So here we talk about negotiations again. And Israel is preparing to release Palestinian terrorists.
Let’s go beyond this little phrase. What does “release” terrorists mean exactly? What’s the purpose of this maneuver in our political context? Both for Israel, the Palestinians and the Americans?
For the Americans, it’s the easiest thing to do. For Washington, one hundred or two terrorists released is the same, as long as they don’t attack U.S. interests. On one hand it helps to tell the Palestinians “see, Israel’s making a step, do it also” and on the other, how comfortable is the role of the adviser, not the payer – don’t forget that the United States still refuse to release Jonathan Pollard, after 28 years in prison for espionage (not terrorism).
For the Abbas government, this is an opportunity to proclaim a first victory even before the negotiations begin: regardless of the fact that there will never be a peace treatment – because no Palestinian leader has the shoulders for it, the releases will be effective. It also helps to show the path to the young terrorists, “Go ahead, explode buses, go kill babies in Itamar… At worst, you’ll be released in a few years. Released against the wind of our beautiful words.”
But if one digs this message a little more, it’s even more perverse: the Palestinians and their American friends say to us: “it is essential to liberate” these terrorists before we can negotiate peace. But tell me, what will that bring you exactly? What is the usefulness of seeing terrorists who have killed women, children, civilians, go freely among your population? Is this a sign of humanity or of peace to demand the release of a man who murdered an infant?
At least if you’d ask, for example, that Israel commits to build schools in Ramallah, if you’d ask that the Jewish state offers complete free care for all Palestinians, then I could “understand!” But to liberate assassins in order to make peace, is this your vision of peace?
Because for Israel, I mean, for the Israelis like me, releasing a terrorist is killing his victims a second time. And I can not imagine making peace with a people whose only thought is to release murderers. I can not imagine making peace with a people whose most persistent claims are that the murderers live freely at 10 km from my home. And I can not imagine making peace with a neighbor who did everything he could to bring back as a hero, to Jenin and Tulkarm, a terrorist who wanted to break the skull of a grandpa, only because the victim belongs to the Nation of Israel: in fact, Israel will release assassins who terrorize in the sole purpose of destroying Israel – but are those releases made in a peaceful environment? Please explain this to me!
And above all, as an Israeli, I am well aware that peace is impossible in the present situation. Saying this doesn’t mean belonging to the Right, but being a casual observer of the situation. It’s knowing that Arafat, that “great Palestinian leader” born in Egypt had nothing in the pants in order to sign historic agreements. It’s remembering that Mahmoud Abbas, the author of a memoir on “the benefits of the Holocaust,” has no legitimacy, even within the Palestinian people, to talk about peace. And if tomorrow he’d sign an agreement, the Palestinian people would remind him very promptly that Gaza does not identify with his government and that there was no election in Ramallah in the last 8 years…
Netanyahu, do you see anything coming?
Dear Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, every Israeli Prime Minister since the 1990s has made increasingly significant offers to the Palestinians. Not in order, Sharon, Livni, Barack, Rabin, Peres, and yourself, you have given everything. They refused it all. Why? Because they don’t accept the presence of a Jewish state. And because they don’t have a Sadat, Begin or Ben-Gurion within their people. All they have are scammers who take advantage of the international aid to build houses in Dubai and Morocco. Mr. Netanyahu, stop this fool’s game. Do not offer any gift “to please Obama” in exchange for his support regarding Iran.
Mr. Prime Minister, you, who like so much to quote proverbs, what do you think of this one, derived from our own culture: “May you have sixty counselors, yet also consult yourself.”
Jonathan-Simon Sellem – one can find this article in French here.