The Absurdity of Releasing Murderers for Peace

Today Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet are going to vote on whether or not to release more than 100 terrorists in exchange for the resumption of peace talks with the Palestinian Authority. Regardless of the outcome of the vote, the irrationality of even considering such a proposal should be apparent to anyone who with honesty and integrity is following the conflict in this region.

Since the inception of the modern day State of Israel, peace with its Arab neighbors has always been one of its highest priorities. Though true peace is a great and noble ideal, we must not become blinded by its “siren song” and refuse to see the reality as it exists in front of our eyes. Peace is not a one sided decision or state of mind; rather peace is the state of affairs that exists between two individuals or societies when they live harmoniously with mutual understanding and respect between one another.

Without even beginning to address then manifold moral and legal issues regarding releasing more than 100 terrorists in exchange for the resumption of peace talks, we must ask ourselves are Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority that he represents really interested in peace and reconciliation. Let us remember that peace needs to start from the ground up and cannot and will not be successful with grand slogans coming from pontificating politicians.

I believe that if we take an objective look at what is happening in the Palestinian Authority we will see that the basic foundation for peace, i.e. mutual understanding and respect is far from in place.

In addition, to glorifying terrorists by according them official military funerals, and proudly listing their murderous activity, the Palestinian Authority continues to educate its youth to hate and demonize both Jews and the State of Israel. According to a translation provided by PMW (Palestinian Media Watch), a young girl recently on Official Palestinian Authority TV, recites a poem: Jews are the “most evil among creations”. In addition, the distortion of the tragedies of the holocaust followed by the glowing admiration expressed for Hitler in PA literature and school books continues to leave its reprehensible mark on the next generation of Palestinian youth (Palestinian Media Watch).

All of the above, coupled with the Palestinian Authorities Charter which calls for the “armed liberation of all of Palestine”, and “elimination of Zionism in Palestine”, Seems to make the ideals of mutual understanding and respect between one another a one way street.

However, if one would like to believe that there is a change of heart occurring in the leadership of Palestinian Authority, and the people at large in regards to peace and reconciliation, how does the release of over 100 unrepentant terrorists who have blood on their hands further this goal? In any normal society, unrepentant murders are kept in jail, and no one would think that releasing them back onto the streets would add to the tranquility or stability of the overall society from whence they came.

About the Author
The Author is a Jerusalem based Rabbi and Jewish Educator, and is the author of the Two Volume book "A People, A Country, A Heritage-Torah Inspiration from the Land of Israel."
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