Sunday, October 23, 2011

13-Oct-11: Roth explains to Australia's AM why the release of murderers is so bad [audio]

One of Australia's most listened-to radio programs is the nationally-broadcast news magazine "AM".

On 13th October 2011, just before the expected completion of a transaction in which Israeli hostage Gilad Shalit would be freed by his terrorist captors in exchange for a huge number of convicted and imprisoned Palestinian Arab murderers, this report by its Middle East correspondent Anne Barker went to air.

Criticism for Gilad Shalit prisoner swap
Anne Barker reported this story on Thursday, October 13, 2011 08:15:00
TONY EASTLEY: An Australian expat in Israel is among several people considering a legal challenge to stop the release of hundreds of Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the freedom of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit. The young soldier was captured by Palestinian militants five years ago.
In exchange Israel has agreed to free Palestinian prisoners who include convicted murderers and others involved in terrorist attacks.
Israeli citizens outraged at the exchange will have the chance to appeal against the decision, as Middle East correspondent Anne Barker reports.
ANNE BARKER: Australian man Arnold Roth knows too well the price Israel is paying for Gilad Shalit's freedom.
His teenage daughter Malki died in a massive bomb blast 10 years ago in Jerusalem.
ARNOLD ROTH: My daughter was one of 15 people murdered in a cold-blooded attack on a pizza restaurant in the centre of Jerusalem on a school holiday where the focus was on women and children.
ANNE BARKER: The bomber too was killed when the explosives hidden in a guitar case blew up.
But a young Palestinian woman who helped mastermind the bombing was sentenced to life in jail.
Now she is tipped to walk free.
ARNOLD ROTH: It's devastating. She's got a life that's being handed back to her as a result of this transaction.
She'll almost certainly have children and she'll almost certainly inspire many more children than she'll ever give birth to. She has said without any prevarication, I'm proud of what I did.
ANNE BARKER: Ahlam Tamimi is one of 27 Palestinian women in Israeli jails, all of whom are set for release as part of the deal Israel has struck with Hamas.
In all 1000 men and the 27 women will be freed. Hundreds of them are militants serving life sentences for murder or violence.
Arnold Roth isn't the only Israeli who objects to the deal. Even some in the Israeli government voted against the agreement, warning it'll only encourage more militants to take hostages.
Once the names of the prisoners are made public by Sunday, the Supreme Court will grant 48 hours for any Israeli to lodge a legal appeal against the prisoner exchange although similar appeals before have invariably failed.
(Sound of Isaac Maoz speaking)
"I don't know if I can do anything against the deal," says another Israeli man Isaac Maoz, another bereaved father. "I am almost certain that all the murderers who will be released will resume their actions. This is very dangerous. My daughter was murdered because of them."
For their part Palestinians are celebrating the deal which is a clear victory for Hamas.
Qassem Razem whose son has served 30 years in jail says he hasn't seen him for five years.
(Sound of Qassem Razem speaking)
"This is what I wish for and what we wait for too," he says. "What more could we ask for if those who have been serving for many years are released? And we have been longing to see them for years."
The first prisoners and Gilad Shalit are expected to be freed some time next week.
This is Anne Barker in Jerusalem for AM.
A streaming-audio recording of the program is here.

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