Israel releases convicted murderers, most of whom killed civilians, and the world downplays the Palestinian celebrations of their crimes.
The 26 inmates had been jailed before the signing of the 1993 Oslo accords, which formally launched the Middle East peace process, and served 19 to 28 years for killing Israeli civilians or soldiers.
The 18 men taken to Ramallah were warmly embraced by Palestinian president Mahmud Abbas in his presidential compound, a correspondent said, before laying flowers on the grave of late Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat.
This is buried deeply in most of the stories, if it makes it in at all:
Abbas pledged to the prisoners and their exuberant families that “there would be no final agreement (with Israel) until all prisoners were in their homes.”
And by “all prisoners” he means every single Palestinian in Israeli jails, including more mass murderers of civilians. And what have these prisoner releases brought Israel?
Abbas appealed to the U.S. to block the latest round of Jewish settlements, warning the move could jeopardize the U.S.-led peace effort.
Kerry has urged the Israelis to show restraint, and recently said the construction of new settlements raises questions about Israel’s commitment to peace. The European Union has also urged Israel not to announce any more construction, saying it would hold Israel responsible for any breakdown in the talks.
Because the world equates the building of apartments in Jerusalem suburbs with the release–and lionization–of murderers. So obviously, when the Palestinians are stating quite clearly that they will never agree to the proposed terms, the world blames Israel. Because settlements. They don’t respond at all to statements like this:
“They will participate in a special torch-lighting to celebrate the beginning of the new year,” Palestinian Minister of Prisoner Affairs Issa Karak said in an interview. “We are very happy for the release of our prisoners, who have spent 20 years in jail, and see this as a step towards freedom for all our prisoners.”
And neither John Kerry nor the EU will remonstrate with Abbas for this:
Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas greeted the men at his headquarters in Ramallah. “We promise you this will not be the last time and there will be more groups of heroes coming to us frequently in the near future, God willing,” Abbas said.
Go down the list and you’ll see what these “heroes” did.
Kamil Awad Ali Ahmad was arrested on September 29, 1993 and convicted of murder for the killing of a total of 16 people, including soldier Yoram Cohen and 15 Arabs suspected of collaborating with Israel.
Damara Ibrahim Mustafa Bilal was arrested on June 6, 1989 for the murder of Frederick Rosenfeld, 48, a New York native. Rosenfeld was stabbed with his own knife by a group of shepherds while hiking near the Ariel settlement.
Taqtuq Lutfi Halma Ibrahim was arrested on March 3, 1989 for taking part in the killing of IDF soldier, Binyamin Meisner, in Nablus. Was convicted of luring Meisner into an alleyway where accomplices waited for him and stoned him to death with rocks.
Heroes, all of them. If by “hero” you mean “murderer”. Because that’s the Palestinian definition of the word. As for the peace plan? It will fail. Abbas has gotten the Arab League to back him up in refusing to recognize Israel as a Jewish state, and refusing to allow Israel to keep troops in the Jordan Valley. So basically, Israel is releasing 104 murderers for nothing. The world will continue to blame Israel–especially Netanyahu–and ignore the Palestinian refusals. And of course, settlements.
Because that’s what’s preventing peace. Building homes for Israelis. Not celebrating murderers and calling for a Palestinian state “from the river to the sea”.