Remember what Amalek did unto thee by the way, when ye were come forth out of Egypt;
How he met thee by the way, and smote the hindmost of thee, even all that were feeble behind thee, when thou wast faint and weary; and he feared not God. — Deut. 25:17-18
Of the 26 prisoners, 17 have been convicted of murder. The remaining prisoners were jailed on charges of manslaughter, attempted murder, kidnapping and conspiring to commit murder.
Of course all of the murders were horrible, involving burning, shooting and stabbing to death men, women and children. But there is a particular depravity in the pointless killing of older Jews who represent no threat to the killers:
Among the terrorists to be released is Salah Ibrahim Ahmad Mughdad, the murderer of Holocaust-survivor Israel Tenenbaum who was found dead on June 14, 1993, at the hotel in Netanya where he had been working as a night watchman. Mughdad had murdered him on the job.
Also being released is Barbakh Faiz Rajab Madhat, who murdered 61-year-old Moshe Beker at his orchard. Beker was murdered on January 21 1994, when he arrived at his orchard and was ambushed by three terrorists, who had slept on site and waited for him. They attacked him, stabbed him to death with a knife and a pair of pruning shears, and fled.
Al Haj Othman Amar Mustafa, who murdered Steven Rosenfeld on June 7, 1989, will be released as well. Rosenfeld went on a hike in the hills near Ariel, where he lived, when he encountered a group of shepherds who stole a knife that he had in his possession, stabbed him to death, and hid his body.
Another terrorist to be released is Abdel Aal Sa’id Ouda Yusef, who murdered Ian Sean Feinberg on April 18, 1983. Feinberg, who served for several years as an officer and lawyer in Gaza, had worked with commercial companies from Gaza and was murdered during a business meeting in Gaza City. Terrorists burst into the room and announced that they had come to kill the Jew. They then proceeded to murder Feinberg using a gun and an axe.
Ramahi Salah Abdallah Faraj, who murdered 84-year-old Avraham Kinstler in July of 1992, will be released as well. Kinstler was ambushed and murdered with an axe by a terrorist as he arrived to work at his orchard.
There is little more that I can add to what I and others have written about the humiliation suffered by Israel in this affair. By allowing murderers to go free in return for less than nothing — an agreement to negotiate about relinquishing part of the historic Jewish homeland — Israel lost its honor, its deterrent capability, and the trust of its own people.
The government tried to ‘explain’ its action by saying that the murderers in question committed their crimes before the signing of the Oslo accord. Why this should matter, since Palestinian terrorism increased after Oslo, is not clear. Anyway, it isn’t even true. Announcements were also made of plans build new homes in Jerusalem and Judea/Samaria. When or if this will actually happen is not clear.
Officially, this decision was taken to promote ‘peace'; unofficially it was understood to be a result of American pressure. No believable description of the nature of the pressure has been presented.
Israelis that I have spoken to have been unanimous in their disgust. It is hard to believe that PM Netanyahu will have a political career after this.
As expected, the released terrorists were treated as great heroes on their arrival. Also as expected, no humiliation of Israel is enough for the Arabs: according to reports, “Officials in the Palestinian Authority expressed outrage at Israel’s decision to release the terrorists late at night.”
Leaks about the proposed negotiations abound. One thing is certain: this is shaping up to be one of the most dangerous times for the state of Israel since 1948.
Therefore it shall be, when the LORD thy God hath given thee rest from all thine enemies round about, in the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee for an inheritance to possess it, that thou shalt blot out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven; thou shalt not forget it. — Deut. 25:19