Friday, February 10, 2012

9-Feb-12: Second chance at dealing with the unjustly freed terrorists?

Busloads of freed murderers arrive in Gaza 
on the day of the Shalit exchange, October 18, 2011
We wrote on February 1, 2012 ("One down, 1026 to go") of the re-arrest last week of a Palestinian Arab terrorist who had been unjustly released by the Israeli authorities in the infamous mass freeing of 1,027 killers, thugs and assorted practitioners of the dark arts of terror. In that horrifyingly lop-sided transaction, Israel received back into its arms a young man - Gilad Shalit - illegally held hostage and incommunicado for more than five years by the barbarians of Hamas. 

A report in Ynet earlier this week says the freed and now re-arrested terrorist may be on his way back to an Israeli prison cell to serve out the remaining 27 years of his sentence. Several aspects of this are not yet clear. 

Start with who he is. 

His official name is Mahmud Abdallah Abd al-Rahman Abu Sariya, and he appears at position number 189 in the official terrorists-going-free list published by the Israel Prison Service in mid-October 2011. He has other names which are explained hereAbu Sariya or Ayman Sharouna (which is what Ynet calls him) or whatever nom de guerre he now goes by was convicted of attempting to execute a mass murder of innocent people (not politicians, not soldiers, just ordinary Israeli pedestrians) in Beer Sheva's Old City in 2002. He failed and was sentenced to 38 years in prison. In fact he served only 8 or 9.

Ynet quotes the IDF's in-house newspaper BaMachaneh, saying the terrorist's extraordinary luck might have deserted him:
A special three-judge panel is expected to convene early next week at the Ofer Military Court near Ramallah to discuss the terrorist's punishment. Shortly after the Shalit deal went through, then-GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi asserted that any freed Palestinian inmate who is arrested on suspicion of committing a security violation or criminal activity is to be brought before a panel that would decide his fate. Sharouna's case is the first to be brought before the commission, whose ruling could set precedent. IDF officials said that dozens of prisoners who were freed in the West Bank as part of the Shalit deal have breached the terms of their release, although most of the violations consisted of prisoners leaving their residential area or failing to report at the Coordination and Liaison Administration once a month.
We sense something perverse in the way either the army or the newspaper approach this. 

The idea that the terrorists "have breached the terms of their release" implies there were terms of some sort that governed the transaction or that meaningfully restrict the post-freedom actions of the terrorists. But how right is that? The convicted terrorists walked free because Israel's leadership saw no other way to get Gilad Shalit home safe and well. It was an act of capitulation that included the formal granting of a pardon to each one of them. 

True, there was some small effort in the days leading up to the Shalit exchange to make believe that the terrorists were being required to sign up to a list of peaceful undertakings as a condition of their release. For instance:
Issa Qaraqa, the Palestinian minister of prisoner affairs, confirmed that the released prisoners under the 'security arrangement' would be "very restricted in their movement". [Al Jazeera]
Also in Al Jazeera, it was reported at the time that the prisoners would declare in writing that they would not go back to terrorist activities. What happened in reality was quite different. The well-informed Elder of Ziyon blog, quoting the Hebrew-language paper Maariv, said at the time that most of the terrorists refused to sign the Israeli "no more terror" release form and that was that:
The story is that one of the prisoners told Israeli security that he has no problem scuttling the entire Shalit deal by refusing to sign, and word got around to the other prisoners about his refusal, so they followed suit, some saying "we will free ourselves anyway." The Prime Minister's office, somewhat defensively, said that signing the form was never part of the agreement.
What's the morality or good sense of entering into any agreement ("on terms") with a terrorist organization? In the case of these particular terrorists, members of Hamas and Fatah, we know they operate according to a set of rules that says there are no rules. Whatever causes harm to Israel, to Israelis, to Jews, is justified, even amounting to a bizarre kind of religious obligation. These are people whose avowed viewpoint includes encouraging children to see themselves as fertilizer (for the clear evidence of this sickening state of affairs, please, please review this video) and to explode themselves in order to inflict pain and death on a despised enemy (that's us).

A transaction of that sort is immoral, is not smart, and is suicidal

When public officials do an immoral and not-smart thing, while being themselves convinced that they (or their families, children and other loved ones) will not be harmed, then it may be that in their eyes it's not suicidal. As a bereaved family and having experienced an unbearable process of marginalization by our own political leaders, we see it differently. To us, it's a statistical near-certainty that innocent people are going to die as a result of more than a thousand motivated and determined terrorists being put back on to the streets, including the streets where we live. That's suicidal.

This is true even if many of the decision-makers believe the privileges and protections they enjoy - including personal body-guards, secured premises, a lifestyle that makes it unnecessary to ride public buses - will keep them safe. 

But when their fellow citizens and neighbors fall victim to the terrorists, as we are very much afraid they will, then this makes their decision to free a mass of unrepentant terrorists suicidal from the standpoint of the nation they represent and are sworn to serve.

That's the big picture. Now consider a specific, special individual: a freed terrorist who has never disavowed terrorism. One who is proud of the actions that led to multiple life terms in prison? One who wants others to do the same, actively campaigns to market that viewpoint. One who is held up as a hero by others who feel the same way? 

We're referring to the terrorist Tamimi, against whose freedom we campaigned for the past five years. We tried to get her name off the walk-free list last October, but we failed. 

Today, four months later, she is free as a bird, living in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, an honoured guest on several Arabic-language television channels, preparing to marry, and at every opportunity inciting Arabs - especially Palestinian Arabs - to believe in the justice of what she did (kill Jewish children) and to emulate her deep faith by doing the same. Jordanian society received her with open arms last October, honoring her freedom and victory (over dead Jewish children) with a gala reception on the premises of a Jordanian government court-house. Hard for us to imagine a greater travesty of justice. 

The almost-unnoticed press photographs of the reception celebrating Tamimi at the Family Court of Amman in the Jordanian capital on October 19, 2011 are here.

We're not aware of any current Israeli efforts to get her back behind bars. And we'll be watching closely to see that unjustly released terrorists who are brought back into the Israeli justice system, starting with next week's hearings in the case of Abu Sariya/Ayman Sharouna, receive what they deserve. 

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