Wednesday, January 29, 2014

29-Jan-14: Breaking the cycle of extortion by terrorists: Excellent idea when applied to all, not just some

Ramallah, December 30, 2013: Mahmoud Abbas leads the celebrations
in honour of the freedom given to unrepentant, convicted murdering terrorists
[Image Source]
At the United Nations yesterday, the Security Council considered for the first time ever a resolution that deals with the contemporary phenomenon of "kidnapping and hostage-taking committed by terrorists for any purpose", and "called for international cooperation to tackle this scourge".

Here's how the UN's own News Centre described it:
In its first-ever resolution devoted specifically to kidnapping for ransom by terrorists, the 15-member body called on all Member States to prevent terrorists from benefiting directly or indirectly from ransom payments or from political concessions and to secure the safe release of hostages. Speaking to reporters after the Council’s action, Ambassador Mark Lyall Grant, of the United Kingdom, which drafted the resolution, said it has been estimated that in the past three and a half years, al Qaeda-affiliated and other Islamist extremist groups have collected at least $105 million. “It is therefore imperative that we take steps to ensure that kidnap for ransom is no longer perceived as a lucrative business model and that we eliminate it as a source of terrorist financing,” he said, adding: “We need to break that cycle.”
When the subject is terrorism, how can you not agree that it's time to "break that cycle"? That's why, when we saw this Tweet some hours ago from the US Ambassador to the United Nations expressing perfectly justifiable enthusiasm for the UNSC decision:

we immediately responded with this:
Ambassador Power and her staff have not yet replied. But given the gravity of the subject, we're ready to keep waiting because no one can ignore a matter this serious.

We admit we find it disturbing to watch the US congratulate itself for supporting rational, sensible, essential decisions against giving in to the terrorists - while at the same time placing very considerable pressure on Israel to do with the terrorists in its prisons exactly what today's UN decision says not to do. The political extortion exerted by the PA and its highly placed supporters during the past half year is hardly a secret. Ambassador Power and the Secretary of State John Kerry certainly know its details.

Can it be that there's one rule when it comes to certain besieged and threatened countries, and another (the opposite) for everyone else? [Background here.] 

Meanwhile the fourth tranche of the crazy release of 104 convicted Palestinian Arab murdering terrorists remains on the agenda for some time in the next few weeks unless reason and sanity kick in before.

That would make it the concluding chapter in a bizarre State Department manouveur in which the US has pressed Israel (successfully, up till now) in order to appease the terrorism-embracing Mahmoud Abbas regime [see "14-Sep-13: Memo to Secretary of State Kerry: Your staff need some urgent guidance"] while purposefully ignoring the deep damage this does to core notions of justice, the US State Department's own policies, the sensitivities of the many victims, the world's revulsion at the sight of political leaders raising the hands of unrepentant convicted murderers in triumph and then rewarding them with cash prizes, high-ranking jobs and special privileges, and now the unanimous declaration of the UN Security Council.

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