Many Israelis hoped that Shimon Peres would be capable of being a non-controversial president. This has not turned out to be the case. Peres has inappropriately involved himself in negotiations with the Palestinians, and now has used his presidential power to grant what appears to be a very questionable pardon:
(IsraelNN.com) President Shimon Peres has decided to reduce the jail sentences of five Israeli-Arab terrorists.
Three of the terrorists are serving for the brutal murder of Haifa Jewish teenager Danny Katz in 1983 and two for the rape and murder of IDF soldier Daphna Carmon in 1987. Katz, the son of Holocaust survivors, was kidnapped from near his Haifa home at the age of 15 by Arabs who worked at a nearby supermarket while on his way to visit a friend. He was beaten to death with sticks and then sodomized. He was found dead four days later in the Israeli-Arab village of Sakhnin.
The men were sentenced to life in prison, plus 27 years. They will now be eligible for release in the near future following Peres’s commutation…
[Amnon] Katz says that his brother’s murderers have become a cause celebre in recent years for the extreme-left, who claimed that they confessed to the crime due to police pressure. The murderers were even granted a retrial based on those claims in 1999 – but were found guilty again.
This is one of those cases that makes one wish that Israel had a death penalty. It would seem to me that the only good reason for releasing these men would be if it could be shown that they were in fact innocent. Peres claims that he has a good reason — but he won’t tell the public and the Katz family what it is:
Peres said that four separate legal bodies discussed the case, and all of them reached the unanimous conclusion that the sentences should be reduced. Nonetheless, Peres said that the reasons for his decision could not be published because they are classified. — Ha’aretz
Peres has said that the decision was “purely legal, and was not based on political considerations”.
I don’t believe it. Considering the emotions surrounding this issue, it seems to me that if there were good legal, nonpolitical, grounds for his action, there would be a way to explain them without revealing classified information like names of informants, etc.
Peres has yet again proven that he did not accept the Presidency in good faith. He cannot seem to make himself perform the presidential function of uniting Israelis and providing a moral example; rather, he continues to be an arrogant, highly political manipulator.