At the Biblical Zoo with terrorists?

It’s truly yet another dark day in Israel with the release of 26 murderous Arab terrorists back into society, as a gesture of ‘goodwill,’ in order just to sit at the same table as Mahmoud Abbas and the rest of his cronies.  This time around five of the terrorists were freed to their homes in Jerusalem. So next time Jerusalemites visit the zoo, mall, or the movies in our capital, who knows, perhaps one of these ‘martyrs’ will be next to you feeding the goats, trying on a new shirt, or chomping on popcorn one row ahead. Not a comforting notion.

But of course, the biggest problem with the terror release is the government approved injustice being carried out, which a. opens the wounds for the victims’ families forcing them to once again relive their painful nightmare of horror, knowing that their loved ones’ killers are back on the street and b. sends the message to future terrorists namely that – you can murder Israelis, spend a few years in the slammer, while of course getting your college degree and in some cases having the means to coordinate more attacks with those on the outside, knowing full well that one day soon, you too will see the light of day.

Those released of course were greeted with a hero’s welcome in PA-controlled Ramallah from Abbas all the way down. I’m not sure why our Prime Minister wasted his breath in condemning the celebration.

With incitement spewed against Israel in the PA schools, summer camps, mosques, and on official PA news outlets on a regular basis, why is it a surprise that their late night party to welcome the terrorists home was rocking? And let’s not bother trying to understand how or why terrorists past, present and future are able to live with themselves, after carrying out the most heinous of crimes. In a brainwashed society, anything is possible.

For political reasons no doubt, at the same time as the prisoners were packing up and getting ready to head home, reports indicated that the government was to approve new construction in “consensus” areas in Judea, Samaria, and Jerusalem.

Without surprise, the PA along with countries across the world condemned such an announcement as proof that Israel’s true interest is to sabotage the talks.

So what do we get if we couple prisoner releases with building in Judea and Samaria? Condemnation of course. And what do we get if we simply announce we are going to build without any prisoners being released? That’s right, again condemnation.

So instead of playing this game, Israel should continue to build Jewish homes everywhere and at all times – in Judea, Samaria, Jerusalem, in the Negev, you name it, without releasing these murderers. Whenever Israel has built in Judea and Samaria over the past 45 years, we have been told by the Euros, UN, State Department etc. that “now is not the right time to build. The situation is too sensitive.” What they are really saying, is that ‘it’s never a good time’ in their eyes to build, hence waiting for their blessing is like waiting for pigs to fly.

At the same time Israel was also condemned (even by some of our own MK’s and ministers including Tzipi Livni) for a symbolic Ministerial Legislative Committee vote approving the annexation of the Jordan Valley. While on the surface this seems like a step in the right direction, what this non-binding resolution really demonstrated can be analyzed by what areas were not included in the wording.

Since the document doesn’t make mention of communities like Itamar, Tekoa, Yizhar, or others outside of the so-called major blocs, it would appear that our Likud-led government is in fact planning on expelling Jews from these areas in the near future. Of course an Israeli presence in the Jordan Valley is vital to any threat from the East, but only with an IDF and civilian presence throughout the hills of Judea and Samaria can we make sure rockets aren’t fired at Tel-Aviv or the airport below.

But what’s possibly most ironically heart-wrenching on this dark day of these terrorist monsters going free (with the final prisoner release still in the works), is how tragic it is that it takes an injustice like this to unite us all.

About the Author
Joshua Hasten is the International Spokesperson for Gush Etzion. He is host of the weekly “Israel Uncensored” radio broadcast on The Land of Israel Network, as well as an international Middle East Correspondent in print and on television. Joshua is also a sought-after speaker around the world. His workshops and lectures on pro-Israel advocacy have impacted thousands. Joshua was the CAMERA organization’s 2009 Letter Writer of the Year, and is a member of the Judea and Samaria Speaker’s Bureau. Originally from Indianapolis, Indiana, he resides in Gush Etzion, Israel.
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