|2001 edition still available at|
- Israel’s shambolic, self-defeating tradition of prisoner “exchanges” and releases over the decades has long since made clear to every potential Palestinian terrorist killer that he or she can reasonably expect to return to the heroic embrace of family and friends within just a few years...
- Israel’s policy is one of suffering the crime without meting out the punishment, setting free today’s killers and emboldening tomorrow’s. Almost all Israelis have long since recognized that this has to stop.
- It is frankly impossible to reconcile the clear thinking of Netanyahu 1995 with the muddled leadership of Netanyahu 2013 who, rather than facilitate peace talks by the simple and reversible expedient of freezing settlement expansion and acknowledging the indisputable fact that Israel is negotiating on the basis of the pre-1967 lines, as Mahmoud Abbas had demanded, chose to capitulate to the least palatable of Abbas’s preconditions: releasing pre-Oslo era Palestinian terror convicts. The four-phased deal to free some of the most evil killers was a terrible mistake from the start...
- Netanyahu telling Israelis he was setting free the hardcore terrorists “for the good of the country” was no explanation at all. And his history of “punishing” acts of terrorism by approving still more settlement building only adds insult to injury.
- A government that betrays its primary obligation, to protect its citizens, has no right to govern. The Netanyahu government lost that right when it sanctioned the phased program of prisoner releases.
- ...If he won’t put the protection of Israel’s citizens first, he should vacate the seat in favor of someone who will. He derides the US for its ostensible weakness in international affairs, and most especially when it comes to thwarting Iran, but America doesn’t capitulate to terrorism. Netanyahu does.
As parents of a child murdered by Palestinian Arab terrorists in the service of Hamas, we learned the hardest way what it means to be abandoned by our country's leaders.
Netanyahu built his public reputation on the imperative of straight-talking, principled firmness in dealing with the terrorists. He betrayed those values the very first time he was tested as a leader.
Whatever remaining shreds of respect we felt for him and those in his circle vanished when he and they utterly ignored our direct appeals to exclude from the 2011 Shalit transaction the woman who engineered the massacre at the Sbarro restaurant. Israel's justice system had dealt with her in the correct way, finding her guilty on dozens of counts, sentencing her to 16 terms of life in prison. The judicial panel added its unanimous recommendation that the woman "not be eligible for pardon by the military commander, nor to early parole by any other means".
Our political leaders trampled the justice system that is at the heart of Israel's democracy. And the media barely addressed this issue. She walked free in 2011 and with a husband lives now in Jordan. She has achieved unimaginable global fame throughout the Arabic-speaking world. She is the embodiment of triumphant Islamist terror. Her influence is huge, its effects lethal and continuing. A gift from Israel's political leadership.
A leadership that understands why politicians must never be permitted to undermine the nation's principles of justice could have avoided this outcome and its disastrous consequences. But that's the point. For them, the politicians, personally, there were no disastrous consequences. Until other Israelis become as pained as the direct victims of the freed terrorists are, Netanyahu and those in his circle will continue to slap one another on the back and fail to acknowledge what they have wrought. [Frimet and Arnold Roth, Jerusalem]