The snippet below was written by Elior Levy and published by Y-Net.

Chief Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said that on August 13 Israel will release 26 Palestinian prisoners it has been holding since before the signing of the Oslo agreement.


Palestinian media outlets published Erekat’s comments on Saturday. He was quoted as saying that the 26 prisoners will be released in the first of four phases that will see a total of 104 inmates freed by Israel as a gesture to Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas ahead of the official resumption of direct peace talks. Israel refused to release all detainees at the same time, Erekat added.

Has Israel given up on its very reason to be?

From the end of World War II until the present Israel went through extraordinary lengths in order to track down former Nazis because those Nazis were responsible for the slaughter of Jewish people and, yet, somehow – against all reason – the Netanyahu administration is allowing captured anti-Semitic Jihadi murderers out of Israeli prisons.

These are people who, out of a genocidally racist agenda, have murdered innocent Jewish Israeli civilians.  These are people who should not be let free, but who should remain in prison for the rest of their lives because their crimes were heinous.  How is it possible that someone like Benjamin Netanyahu, whose brother was the only Israeli soldier killed during the famous raid on Entebbe, would do such a thing?

Is it possible that he agrees with Tzipi Livni that “nothing can stop true believers”?

{Which, by the way, is definitely among the stupidest remarks to ever come out of the mouth of any politician anywhere.}

Does he honestly believe that this hideous act will lead to something that resembles peace?

Is this some sort-of concession to the Obama administration as a quid pro quo for standing with Israel against Iran’s nuclear ambitions?  And, if it is, just why in this world would the American administration need a pay-off for standing up for its own national interests?  This, of course, assumes that Barack Obama considers a non-nuclear Iran to be in America’s national interests; a notion which, as of this moment, is entirely unclear.

There is something very, very sick about this recent deal.  Unlike the FresnoZionist, I did not oppose the release of prisoners for Gilad Shalit, but at least with that deal Israel received something in return.  Shalit was, in fact, released by Hamas – much to everyone’s astonishment – despite the fact that it looked as if he was walking out of Treblinka, he was so skinny and pale.

But what does Israel get in return for releasing this batch of murderers?  Netanyahu gets to enjoy some quality time with Arab dictator Mahmoud Abbas.  The allegedly oppressed and persecuted “Palestinians” need to be bribed to even negotiate about the size of the negotiating table, as Caroline Glick put it.

I never thought that this kind of thing was in Netanyahu’s character because I thought that he was stronger than this.  Apparently, I was wrong – which occasionally happens.

I consider this to be a crucial error because it sends all the wrong messages to all the wrong people.  It tells the Arabs that given sufficient pressure Israel will fold even to the extent of betraying its own people by releasing the very murderers of those people.  To the EU and the UN, which hold Jewish lives to be more or less worthless, it says that the Israeli government also holds Jewish lives to be more or less worthless.  To the hostile American administration under Barack Obama, it says that Israel is compliant and will do what it is told.

And what all that adds up to is abject failure.

There is no gaining peace through weakness.  There are no successful negotiations via capitulation.  The message that Netanyahu is sending is that Israel will get down on its hands and knees in order to beg mercy from implacable enemies who have never shown the slightest indication that they will give any mercy.

The Jews of the Middle East suffered thirteen centuries of second and third-class citizenship under the boot of Arab-Muslim imperial rule from the time of Muhammed until the fall of the Ottoman Empire during World War I.  Directly after that the great Arab majority – which outnumbers Jewish people by a factor of  60 or 70 to 1 – launched a war against the traditionally oppressed Jewish minority in that part of the world that continues to this day.

As a Jewish non-Israeli, therefore, I begin to wonder what the purpose of standing up for Israel is, if Israel refuses to stand up for itself?

Martin Sherman, of the Jerusalem Post and the Israel Institute for Strategic Studies, is calling for Netanyahu’s resignation or removal from office.

He writes:

It is difficult to overstate the gravity of the ramifications of the Netanyahu government’s decision.


It sends an unequivocal message to the Palestinians, the Arabs and the international community that no position articulated by Israel need be taken seriously. For Israel has proved that no matter how outlandish, outrageous, macabre or scandalous the demands of its adversaries, the Jews will eventually submit – irrespective of how resolutely they feign opposition to them initially.

Furthermore, it should be noted, that Israel will get no love or appreciation for this terrible concession. The Arabs, for religious reasons, will not decide that Jews are worthy to live among them in freedom and will continue to incite genocidal hatred toward us.  The Europeans will still consider Israel to be a racist, imperialist, colonialist, apartheid, militarist, racist regime.

And Barack Obama will continue to lead from behind in the delegitimization of the Jewish State.

In my opinion, this was an exceedingly counterproductive move because peace will need to come through strength.

It will not come through weakness.


Michael Lumish is the editor of Israel Thrives.

About the Author
Mike Lumish is a PhD in American history from the Pennsylvania State University and has taught at PSU, San Francisco State University, and the City College of San Francisco. He regularly publishes on the Arab-Israel conflict at the Times of Israel and at his own blog, Israel Thrives ( He has in recent years given conference papers on American cultural and intellectual history at The International Society for the History of Behavioral and Social Sciences in Dublin, Ireland, as well as at the Western Historical Association in Phoenix, Arizona and the American Cultural Association in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lumish is also the founding editor of the scholarly on-line discussion forum H-1960s. He can be contacted at