Sunday, July 19, 2015

19-Jul-15: Another catastrophic outcome of the 2011 Shalit Deal

Malachi z"l
The murder of a young Israeli, Malachi Moshe Rosenfeld, 26, son of Eliezer and Sarah, a resident of Cochav Hashachar, now turns out to have been yet another direct consequence of the tragically misconceived Shalit Deal.

We posted ["29-Jun-15: Drive-by shooting attack near Shvut Rachel tonight"] about the attack that took the life of Malachi, an outstanding student at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. He was riding home with three friends on the night of June 29, 2015 after playing basketball when their vehicle came under shooting attack near Shilo on the Alon Road (Kvish Alon). All four were wounded in the hail of fire. Malachi died of his injuries the following day.

This evening (Sunday) it's reported that a gang of Palestinian Arab terrorists has been apprehended and charged with the attack and with the murder of Malachi. Ynet says the members of the gang, identified as the Hamas Silwad Cell (Silwad is a town), confessed to earlier shooting attacks on Israelis.

The members of the cell, according to Ynet:
  • Not yet arrested, but believed to be the commander of the cell, is Ahmad Najar, a known Hamas terrorist. He appears in Israel government records as Ahmed Mustafa Saleh Hamed al-Najar. Convicted of involvement in multiple shooting attacks that cost the lives of six Israelis (including Shalom Har Melech, who with his wife and sister-in-law was a dear friend of our murdered daughter Malki who had been herself killed by other Hamas terrorists two years earlier), Najar served less than eight years of the seven life terms term to which he had been sentenced in December 2003 for those multiple acts of terrorism-based murder. All 7 life terms were commuted by the government of Israel and he walked free along with 1,026 other convicted terrorists in the disastrous Shalit Deal. A condition of the commuting of his sentence (all these commutations were conditional) was that he be expelled to Gaza. But he soon shifted his base of operations from there to Jordan where he is said to have "been working to organize and fund terror attacks".  Jordan, for all the positive things said in the media and by the US State Department about its positive contribution to the battle against Islamist terror, is in reality a hotbed of terrorism and to a considerable degree a haven for terrorists.
  • Amjad Najar, also an active Hamas terrorist, was arrested on July 7, 2015. Under interrogation, he confessed to passing instructions, weapons and funding from Ahmad Najar, his brother, in Jordan to the West Bank. He served times in Israeli prisons in the 1990s for his involvement in terrorism then.
  • Abdallah Ischak, also arrested July 7, confessed under interrogation to direct involvement in the multiple attacks including the slaying of Malachi. He has multiple convictions for terrorism offences.
  • Fa'ez Hamed, a Hamas commander, was arrested on July 9. He confessed to planning the attacks and like the others has a history of Hamas terrorism under his belt.
  • Jamal Younes, the father of Ahmad Najar's wife, was arrested on July 10 and charged with facilitating the logistics of the murder.
  • Mu'ad Hamed, who executed the actual shootings, was arrested not by the Israeli authorities but, according to Ynet, by Palestinian Authority security officers. He is a known affiliate of Hamas.
  • Ahmed Shibrawi, also of Hamas, was also picked up by the PA's security people.
When advocates of the Shalit Deal attempted at the time to argue that Israel needed to do "everything", "whatever it would take", to free Gilad Shalit, we pointed out repeatedly that this was a nonsense, and that the issue had always had multiple aspects. It was never just about bringing back Gilad Shalit (as if the years of vexed argument came down to a one-dimensional issue - yes or no to saving the hostage) but also about giving the most careful thought to how much harm Israel was prepared to absorb in paying the ransom.

And it was never a matter of simply determining to do "everything", because "everything" can include impossibly dreadful outcomes. (If Hamas had said in 2011 that Shalit's life would require our side to kill X, whatever or whoever X is, would we have said "OK, we're ready to do everything"? Of course not, Someone in power felt the price was acceptable to the political leadership and went ahead with making the deal.)

Still available via Amazon though the
sharpness of the author's thesis has
gotten blurred with the passing years
We said back then that negotiating with terrorists is fundamentally wrong and referred to the classic text on this subject. Readers might want to refer to an earlier post of ours ["27-Jul-13: To defeat the terrorists, what one thing must a government never do?"] for an extract from that famous book:
“A government that seeks the defeat of the terrorists must refuse to release convicted terrorists from prisons… Releasing imprisoned terrorists emboldens them and their colleagues… By nurturing the belief that their demands are likely to be met in the future, you encourage terrorist blackmail of the very kind that you want to stop. Only the most unrelenting refusal to ever give in to such blackmail can prevent this.” [“Fighting Terrorism: How Democracies Can Defeat Domestic and International Terrorists”, Farrar Straus Giroux, New York 1995 at page 144]
We pointed out then that the writer of those words was Binyamin Netanyahu.

Twenty years have passed since he became famous for his clear-headed thesis. Twenty years during which he was called upon to deal, as prime minister, with the precise issues on which he had created the road-map and the rule-book. Sadly, he not only failed to be true to his own guidance, but egregiously abandoned the critical principle of explaining yourself and your 180 degree reversals to the people who are going to be called upon to pay the actual price, and whose electoral support is indispensable to his political power and standing.

For the record [details here], we have made effort after effort to elicit a response on this and other closely-related matters from his office, with no success at all.

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