|Times of Israel's interview with Shaath is here|
Notwithstanding, the government of Israel entered into an undertaking during this past summer to free from its prison some 104 killers, every one of them convicted on one or more counts of willful homicide, and - as far as anyone can tell - entirely unrepentant.
(Here's a sampling of those acts of "courage" for which they were sent to long terms behind Israeli bars: "30-Oct-13: The bogus manufacture of heroes and legends" - and trust us when we say, on the basis of many meetings with politicians, journalists and opinion-makers: outside of a small circle of us here in Israel, plus of course regular readers of this blog, the crimes of the 104 are mostly not known and not understood, especially by people who claim that they do know and do understand.)
Even if some of them genuinely were ready to own up to the horrors of which they were convicted by judges and courts, which is a theoretical possibility, the reception extended to them in the most public way by the despicable political leadership of the Palestinian Arabs has turned them into heroes with fat, foreign-aid-funded salaries. (We have more about those salaries here: "10-Nov-13: Who finances those savage acts of terror? And why is this so poorly understood?") Not one of them is ever going to say "I did terror, and I deeply regret what it did to my soul and to the ethos of my people". Not now, not ever.
The reason why Israel agreed to free the 104, and in fact has already set loose 52, depends on whom you want to believe.
- Israel says it was to prod the Arab side into resuming the diplomatic negotiations between Israel and the Palestinian Authority. ["28-Oct-13: It's official: 26 more convicted killers to be handed over to PA and Hamas"] And having agreed back in June, its revised position in October (see here) was "promises must be kept".
- The PA [see "25-Aug-13: Wake up call for those who thought the terrorists are walking free for peace"] says the release of Palestinian prisoners from Israeli jails was unrelated to the launching of the peace talks. Abbas has repeated this mantra over and again. Evidently it's important to him.
- The Israeli media from one end to the other of the political spectrum say what Israelis know: it's all about pressure from the US.
- And the US State Department says: "19-Aug-13: Is the US State Department breaching its own policy on Palestinian Arab terrorists?"] it's an Israeli decision, taken entirely by Israel and essentially not a matter on which the State Department has a view. As we also noted here ["14-Aug-13: Making 'peace' by celebrating the murders of children and of Holocaust survivors"] the US says it respects "the exclusive right of the Israeli government to make these decisions”. Its spokesperson said "Israel alone made the decision to release the prisoners".
- To further emphasize this, the State Department says it officially has no opinion as to whether those 104 killers of elderly pensioners, Holocaust survivors, US citizens, women, children, fellow Arabs are (a) freedom fighters, (b) political prisoners or (c) terrorists. We're beyond being astounded by this instance of State Department disingenuousness. It distresses us almost as much as the silence of Americans who know about it and do nothing. We're particularly bothered, as we have written in this blog and Tweeted over and again, by the studied know-nothingness on this matter of the US Secretary of State's Deputy Spokesperson, Marie Harf.
Palestinian official says peace talks already failed | Fatah bigwig says if it weren’t for Palestinian prisoners to be released from Israeli jails, PA would have ended talks already [Times of Israel, today]Shaath, who ought to be believed, firmly sticks a pin in the balloon of the hope addicts: “We are committed to negotiations for a nine-month period and are waiting until all 104 prisoners are released” he declares, at the same time helpfully clarifying that
if it weren’t for the release of prisoners, which has been conducted in stages over the course of the negotiations, the Palestinians would have already terminated the talks and sought statehood recognition with UN bodies... The Palestinian Authority has refrained from abandoning the US-brokered peace talks and “breaking the dishes” because of the remaining Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons. “But I don’t think there’s much more to be done with the present Israeli government’s policies,” he said.In light of this unusually candid admission from the highest level of the Palestinian Arab kleptocracy, those who executed master terrorist Yasser Arafat's last will and testament and who have presided over the relentless descent of the PA to its current depths, we are left with this one question:
What kind of self-respecting Israeli political leadership would play along with a charade that calls for the release of yet another tranche of convicted, unrepentant murderers in the coming days when the serial promoters and glorifiers of terrorism (meaning the PA leadership) explicitly put the lie to the basis on which those releases - comprehensively rejected by the Israeli public - are carried out?We are among the few writers who have publicized the extent of the support Israelis give to our government's strategy of freeing convicted killers. Readers who can give a hand in letting more people know about this will earn our enduring gratitude. Here are some links to get started: "28-Jul-13: Releasing unrepentant killers: a massive 9.4% of Israelis are in favor". And "6-Aug-13: Scale of Israeli public's rejection of terrorist deal far greater than most reports disclose".