(IsraelNN.com) The High Court ruled Sunday that the government is legally allowed to release 230 terrorists on Monday as a “good-will gesture” to the Fatah-led Palestinian Authority. The government approved the release last week.
The court rejected an appeal from the Land of Israel Legal Forum, which argued that Acting Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should not be allowed to release the terrorists as their release is a step with long-term implications. Olmert should not be allowed to make decisions with a long-term impact because he merely a caretaker Prime Minister, Forum attorneys said.
Another group that attempted to prevent the release was the Almagor umbrella group of terror-victim organizations. Almagor Director Meir Indor pointed out that approximately 80 percent of released terrorists have resumed their terror activities…
If Israel is getting anything in return for these ‘gestures’, it isn’t apparent. Almagor (which has the photographs of 179 Israelis murdered since 2000 by released terrorists on its site) says that 143 of the prisoners to be released were arrested for attempted murder and almost all of them were arrested since 2006. This sounds to me like a somewhat high-risk group.
Olmert has released several hundred terrorists and pardoned hundreds more, in an attempt to strengthen PA Chairman Abbas and promote negotiations with the PA….
Abbas says there will be no peace with Israel until all terrorists are released from Israeli prisons, including those guilty of dozens of murders. [my emphasis]
I submit that there have been no negotiations with the Palestinians in a normal sense of ‘negotiations’ since the ‘process’ began back in the early 1990’s, and so there’s nothing to promote. Real negotiations comprise both sides moving toward each other’s position, step by step. The Hebrew phrase is masa umatan — taking and giving.
The Palestinians have never given anything, ever. Even the promise made in 1993 to change the PLO charter so that it would not call for the violent destruction of Israel was never fulfilled.
Abbas continues to insist on all prisoners being released, on all refugees ‘returning’ to Israel, on every inch of land occupied in 1967 being transferred to the Palestinians. The official Palestinian media continues to incite hatred, despite countless promises to stop. Nothing has changed since the days of Arafat.
Meanwhile, Israel only gives. Land is transferred, prisoners released. Israeli sovereignty in Jerusalem is de facto surrendered.
The Palestinians and their friends will tell you that Israel is confiscating land, building ‘new’ settlements, etc. But actually more and more territory is coming under their control; and it’s certain that the Obama administration wants to push this to the limit in 2009.
Caretaker PM Olmert is working harder than he ever did to ‘negotiate’, despite the fact that the majority of Israelis have shown — the Likud is way ahead in pre-election polling — that they do not approve of the direction the government is going. Better he should spend his time planning strategy for the felony trial he will shortly face.
If you were Abbas, would you do anything differently? All he needs to do is wait.