Archive for October, 2011

Four big Israeli mistakes

Friday, October 21st, 2011
IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren (center),with General Uzi Narkiss (left) at the Western Wall, June 7, 1967

IDF Chief Rabbi Shlomo Goren (center),with General Uzi Narkiss (left) at the Western Wall, June 7, 1967

On June 7th, 1967, Israeli Paratroopers liberated the Temple Mount. Although some religious leaders (including, initially, Rabbi Shlomo Goren) favored destroying the Dome of the Rock and building a Third Temple, this idea was never seriously considered. But short of that, what was to be done? There was a debate among the rabbis about how to deal with the prohibition against entering the Holy of Holies. Some proposed simply banning Jews from the entire area. But Rav Goren felt that Jews should be allowed to pray on at least specified parts of it, because otherwise Israel would lose its sovereignty there.

In a confidential memorandum to the Ministerial Committee for Holy Places which he sent shortly after military hostilities had ceased, Goren proposed that

the prime minister should declare that the holy places of the Jews be placed under rabbinic supervision. All the Temple Mount is holy to the Jews and therefore it is in the jurisdiction of the Chief Rabbinate even though mosques were built there. Since it is forbidden for Jews and non-Jews alike to enter the Temple Mount the Chief Rabbinate should request the army to close the Temple Mount for everybody. This step should be taken immediately [Goren’s emphasis] before the military curfew is lifted and before free access is given. Now the Arabs are in a state of shock, and their only hope is to stay alive and not be massacred. Now is the moment to set the conditions and basis for the status quo proposed. Through such a step, the exclusive Muslim rule on the Mount will be circumvented. Later it will not be possible to do anything. If this proposal comes from the rabbinate rather than the government it will be seen as a religious matter of holiness rather than a political idea. And since entry will be forbidden for Jews, the Arabs cannot claim discrimination.

Such a ban, which could have lasted years, would have given the Chief Rabbinate time to study the problem including clarifying which areas are permitted to enter and which are not. Goren added that “if the Arabs are suspicious it is possible to give them El Aqsa.”

But Defense Minister Moshe Dayan and Chief of Staff Yitzhak Rabin overruled him. The Temple Mount was placed under the control of the Jordanian waqf and the Western Wall was left for Jewish prayer. Later, Rabbi Goren tried to change the status quo, but many rabbis opposed him as did most of the political echelon. The Temple Mount in effect remained under Muslim control despite theoretical Jewish sovereignty in Jerusalem.

Since then, the waqf has excavated and built illegally, destroying archaeological evidence of a historical Jewish temple, and Israel has done nothing. Jews are permitted to go up to the Mount, but may not pray there — a Jew was arrested (by Israeli police) for trying to wave a lulav (a device woven from the ‘four species’ in observance of Sukkot) this week, and Jews have been reported by waqf officials for moving their lips.

Any Jewish activity in the area is cause for Arab riots. There is constant incitement of the Muslim population in mosques and by the Islamic Movement  of Raed Saleh. ‘Peace’ proposals made to the Palestinians have included sovereignty over the Temple Mount — why not, since Israel has long since surrendered it.

Jewish soldiers died to take back all of Jerusalem, not just part of it. Rabbi Goren was right, Dayan and Rabin wrong. Mistake no. 1.

***

On May 20, 1985, Israel released 1,150 Palestinian prisoners, including murderers, in exchange for three Israelis who were captured in the 1982 Lebanon war and who were in the hands of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command (PFLP-GC) of Ahmed Jibril). Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin made the deal and Shimon Peres was PM.

The agreement set the stage for several others in which either large numbers of terrorists were freed or particularly vicious ones. The recent Gilad Shalit ‘exchange’ (I call it a ‘jailbreak’) included both. This agreement is the worst yet, but the precedent was set in 1985. Now — unless it institutes a death penalty — Israel has entirely lost its power of deterrence against murderous terrorism. Mistake no. 2.

***

In 1992, Yossi Beilin, then Vice-Minister for Foreign Affairs, and some other Israelis secretly met with representatives of the PLO in Oslo, Norway, by authority of Shimon Peres, then Foreign Minister. They agreed — and Peres later signed the agreement — that Israel would recognize the PLO as the representative of the Palestinian Arabs, allow Yasser Arafat to return to the territories from exile in Tunis and form a ‘Palestinian Authority’ (PA) to govern them. In return, the PLO would recognize Israel, and end terrorism and incitement. The agreement was brought to US President Clinton, who then mediated public talks between the parties.

The final agreement, signed by PM Yitzhak Rabin and Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, called for a transitional period of up to five years, during which permanent status talks would define an end to the conflict in accordance with UN resolutions 242 and 338 — secure and recognized borders, and an end to Palestinian claims against Israel. The issues of precise borders, the status of Jerusalem, the Arab refugees, security guarantees, and the nature of Palestinian sovereignty were left for these permanent status talks.

The agreement was made to the great surprise of the Israeli people, who had voted for Rabin’s platform which called for negotiations with non-PLO Palestinians. Rabin also said that Jerusalem would remain undivided. Once the agreement was signed, however, the government pulled out all the stops to ‘educate for peace’, to overcome the resistance of the great majority of Israelis who hated and feared the PLO.  Israel even provided arms to the PLO ‘police’. The US and Europe financed the PA, and the US now trains its ‘security’ forces.

Arafat began to break his promises within moments of his return, sponsoring terrorism, ratcheting up incitement, and not changing the PLO charter (to this day it calls for violent resistance against Israel). He turned the educational system, religious establishment and media into anti-Israel and antisemitic propaganda factories. This hasn’t changed under his successor, Mahmoud Abbas.

More than a thousand Israelis died in the Second Intifada after Arafat rejected the Clinton proposals at Camp David in 2000. The PLO, which had been discredited, marginalized and exiled, has been resuscitated, and is now trying to get the UN to declare a Palestinian state without negotiating with Israel — in violation of the Oslo agreement that saved it.

As a result of the promises  of Oslo, the world has come to believe that a partition of territory controlled by Israel is a necessary and sufficient condition for ‘peace in the Middle East’. The pressures on Israel today are a direct descendent of Oslo.

Oslo was Mistake no. 3, maybe the biggest.

***

In August 2005, Israel unilaterally unilaterally withdrew from Gaza. The withdrawal was planned and executed by Ariel Sharon, but in December and January he suffered two strokes, the second of which completely incapacitated him, and his deputy, Ehud Olmert, took over. In any event, it was a disaster. Israeli soldiers and police removed Jewish residents, sometimes by force, from the homes they had been encouraged by successive governments to build there. Although they were promised compensation, jobs and housing, many of them today still do not have permanent housing or good jobs.

Although every Jewish resident and soldier was removed (even bodies were disinterred from Jewish cemeteries), Palestinians and their supporters still claim that Gaza is ‘occupied’. Greenhouses that were purchased by prominent Jews and other Americans (including Bill Gates) and left to form the basis of a Palestinian economy were torn to pieces. Synagogues were gleefully burned. Terrorism from Gaza in the form of rockets and mortars fired into Israel began almost immediately. Whether Sharon would have been able to deal more effectively with the aftermath is debatable, but Olmert did not respond forcefully. In 2006, Hamas terrorists tunnelled under the border and kidnapped Gilad Shalit.

In 2007, Hamas executed a violent coup against PA authorities in Gaza, viciously murdering Fatah (PLO) rivals. They converted Gaza into a base for terror actions against Israel and a laboratory for Palestinian Islamism. By the end of 2008, rocket and other attacks provoked Operation Cast lead.

The withdrawal was mistake no. 4.

***

There are other candidates: allowing Yasser Arafat to survive the 1982 evacuation of the PLO from Lebanon, the precipitous withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, the other mistakes that led up to the failure to destroy Hizballah in 2006, the early termination of Operation Cast Lead, leaving Hamas in power, and the Shalit jailbreak.

There is no undoing these errors. But there is the possibility of learning from them so as to not repeat them.

Update [23 Oct 0653]: Corrected factual mistakes. It was, of course, Sharon who carried out the withdrawal from Gaza in August 2005.

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Moving forward after the jailbreak

Wednesday, October 19th, 2011

Yesterday, of course, was ‘Gilad Shalit Day’. Palestinians and supporters celebrated the end of the affair as a huge victory, a military operation which achieved its objective, which was to rescue their ‘heroes’ to fight again — which they promised to do.

Those on the side of Israel generally took one of two lines. Either

  • The 1027:1 swap was a mistake that will prove disastrous, resulting in additional terrorist murders, boosting morale and popularity of Hamas, eviscerating Israel’s ability to deter terrorism, re-opening the wounds of the families of terror victims, etc.

Or

  • Israel’s behavior represented a triumph of Jewish morality, in which the imperative to redeem one captured soldier overrode the fear of future terrorism.

It’s interesting that the division was not necessarily along the lines of Right vs. Left (although clearly the tendency of the Right was to oppose the swap and the Left to favor it). One of the most uncompromising pro-Israel observers that I know, who can safely be characterized as on the Right, wrote this after watching Gilad’s return home:

Compare the pure soul of a magnificent Israeli soldier, a true hero, against 1000 Arab murderers, the assassins of so many Israeli innocent civilians, children, men, women, grand parents and babies in their cribs and ask yourself a simple question: who is worth more to humanity, who deserves to be rescued at any price? Yesterday, after watching the rescue of this young man who never harmed a fly, gentle, shy, noble, intelligent, educated and eloquent, who radiates sweetness and goodness, this man, our son, every Israeli’s son, was worth the price after all.

The anguish of the bereaved families who lost their loved ones in the hands of those scum, was felt by all of us, more than words can tell. But no amount of anguish could have brought the victims back. Gilad Shalit could be brought from the dead.

Now it is left to Israel’s IDF and intelligence services to make sure none of these terrorists would return to murder more of us. The chiefs of these services promised they can do it.

I was opposed to the deal for strategic reasons, which I won’t repeat here. Now that it’s done, we need to move forward.

First, let’s not dignify it by calling it a ‘prisoner exchange’. It was a jailbreak, executed by taking a hostage and holding a gun to his head.

Despite the ‘pardons’ that the prisoners received from President Shimon Peres, those who were murderers on Monday remain murderers today. Most of the worst of them have been exiled, some to Gaza, and some to Turkey, Qatar, or Syria. Israel should adopt a policy that if any of them are found in Israel (including the territories and Jerusalem) they will be subject to the death penalty. Those who were guilty of murder and not exiled should be rearrested and serve out their sentences. Israel does not have to keep its word to terrorists, who obtained it by duress.

Second, a death penalty must be implemented from now on for terrorist murder.

It will not be simple to do this. Can you imagine the demonstrations among Palestinians and the Israeli Left, the objections from the ‘civilized’ Europeans and the UN when anyone is scheduled to be executed? But a way will have to be found to quickly establish guilt and immediately carry out executions. There is simply no other way to deter terrorism.

There are some who advocate a “just shoot them” approach, in which security forces will not take prisoners when terror attacks occur. But this prevents the terrorists from being interrogated, and — worse — will never include the planners who kill without dirtying their hands.

Third, Israel must end the charade of the ‘peace process’.

The hero’s welcome and endorsement given to the released prisoners by Mahmoud Abbas of the Palestinian Authority (PA) should indicate — as if any more proof were needed — that, despite philosophical differences, the intentions of Hamas and the PLO toward Israel are identical.

Israel will not get secure borders from negotiations with the Palestinians. In light of the abrogation of the Oslo accords by the PLO indicated by its appeal to the UN, Israel should stop cooperating in any way with the PA, including collecting taxes for it and transferring funds to it.

Fourth, Israel must regain its posture of deterrence toward Hamas (and other terror factions).

In terms that the Arabs will understand, Israel must regain its honor. This may mean targeting Hamas leaders or some of the released prisoners. Hamas must pay a price that will make it clear that the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit and the jailbreak it facilitated was not a victory.

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Update [20 Oct. 1031 PDT]: I’d incorrectly included Egypt as a place to which some terrorists were exiled. The correct destination is Qatar.

A total lack of moral compass

Monday, October 17th, 2011
Abed Alaziz Salaha. He is on the list to be released.

Abed Alaziz Salaha. He is on the list to be released.

“Gisha” describes itself as follows:

Gisha is an Israeli not-for-profit organization, founded in 2005, whose goal is to protect the freedom of movement of Palestinians, especially Gaza residents. Gisha promotes rights guaranteed by international and Israeli law…

Gisha, whose name means both “access” and “approach,” uses legal assistance and public advocacy to protect the rights of Palestinian residents.

Although it is an ‘Israeli’ organization, that just means that it is staffed by Israelis. Most of its funding (2.6 million NIS or about $710,000 in 2009) came from the European Union and various European countries. It also received significant amounts from the US-based New Israel Fund.

Gisha has issued a statement on the occasion of the imminent freedom of one particular ‘Gaza resident’, Gilad Shalit. Here it is:

We at Gisha express joy at reports of the expected release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for the release of Palestinian prisoners. We join in the sigh of relief that is palpable today throughout Israel and of course the relief felt by the Shalit family and the families of the prisoners who will be released. For the last five years, the Shalit case has shaped the feelings of many Israelis toward the Gaza Strip, as well as the policies of successive Israeli governments toward Gaza. It is rare to hear cries of happiness and satisfaction simultaneously in Gaza and in Israel. We hope these events signal an end to this difficult chapter in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and lead us down a path toward positive changes for ordinary people in Gaza and in Israel.

The moral obtuseness displayed is stunning. A young soldier who was kidnapped and held incommunicado, underground and probably wired with explosives for more than five years, may — there are reports of possible hold-ups — be released tomorrow on  payment of a ransom consisting of more than a thousand terrorists, many of them convicted multiple murderers, who together are responsible for the deaths of literally hundreds of Israeli civilians.

Certainly the families all feel relief, but the equivalence between terrorists and their victims suggested is obscene (if there is a stronger word, please suggest one).

I do not “join in the sigh of relief” of the family of Ahlam Tamimi, who masterminded the bombing of the Sbarro Pizza restaurant in Jerusalem which took 16 lives, and who has publicly said that she is not sorry for what she did. Nor am I sighing along with the family of Abed Alaziz Salaha, shown above displaying the blood of the two reserve soldiers whose lynching he had just participated in.

The exchange is not a happy event. Watching it is like being held at gunpoint while your family is raped. It will not “signal an end” to the conflict between Israel and the vicious Hamas, just the opening of a new and dangerous chapter.

If I felt like sighing it would be over the total lack of moral compass displayed by Gisha and similar groups. But at this point, all I’m capable of doing is hoping that the damage done by this exchange can be contained.

(h/t: Gerald Steinberg)

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JCPA sticks its nose into harassment controversy

Sunday, October 16th, 2011
Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

Tammi Rossman-Benjamin

The Jewish Daily Forward reports that

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs [JCPA], American Jewry’s primary umbrella group for addressing domestic issues, will vote at its upcoming board meeting on a resolution that, in its current draft, cautions Jewish groups to guard against suppressing free speech and to invoke civil rights laws only after exhausting other measures.

“Lawsuits and threats of legal action should not be used to censor anti-Israel events, statements, and speakers in order to ‘protect’ Jewish students,” the draft resolution warns, “but rather for cases which evidence a systematic climate of fear and intimidation coupled with a failure of the university administration to respond with reasonable corrective measures.”

The draft’s nuanced construction reflects serious concern over the possibility that some Jewish groups and individuals may be inappropriately exploiting recent changes in the government’s interpretation of federal civil rights laws, according to communal officials involved in the issue. They cite in particular Title VI of the landmark 1964 Civil Rights Act, which protects individuals from discrimination based on race, color or national origin in education programs and activities that receive federal funding. [my emphasis]

I am wondering why we need this resolution. The proposition boldfaced above is self-evident. Of course it is critical to distinguish between protected speech and antisemitic harassment. In order to prevail in such a lawsuit, a complaint would have to meet the requirements of Title VI.

For example, a complaint filed by Prof. Tammi Rossman-Benjamin in 2009, now being investigated by US Department of Education’s Office for Civil Rights [OCR], claims that

Professors, academic departments and residential colleges at [The University of California, Santa Cruz] promote and encourage anti-Israel, anti-Zionist and anti-Jewish views and behavior, much of which is based on either misleading information or outright falsehoods. In addition, rhetoric heard in UCSC classrooms and at numerous events sponsored and funded by academic and administrative units on campus goes beyond legitimate criticism of Israel.  The rhetoric – which demonizes Israel, compares contemporary Israeli policy to that of the Nazis, calls  for the dismantling of the Jewish State, and holds Israel to an impossible double standard – crosses the line into anti-Semitism according to the standards employed by our own government. …

The impact of the academic and university-sponsored Israel-bashing on students has been enormous.  There are students who have felt emotionally and intellectually harassed and intimidated, to the point that they are reluctant or afraid to express a view that is not anti-Israel.  …

Since at least 2001, faculty members and students have brought these and similar problems to the attention of numerous UCSC administrators and faculty.  To date, the administration and faculty have largely ignored the problems.  In some cases, administrators and faculty have publicly denied that there are problems and even repudiated those who have had the courage to raise them. [my emphasis]

The complaint documents in detail Rossman-Benjamin’s contention that 1) a pervasive atmosphere hostile to Jewish students exists, 2) it is harmful to the students, and 3) the university has not taken appropriate action. This is exactly what is required by Title VI as it is now interpreted.

According to the Forward article, the resolution was prompted by a dispute over whether Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint was legitimate (see AAUP letter here and Rossman-Benjamin’s response here). It’s clear that the arguments against it will focus on the issue of limitation of free speech vs. the ‘pervasive atmosphere,’ etc. that is created not only by the preponderance of anti-Israel speech, but the behavior of the speakers, faculty, other students and administration.

Note that accusations of ‘censorship’ and limitations on speech were also the arguments used by the Muslim students who were recently convicted of disrupting a speech by Israel’s Ambassador Michael Oren at the University of California, Irvine. And in Oakland, California, protests against an exhibition, at a private museum, of drawings supposedly made by Gaza children depicting abuse by Israeli soldiers were attacked as ‘censorship’.

I can only understand the JCPA resolution as an attempt to sandbag Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint. I can imagine that if hearings are held, it will be used as evidence that “even the Jewish community” doesn’t support it.

If Rossman-Benjamin’s complaint is shot down, it will be a green light for continued harassment of Jewish students on all UC campuses. If JCPA approves this resolution at its board meeting on October 24, it will be handing ammunition to those who want to kill it.

Incidentally, Tammi Rossman-Benjamin will be speaking in Fresno on October 23.

***

What is the JCPA and who decided that it is “American Jewry’s primary umbrella group for addressing domestic issues?” (The following is adapted from my two previous posts on the subject in January and March of this year):

The Jewish Council for Public Affairs (JCPA, not to be confused with the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs) calls itself “the representative voice of the organized American Jewish community.” It is affiliated with the JFNA, formerly the UJC and before that the UJA, the umbrella organization of the Jewish Federations in the US and Canada.

Confused yet? What’s important to know is that the Jewish Federations raise large sums of money. Some of it is spent for charitable purposes in local communities (despite what Helen Thomas thinks, there are poor Jews) and some of it goes to support the Jewish Agency in Israel and the Joint Distribution Committee, which helps Jews in difficult situations around the world.

These agencies in part paid for the rescue of Jews in Europe after WWII, Jews from Arab countries, Soviet Jews, Ethiopian Jews, etc.

Today I’m afraid that there is beginning to be a loss of focus: JFNA has some highly paid corporate officers, and the agencies that it supports are also less than efficient (the Jewish Agency is famous as a home for tired Israeli politicians).

What about the JCPA, which gets most of its funds from JFNA?

The CEO (since 2005) and President (since 2009) of JCPA is Rabbi Steve Gutow. A Reconstructionist Rabbi, Gutow is also “founding Executive Director” (although he does not hold the position now) of the National Jewish Democratic Council, whose mission is frankly partisan.

I’ve been a member of the board of our local Jewish Federation for some time, have served as its treasurer for the last four years, and I had heard very little about the JCPA until recently, when I received several press releases (for example, this one). I didn’t find them particularly helpful, and I asked myself who appointed JCPA to speak for the Jewish community — and why we were paying them to do so. Certainly my organization wasn’t consulted!

Here’s an example of why this may not be a good idea. JCPA has created an “Israel Action Network” intended to combat attacks on the legitimacy of the Jewish state, which has been allocated $6 million for three years from the Jewish Federations. Its director, Martin Raffel, has become embroiled in a controversy about which “Zionists of the Left” belong in the “big tent” and should be considered “allies.”

What about those ‘Zionists’ of the Left called J Street? Raffel wants to include them, because — while they do support boycotting some parts of Israel, they are opposed to boycotting all of it:

But what to think about Zionists on the political left who have demonstrated consistent concern for Israel’s security, support Israel’s inalienable right to exist as a Jewish democratic state, and consider Israel to be the eternal home of the Jewish people — but have decided to express their opposition to specific policies of the Israeli government by refraining from participating in events taking place in the West Bank or purchasing goods produced there? I vigorously would argue that such actions are counter-productive in advancing the cause of peace based on two states that they espouse, a goal that we share. But this is not sufficient cause to place them outside the tent.

Statement of Martin Raffel in JCPA press release

Of course I strongly disagree. An attack on Jewish presence beyond the Green Line is an attack on the legitimacy of Israel as expressed by the League of Nations Mandate. It is a rejection of UNSC resolution 242, which calls for “secure and recognized boundaries,” which are clearly not the 1949 armistice lines. It is an attempt to punish law-abiding Israeli citizens and to support the racist Arab position about who may live where. It is more than just counter-productive, it’s anti-Zionist.

Not only did Raffel accept J Street into his tent, he decided that a right-leaning Zionist group called “Z Street” belonged outside with the camels, probably because it is unabashedly opposed to withdrawing from the territories.

Here in the US we don’t have a Chief Rabbinate, and there are Jews of all political persuasions. It requires a certain amount of arrogance to call yourself “the representative voice of the organized Jewish community” or “American Jewry’s primary umbrella group for addressing domestic issues” as the Forward’s reporter was told.

Unfortunately, the outside world might believe that you really do speak for American Jews and act accordingly.

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Terror victims try to stop Shalit exchange

Friday, October 14th, 2011
Ahlam Tamimi, Amna Muna and Qahira As-Sa’di. Together they are responsible for 20 murders.

Ahlam Tamimi, Amna Muna and Qahira As-Sa’di. Together they are responsible for 20 murders.

News item:

The Almagor Terror Victims Organization petitioned the High Court of Justice on Friday to ask that the release of 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for Gilad Schalit be delayed pending an in-depth examination of the issue.

Among the petitioners were bereaved families of those killed in terror acts, including the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem, perpetrated by several of the prisoners named in an unofficial list released by Hamas.

The families argue that the freed terrorists will go on to kill again, and point to numerous examples from previous prisoner exchanges.

One of the female prisoners that is to be released is Ahlam Tamimi, who is generally identified as “the driver of the Sbarro terrorist.” For example, this is from a recent news article by Sheera Frenkel of McClatchy Newspapers:

Ahlam Tamimi was sentenced to 16 life terms for driving the bombers to the restaurant. A member of Hamas, she’s expressed pride in the attack. The Israelis have agreed to release all 27 Palestinian women they hold.

But she was much more than a ‘driver’. In fact, she played a major role in planning and executing the mass murder. Frimet Roth, the mother of one of the victims, wrote in response to a similar report:

… Ahlam Tamimi did not drive the Sbarro restaurant suicide bomber to his target. She personally transported a bomb weighing 10kg from a West Bank town into Jerusalem, concealed inside a guitar case, and arranged for a taxi to bring her and an accomplice by the name of Al Masri to an Israeli security checkpoint. To reduce suspicion, they were dressed to look like Israelis. It worked. The bomb was not detected, and Tamimi led her “weapon” – Al Masri – to the target carefully selected by her.

The pizza restaurant was selected because it was located in the heart of Jerusalem and on a hot summer vacation afternoon it would be teeming with women and children. Tamimi instructed Al Masri to wait 15 minutes before detonating the explosives to give her sufficient time to flee the scene safely.

Our precious daughter, Malki, who was 15, perished in the ensuing inferno.

The contention that Tamimi was pressured into this barbaric act that took the lives of seven men and women and eight children, and left a 16th woman in a coma until today, is false. Since being sentenced to 16 life terms, she has been interviewed twice. She has repeatedly stated that she does not regret her actions. She smiled to the camera when she learned that she had murdered eight children; she had been under the impression it was fewer.

Tamimi will not be released at the corner of King George Street and Jaffa Road in Jerusalem where she committed her crime. Of the 27 women, Israel is insisting that two of them be deported: Amna Muna, who seduced an Israeli teenager by Internet chat and drove him to a secluded location where he was murdered, will be sent to the Gaza strip. And Tamimi will be sent “outside of Israel.”

Although the families of terror victims, including Malki Roth’s parents Frimet and Arnold, have asked the Supreme Court to stop the exchange, it is highly unlikely that the court will agree, writes “Israel Matzav”:

Under the law, the government has to post the names of those to be released on the Prisons’ Authority website 72 hours before their release (which is why the release is being done on a Tuesday – think about it) and the terror victims can appeal to the High Court of Justice during those 72 hours to stop the release. But it’s a act of futility. Justice Mishael Cheshin said in one of these hearings many years ago that the right of appeal is just to make the victims’ families feel like they have an outlet but the court will never interfere in these decisions because they are strictly political and military decisions.

But it’s okay for them to reroute the ‘security fence’….

It seems to me that one of the horrible parts of this affair (there are so many) is the way it has pitted families against families, people like the Roths against the Shalits.

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