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Monday, December 24, 2007

Israel to redefine 'blood on their hands'?

This is an issue I have discussed several times before. Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert has a problem. Under the present definition, nearly every 'Palestinian' prisoner terrorist held by Israel 'has blood on his hands.' That does not leave a whole lot of room for Olmert the slick lawyer to make 'gestures' to 'moderate' 'Palestinian' President Mahmoud Abbas Abu Mazen - let alone to Hamas - by freeing terrorists to let them resume their terror activities. Now Olmert is looking yet again to change the criteria.

The difference is that this time the bait is slightly more palatable to the public than another 'unilateral gesture.' The 'bait' is Gilad Shalit.
Prime Minister Ehud Olmert will hold a special session on Monday with a team of ministers to examine the option of modifying criteria for the release of prisoners "with blood on their hands."

The meeting will be attended by Vice Premier Haim Ramon, Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann, Public Affairs Minister Avi Dichter and Minister without-portfolio Ami Ayalon.

The issue was raised in an effort to advance the negotiations for the release of kidnapped soldier Cpl. Gilad Schalit. The forum will decide whether prisoners on the list given to Israel by Hamas who had previously been rejected can be considered for release.

Today's definition of a terrorist "with blood on his hands" is one who may not have physically carried out an attack but was directly involved in one.
Let's put this in cold hard terms: Under today's criteria, Ahlam Tamimi is not eligible for release. Under the new criteria she might be, because she did not physically carry out an attack, but she was involved in one. And for those who have forgotten, who is Ahlam Tamimi?
Tamimi was much more than a simple and perhaps unwitting means of transportation for a suicide bomber. And the suicide bombing in question, which is never mentioned in the review, was one of the most gruesome and deadly of the Intifada: it was the Sbarro pizzeria bombing in downtown Jerusalem that murdered 15 people (17, if one wishes to count the baby being carried by a pregnant woman and another victim who was left in a permanent coma). Eight of the slaughtered were children, a detail that could not have gone unnoticed by Tamimi’s accomplice as he made his way through the crowd of restaurant patrons with an explosives- and shrapnel-packed guitar case slung over his shoulder.

Tamimi, who at the time of the attack was a 20-year-old part-time university student from Ramallah, and the bomber, a 22-year-old son of affluent West Bank parents, were members of Hamas. The planning and reconnaissance for the attack were carried out also by Tamimi, and on the day of the attack Tamimi and her accomplice dressed as westerners and spoke English in order to pass through the checkpoints between Arab East Jerusalem and Jewish West Jerusalem. In 2006 Tamimi was given a rare opportunity to be interviewed in prison, and declared: “I'm not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel's existence. Discussions will only take place after Israel recognizes that this is Islamic land.”
Will Ehud K. Olmert release Ahlam Tamimi as part of an exchange for Gilad Shalit? For those of you thinking that someone in tomorrow's meeting will block him from doing so, the only one in that group who is likely to vote "no" is Avi Dichter. It's possible that Daniel Friedmann will vote "no" - I don't know enough about his political leanings. But the rest of them will all vote with Olmert, and Tamimi may be released.

Will anyone (other than Arnold and Frimette Roth) protest if Olmert does release her?


At 1:02 AM, Blogger Unknown said...

This is truly a case for a "Goel". If she is released, then she becomes fair game for the family!
Drug her, implant a tracking chip in her, and then once she thinks she's safe...well!

At 8:38 AM, Blogger Oz_in_Zion said...

Carl, there's much more to be said about the inanity of freeing murderers and co-conspirators as if this "flexibility" (the word that's in all the papers this morning) somehow guarantees a happy ending. Thanks for raising it so well here. At http://www.kerenmalki.org/Sbarro_Massacre.htm people can see something of the true barbarity of the sort of terror practitioners the government is talking about putting back onto our streets. How did we come to this situation?
- Arnold

At 4:12 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

If y'all don't mind my saying so, it's a great shame that Israel has no death penalty. Many of these people clearly deserve it for what they have done, and if they had been executed after being duly convicted, they would not be available for such despicable trade deals.


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