A day of national degradation

Palestinian 'president' Mahmoud Abbas greets released prisoners in Ramallah, August 14, 2013

Palestinian ‘president’ Mahmoud Abbas greets released prisoners in Ramallah, August 14, 2013

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

Early this morning Israel allowed 26 Palestinian Arab prisoners to go free. They were released in Ramallah and Gaza. Although this has been discussed for some time, the act itself was shocking:

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

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5 Responses to “A day of national degradation”

  1. NormanF says:

    A country is nothing without honor and self-respect!

    The release of killers of Jews from prison sent the message that Jewish life is cheap… and expendable. And that Jews are untermenschen who can be slaughtered without fear of retribution!

    Israel is not going to gain Arab respect or goodwill by subverting justice – and it won’t lead to peace! What we saw tonight was exactly what the Jewish State was created to prevent!

    Israel’s government cannot even show respect to the dead. And G-d in Heaven knows that subverting justice is the most unforgivable sin a human being can commit. Those who murdered Jews can brag how Israel’s government admitted in effect their deeds were honorable, justified and acceptable – this is how the Arabs see it and they’re right!

    For this grievous sin, Israel is granted the dubious privilege across the table from the killers of Jewish children! Good can never come from evil and we’ve seen plenty of that in evidence with the Israeli government’s sordid conduct. There are no words on earth that can encompass the shame and anger I feel – and it will never leave for the rest of my life!

    All who made this travesty happen deserve the ultimate punishment from G-d and none of them should ever be allowed to lead the Jewish nation again!

  2. Robman says:

    As a Jew involved in Israel advocacy for over a decade here in the U.S., my morale has never been lower. And given what has transpired over the past four and a half years, that is saying something.

    There really is nothing that can justify this.

    An American strike on Iran? I simply do not believe Obama would ever do this, no matter what concession Israel made. And, in any event, that would be in America’s interest to stop Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, and the interest of the West generally, to say nothing of the Gulf Sunni Arabs. So, why force Israel to pay this price, even if the assurance were real? For spite? To fulfill and some sick political “requirement” to humiliate Jews first before Moslems are killed in a context that coincidenally benefits Jews? Is that the moral level our government is at? Even assuming such assurances or promises would be real?

    Is this so that American can “acquiesce” in an incredibly risky Israeli strike? I would advise: DON’T take the risk. Not for that. Counterituitive as it may seem at first glance, the greater existential threat to Israel is the Pali state Obama wants on Israel’s doorstep. Iran with nukes would be very bad but it may or may not mean the end of Israel. There would stlll be many variables in play. But the end of Israel as a viable Jewish homeland is a SURE THING with the Saudi-style “peace” [surrender] plan that clearly is Obama & Co’s endgame.

    No, if Iran really needs to be dealt with, then Israel should use powerful enough weapons that the strike succeeds whether Obama tips off Iran or not. And post-strike: MAKE IT CLEAR THAT OBAMA LEFT ISRAEL WITH NO CHOICE BUT TO TAKE THAT ROUTE.

    But I don’t think it had to do with Iran at all. I strongly suspect by now that Netanyahu has already given up on the possibility of a U.S. strike, or U.S. “permission” for an Israeli strike. There aren’t any “carrots” – rotten as they may be – here.

    No, it is all about the UN.

    Remember, folks, when Abbas submitted his application for statehood to the UNSC – in blatant violation of the Oslo accords – back in September of ’11?

    Anyone take note of the fact that nearly two years later…THIS STILL HAS NOT BEEN BROUGHT UP FOR A VOTE??!!

    With the influence the U.S. has on the UNSC, there is no question that if Obama wanted to, it could have been promptly brought up for a vote and shot down. At the time, Obama said he ‘opposed’ the Pali move in this instance…so why didn’t he bring it up to a vote if he opposed it so much? Indeed, so far as I am aware, he did not hold them accountable in any tangible way whatever, for completely violating the Oslo Accords.

    That’s because this was ALL CHOREOGRAPHED.

    What is Obama going to do, having to face re-election the next year…support the Palis in this effort openly? Might have cost him the Jewish vote and more importantly, $$$ (though, the way most American Jews behaved, maybe not even then…).

    So now, Obama can threaten Netanyahu: “Don’t play this my way, and I’ll let that come up to a vote and obstain at the very least, or even vote for it. Then you are an instant pariah state, completely. You’ll go the way of Rhodesia then. Your choice.”

    And the CORRECT choice would have been to tell Obama to go to hell. Because Israel is not Rhodesia or Apartheid S. Africa, and enough people know this – and enough smart business people in major economies benefit from trade with Israel – that this threat really could not be made to stick. Yeah, it would involve some pain. EU sanctions would be probable and would hurt…but I have little doubt that China, India, Singapore, South Korea, and perhaps even Russia would continue to trade with Israel, regardless of what crocodile tears they might shed over the Palis.

    But, Bibi’s central weakness is that he cannot imagine a world in which Israel does not have the alliance with the U.S. Yes, it is a hard and risky situation. But it would be manageable. Israel faced far longer odds in ’48, and prevailed. Israel faced nearly as great odds – and at that time, was far weaker both militarily and economically, as well as more isolated in real terms – and prevailed.

    A fractured U.S.-Israeli alliance in this instance would be roundly perceived here as Obama’s doing, yet another one of his boneheaded foreign policy debacles. This could be repaired post-Obama, in all likelihood. But the loss of honor and credibility that Israel suffers from actions such as these is not so easily overcome.

    Bibi had better figure out how to gather up the courage to stand up to Obama. Three and a half years is an eternity, in political terms. This is just the beginning. I have no doubt that Obama has plenty more in the way of “tests” for Bibi, and if he doesn’t “man up”, either he will soon be through as Israel’s PM…or Israel will be through.

  3. Robman says:

    Minor editorial correction on above:

    “But, Bibi’s central weakness is that he cannot imagine a world in which Israel does not have the alliance with the U.S. Yes, it is a hard and risky situation. But it would be manageable. Israel faced far longer odds in ’48, and prevailed. Israel faced nearly as great odds IN 1967 – and at that time, was far weaker both militarily and economically IN RELATIVE TERMS COMPARED WITH TODAY, as well as more isolated DIPLOMATICALLY in real terms – and prevailed.”

  4. sabashimon says:

    All I can say is, that as an Israeli I am ashamed.

  5. Shalom Freedman says:

    I agree with all the condemnations. I will never trust the Prime Minister as I have in the past. Here he violated his own most sacred principle in regard to Terrorists.
    We cannot live by Machiavellian maneuvers alone.