21/2008 at 20:29

    Don’t ya’ know, you’re all supposed to be comforted by the fact that Israel held another worthless “exercise,” which we’re supposed to believe demonstrates their “seriousness” in regard to Iran.
    Gimmicks, frauds, faux exercises, signal sending, endless diplomatic discussions, endless conferences, endless statements that “all options are on the table.”
    I don’t know about you guys, ———————- but I want to vomit, it makes me sick, it makes me literally, not figuratively mind you, but literally want to vomit.

    Reply
  • marcel 06/22/2008 at 14:36

    “A military strike against Iran would in my opinion be worse than anything else … It would transform the Middle East region into a ball of fire,” ElBaradei said in an interview with Al-Arabiya television.
    I think he’s wrong.
    It’s going to be more than just the Middle East.

    Reply
  • The Murder of Jewish Toddlers! What HEZBOLLAH is 06/24/2008 at 2:19

    The Murder of Jewish Toddlers! What HEZBOLLAH is “ALL ABOUT!”
    http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7487
    On July 12, 2006 Lebanese Hezbollah militants crossed the border with Israel in an operation dubbed “Operation Truthful Promise,” which was aimed at nabbing Israeli soldiers in exchange for Lebanese prisoners. Hezbollah succeeded in the operation and successfully took hostage two Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. During the operation, eight Israeli soldiers were killed. This ignited the sequence of events which led to the Israel/Lebanon summer war.
    The story goes further back than July of 2006. It really began in April 1979! On Sabbath day, April 22, 1979, Danny and Smadar Haran met up with a monster named Samir Kuntar.
    Danny and Smadar were a loving Israeli couple. They had everything they could ever hope for… love, marriage and two precious daughters, Einat, 4 and Yael, 2. That day Smadar was home anticipating Danny’s return from work and preparing for the Sabbath. She had just picked up their two toddlers from day care. Danny, on the other hand, was looking forward to nothing more than getting home and spending time with his wife and his two young daughters.
    Traditionally, the Sabbath is the most special day of the week, the day the family gets to spend time together and celebrate their bond to Judaism. It was especially important for Danny who, as a young father, had to work extra hard in order to provide for his wife and young children. Little did Smadar know that this would be the last Sabbath she would celebrate with her family because of a man named Samir Kuntar. Around midnight the nightmare began!
    (Samir Kuntar; also spelled: Sameer Kuntar, Kantar, Qantar, Kintar, Quntar, Qintar, Cantar)
    What’s the deal with Samir Kuntar?
    Since April 22, 1979 Samir Kuntar has been incarcerated in an Israeli prison. Samir Kuntar, a Druze from the Lebanese mountain village of Aabey , who currently holds the dubious distinction of being the longest held Lebanese prisoner in Israeli jails. Kuntar is currently ONE of THREE Lebanese prisoners still serving time in Israeli jails. Kuntar was convicted and sentenced to a 542 years prison sentence by the state of Israel . Israel even almost tried to pass a bill to have him executed! What did he do? What was his crime? The crime Kuntar committed was one of the most sickest, heinous, barbaric crime ever committed on Israeli soil.
    The crime took place on April 22, 1979 when Kuntar led a group of 3 other terrorists, all members of Abu Abbas PLF (Palestinian Liberation Front), infiltrated the Israeli coastal city of Naharya and broke into the Haran family apartment and took Danny Haran and his 4 year old daughter Einat Haran hostage. When Kuntar and his gang broke into the apartment, the wife, Smadar Haran and her 2 year old daughter Yael, were also present in the apartment. Smadar managed to find a crawl space into which she, her younger daughter, 2 year old Yael, and a neighbor all hid. To prevent Yael from crying and giving away their hiding place, Smadar covered the child’s mouth with her hand.
    Kuntar and his group took Danny and little Einat down to the beach. At the beach Kuntar shot Danny in the back. Danny survived the gun shot but moments later was drowned personally by Kuntar. All this was witnessed by the young daughter. Kuntar forced her to watch her father’s murder so that [in Kuntar’s words] “his death would be the last sight she would ever see.” Kuntar then laid the little toddler down on a rock and smashed her head with the butt of his rifle. She didn’t die right away, so Kuntar beat her with his rifle repeatedly, over and over again (all this done, while she was screaming and crying), to ensure that she was dead.
    Meanwhile in the apartment, Smadar’s attempt to muffle her daughter’s whimpering proved fatal. Yael was accidentally suffocated and died within the hiding space.
    And on July 12, 2006, the ONLY reason why Ehud Goldawasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah, was to force Israel to release/surrender Samir Kuntar.
    Now the dilemma is, should Israel release Samir Kuntar in order to gain the release of Goldwasser and Regev? Unfortunately Kuntar might be freed in the next couple of days in exchange for these two soldiers, or their caskets, since there hasn’t been even one sign of life since their kidnapping on July 12th. For those who didn’t know, Samir Kuntar was the only reason that’s been holding back the release of Goldwasser and Regev, for almost a year and a half.
    According to Smadar Haran, her last memories of Danny and Einat, that day, were when they were being led away at gun point by Kuntar. She could hear from her closet space Danny telling Einat, “Don’t be scared, my baby, it will be alright” and Einat replied to him in her little voice, “Dad, where is Mommy? I want Mommy.” Smadar’s last memory of her 2-year-old daughter, Yael, was when her little daughter was taken to the apartment hiding space. Right before Yael had her mouth covered by her mother, she asked her mother “Where is my little pacifier.” There was no time to search for the pacifier. Minutes later Smadar covered Yael’s mouth to keep her from revealing the hiding space. Smadar soon felt her daughter’s tiny tongue licks and lip sucking on the palm of her hand. She didn’t know what to make of it at first but hours later was told by doctors and paramedics that the reason Yael was licking her palm while she covered her mouth was because she was gasping for air.
    A Sad Gruesome Reality
    After drowning Danny in the sea in front of little Einat, Kuntar, the brave Lebanese freedom fighter, then turned his attention towards the frightened little 4-year old. He took his rifle and then swung it across the little toddler’s head, knocking her to the ground. As little Einat was knocked to the ground, she was screaming and crying hysterically “mommy daddy help me,” while thrashing her little legs around in the sand. But unfortunately Einat was alone, and no one was there to save her. Kuntar then dragged the little toddler a couple of feet to the closest rock he could find, this was while she was begging him not to hurt her. Kuntar, then laid her head down on a rock, with the intention of crushing it with the butt of his rifle. Einat, instinctively covered her head with her little arms, Kuntar struggled with the little toddler until he finally managed to clear her arms out of the way so that he could aim for her head. Once her arms were out of the way, Kuntar proceeded on beating her on the head over and over with the butt of his rifle, and repeatedly stomping on her little body as hard as he could as well, until blood rushed out of her ears and mouth, and her little cries faded away as she was knocked into unconsciousness. Then, to ensure she was dead, Kuntar continued on beating her over the head, as hard as he could, several more times until her skull was crushed and she was dead.
    The nerve of Hezbollah to honor a child killer like Kuntar. The nerve of Hezbollah to kidnap two Israeli soldiers in order to force Israel to release a child murderer from jail! This is what Hezbollah is all about.
    The July 12, 2006 abduction was originally named “Operation Freedom Samir Kuntar,” by Hezbollah. But days before the kidnapping Hezbollah changed the name of the operation to “Operation Truthful Promise,” due to the fact that Nasrallah made a true promise to the family of Samir Kuntar to have him freed from jail.
    In September 2000, three Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbollah, along with an Israeli businessman, Elhanan Tennenbaum. Nasrallah immediately demanded Israel release all its Lebanese prisoners INCLUDING Samir Kuntar. In 2004 Israel was holding a TOTAL of 26 Lebanese prisoners. That same year, 23 out of those 26 prisoners were released, in order to secure the release of those 3 IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers as well and Elhanan Tennenbaum. This prisoner exchange also had a second phase, which involved Hezbollah providing solid evidence on the fate of Ron Arad (the Israeli pilot who went missing in Lebanon in 1986) and in exchange, Israel would release the 24th Lebanese prisoner, Samir Kuntar! Hezbollah failed to deliver the information on Arad, and the deal was off.
    In 2006, when Goldwasser and Regev were kidnapped Israel was out of bargain chips, its only choice in order to gain information on the fate of these two soldiers is the release Samir Kuntar. Who even knows if Goldwasser and Regev are alive! Let’s not forget, the four years prior to the “infamous Israel-Hezbollah prisoner exchange of 2004,” Israel had no idea on the fate of their soldiers until the day of the exchange. Only on the day of the exchange Israel found out, they would receive 3 caskets instead of 3 soldiers.
    It is beyond sickening, a man who beat to death a little toddler is celebrated for his glorious deed. Kuntar has been dubbed by some parts of the Arab world as the “Dean of World Prisoners.” Who would imagine? Hezbollah crossing the border into Israel, killing four Israeli soldiers and kidnapping 2 more, going through all this trouble, JUST to free a child killer!
    There is another point worth mentioning. Hezbollah has never claimed that Kuntar was innocent or that he may have been framed. They only demand his release as if he were being held unlawfully and that Israel had no right to imprison him.
    Kuntar is probably the most hated person by the Israeli public. He is known as the “killer of Nahrya” instead of “terrorist of Nahrya.” And to think that this person is being released under the context of threat, extortion, and blackmail! If it wasn’t for kidnapping of soldiers, Kuntar would have continued to serve out his sentence.
    Israel has an extensive history of releasing prisoner with blood on their hands, it has been done in the past and most expect that, it would happen again. This time with Kuntar. It is important to keep in mind that prisoners who are in Israeli jails are serving time for something. Israel is not a “gangster” or “lawless” state that imprisons people based solely on a whim. Every prisoner was charged, stood trail, convicted and properly sentenced. They were not kidnapped simply because they were Arabs. Hence, there is no justification in comparing the kidnapped Israeli soldiers to Samir Kuntar.
    There is a fine line between a humanitarian release of prisoners or releasing prisoners for the sake of peace AND knuckling under to unadulterated extortion. There is also a huge difference between someone with hatred in his head and he who has blood on his hands! Nobody expects that someone like Kuntar who is released will become Lovers of Israel! But someone and others like Kuntar who have committed murder or collaborated in the planning of that murder should be considered an unacceptable risk. It goes beyond forgiving terrorism. It becomes an abetting in any future terrorism carried out by those released. Israel will viewed as a weak state that can be brought to its knees by extortion.
    If Israel was to release Kuntar it would be the biggest thing they ever surrendered! The Sinai Peninsula, Israel gave back under negotiations, the West Bank and Gaza Israel also gave back under negotiations of the Oslo Accords. In 1985 during the famous “Ahmed Jibril Exchange” Israel released 1200 prisoners for the release of 3 IDF soldiers, some of those prisoners who were released had blood on their hands including Kozo Okamoto who killed 22 Israelis. BUT even all those 1200 prisoners put together, cannot compare to the savage murderous act committed by Samir Kuntar. Israel also currently holds 10,000 Palestinian prisoners, some of which have been incarcerated for conspiring, carrying out, and masterminding murderous terrorist attacks (suicide bombings, shootings, etc…), which targeted Jewish civilians in Israel. BUT even all those 10,000 prisoners put together cannot compare to Kuntar.
    Kuntar could have shot little Einat or blown her up, but instead he took his loaded gun and just bludgeoned her on the head repeatedly for several minutes until she was dead! Lets not also forget, the fact, that several minutes prior to murdering Einat, Kuntar drowned her father in front of her, and forced her to watch.
    Anyone, who reads this article and does not shed a tear, is not a human being.
    What kind of country is this to release a child murderer from jail under the context of threat and extortion? If we release Kuntar, we know what message it sends to Hezbollah and other terror groups like Hamas, etc… But what obscene messages does it send to the families of those Israeli murdered, especially Smadar Haran whose daughter was beaten to death by a man who hates Jews. What Kuntar did was not only a terrorist act but should also be considered a criminal act. And what demoralizing message does it send to the Israeli troops and security services who risked their lives in order to capture and arrest the terrorists?
    There is no doubt that Goldwasser and Regev need to be unconditionally released from Lebanon, Syria, Iran or from wherever they are now being held. Olmert’s “good will gesture” has disaster written all over it. Appeasement didn’t work with Hitler and it will not work with Hezbollah. “Negotiations” will not work either for over what exactly is there to negotiate? How far will Israel go to assure its own disappearance?
    There will be nothing positive coming out of the release of Kuntar. There is no worst context of releasing prisoners than under the context of threat. But today October 15, 2007 there is chatter within Israel to drop the demand for Ron Arad for the exchange of Kuntar.
    The Official Website of Samir Kuntar
    http://SamirKuntar.net
    Israel moots Kuntar prisoner swap
    (AL-JAZEERA 9/17/2006)
    http://english.aljazeera.net/News/Archive/Archive?ArchiveID=35918
    Free the monster Samir Kuntar
    (Haaretz article 09/04/2006)
    http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/758531.html
    Plot to free terrorist (Kuntar) may have led to fight
    (Washington Times 8/8/2006)
    http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060807-111009-8857r.htm
    Nasrallah says no deal without Samir
    (9/12/2006 BBC article “Nasrallah Demands Militant Free”)
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5340364.stm
    “Hizballah Wants Israel to Free Child-Killer”
    (Cybercast News Service, 7/18/2006)
    http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200607/INT20060718b.html
    More than 25 years later, militant still atop Hezbollah’s list for swap
    (Seattle Times 8/16/2006)
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003168928_lebswap02.html?syndication=rss
    Why Hezbollah Attacked Israel
    (Mens News Daily 8/09/2006)
    http://mensnewsdaily.com/2006/08/09/why-hezbollah-attacked-israel
    Samir Kuntar to be released very soon
    The Jerusalem Post 1/6/2007
    http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467671390&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFull
    Video of an interview with Smadar Haran on CBC
    (RealPlayer required)
    http://www.cbc.ca/MRL/clips/rm-lo/milewski-kuntar060914.rm

    Reply
  • Dr S McCosker 06/28/2008 at 10:55

    Eichmann was executed. Israel should execute Kuntar, too; if he had had the opportunities Eichmann had, he would be a second Eichmann.

    Reply

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