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Sunday, June 29, 2008

Breaking: Cabinet ratifies terrorists for corpses exchange

The Israeli government's cabinet today ratified the exchange of mass murderer Samir al-Kuntar, four Hezbullah terrorists captured in Lebanon and "'Palestinian' prisoners whose number and identity will be determined in the sole discretion of the Israeli government' in exchange for the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev HY"D (may God avenge their blood), body parts of various Israeli soldiers who fell during the 2006 Second Lebanon War and 'information' regarding IAF navigator Ron Arad, who was shot down over Lebanon in 1986 and who has not been heard from since 1988. The cabinet vote was 22-3. Shortly before the cabinet voted, Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert informed the cabinet that the government was classifying Goldwasser and Regev as 'killed in action.'

The families were upset that Olmert announced that Goldwasser and Regev were dead and were upset that he announced it without telling them first. But the government has known they are dead for quite some time. My sense is that the government felt railroaded into making this deal by the pressure brought by the families and the media, and that this was Olmert's - frankly petty - way of getting back at them (much as I am opposed to the exchange, this was still petty on Olmert's part - they are still bereaved families)!

That's all based on a news report I heard on Voice of Israel starting from the 4:00 News. More to follow.


Here are some more details from a JPost report:
As well as freeing Kuntar, Israel will release dozens of bodies, including eight Hizbullah guerrillas captured during the Second Lebanon War, and a number of Palestinian prisoners. Israel also agreed to give information regarding disappearance of Iranian diplomats in the nineties as part of the deal.
That last detail is scandalous. Israel has always claimed that it had nothing to do with their disappearance, and I have no idea what kind of 'information' it could possibly give. Besides, Iran is not supposed to be a party to this 'exchange.' (Heh!).
Olmert's decision to back the swap came even as the head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) and Mossad advised against accepting the deal, and even though Olmert said that it was almost certain that Regev and Goldwasser were not alive, but were either killed during the kidnapping attempt or died shortly thereafter from their wounds.

The prime minister added that Hizbullah likely abducted the two soldiers precisely for the purpose of releasing Kuntar, as the group did not have any more information on the fate of Ron Arad - a previous condition for Kuntar's release.
Guess what's going to happen the next time - and unfortunately there will be a next time - one of the terror organizations abducts an Israeli soldier or civilian now that they see that you can get just as much for a dead soldier as for a live one.
Goldwasser's wife Karnit was disappointed with the manner of Olmert's declaration, telling the Knesset Channel that she would have expected an announcement of the soldiers' death be made to the families before it was made to the general public. [See above as to why I think that was done. CiJ]

His father Shlomo said he was not surprised by the declaration, but wanted proof the soldiers were dead. "There have been assessments for a long time," he said. "But none of this matters because it is not fact...They were alive when they were kidnapped and no one has provided us with evidence to the contrary."
There has been proof for months. Starting from the IDF investigation that took place shortly after the incident. I concluded they were dead in December 2006 based on what had been publicized in the media. The IDF reached that conclusion well before that.
At the start of the meeting, Olmert said the government had the obligation to deliberate over the prisoner swap as it would have an impact on the lives of all Israelis.

"There is no doubt that today's discussion has special weight and is exceptionally sensitive in terms of its national and moral implications," he said.

"Even those with the utmost responsibility, like myself, have the right, and the obligation of deliberation, as the deal will have an impact on our lives in the coming years," Olmert told ministers.

"We have a collective responsibility of the highest degree, and we need to be able to look the Regev, Goldwasser, Haran, Arad, and Schalit families in the eyes," Olmert said.
It's not the Regev, Goldwasser, Haran, Arad and Shalit families whose eyes the government has to look into. It's all the innocent Israelis whose death warrants were - God forbid - signed today by twenty-two cabinet ministers in a government that should have been unseated a long time ago. None of us knows who shall live and who shall die (as the High Holiday prayer intones), but unfortunately hundreds of Israelis' death warrants were probably signed today.


Arutz Sheva adds:
The meeting began with a security briefing: Mossad chief Meir Dagan and Shabak (General Security Service) head Yuval Diskin expressed their strong objection to the deal, while IDF Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi and Intelligence Chief Amos Yadlin supported it.


Opponents of the deal, including security experts, politicians, the ā€¸Almagor terrorism-victim organization and the Bereaved Parents Forum, said that a deal for dead bodies "would encourage the terror organizations to kill their abductees in the future, and also directly endangers Gilad Shalit who is being held by Hamas." Shabak chief Yuval Diskin has said the same.

Defense Minister Ehud Barak, head of the Labor Party, was among those who raised their hand in favor, having said, "We have a moral obligation to bring the boys home, dead or alive." He admitted last week that the deal is "problematic." Vice Premier Chaim Ramon (Kadima) said the deal is reasonable, as "receiving Goldwasser and Regev is for sure, while receiving information on Arad is only a maybe..."

One Cabinet minister said, "You'll notice that we have never received a live body from Hizbullah in any prisoner exchange, except for Elchanan Tenenbaum; the three soldiers kidnapped in 2000, and apparently the current two as well, were returned dead."

Industry and Trade Minister Eli Yishai (Shas) actually used this information to support the deal. He noted that back in 1996, the Netanyahu government released 45 Hizbullah prisoners and the remains of 141 Hizbullah terrorists, in exchange for the remains of two Israeli soldiers - Yossi Fink and Rahamim Alsheikh - who had been kidnapped by Hizbullah ten years earlier. Yishai did not mention that 17 Israel-allied South Lebanese Army prisoners were also freed by Hizbullah in the deal.
Aside from Yishai's omission, something needs to be added about the Tenenbaum deal (a deal I have criticized on this blog in the past): None of the terrorists released in the Tenenbaum deal had 'blood on their hands.' Kuntar is one of the most heinous murderers in Israel's history, and he was the entire motivation for Hezbullah going to war two summers ago. By releasing him, the government has allowed Hezbullah to fulfill the goals of that war, while its own goals (if there ever were any) remain completely unfulfilled.


Here's an interview with Likud MK and former chairman of the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Yuval Steinitz, who explains why exchanging live terrorists for the corpses of kidnapped IDF soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev is a bad idea, and what Israel should do to avoid such situations in the future.

Let's go to the videotape.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

The stupidity of Ehud Olmert in rewarding Hezbollah is the latest low in his inept tenure as Prime Minister. This is the guy who couldn't even manage to win a war and he has now foisted a national humiliation upon the country. For what?

At 5:15 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 5:16 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Unfortunately, Carl - and the people who consented to this treif deal, including indulging Iran with info about its diplomats - and here's the kicker, Carl - Israel is not even demanding info about Ron Arad from Iran! - won't be around to answer for the fallout when it does affect the rest of Israel. All I can add in outrage is this is this kind of corruption that has made Israel a running joke among the nations. It just makes me want to throw up!

At 6:04 PM, Blogger Johannes said...

After this swap Israel may feel completely free to retire Hassan Nasrallah definitely

At 7:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, you want to talk about your dead deity on a stick?

BTW, the Talmud isn't the holiest book. The Torah is. Your stupid cut and paste diatribe can't even get the first sentence's claim right.

Actually, I would say that your post is holier, as in full of holes.

Frankly, I couldn't care less what unpleasant things the Talmud says or doesn't say about Jesus. However, there's a question as to whether these references are to Jesus at all. See "The Jesus Narrative In The Talmud".

No apologia intended. Have a nice day.

At 9:23 PM, Blogger Carl in Jerusalem said...

Shy Guy,

I took the liberty of deleting his 'comment.' Not the first time.

At 11:17 PM, Blogger Mr. Smarterthanyou said...

This isn't the stupidity of Olmert, this is the stupidity of the Israeli people. And seeing as how Jews in the rest of the world think (so damn liberal and "Jewicidal"), this is one of many death-knells for the Jewish people. You guys have lost your will, desire and ability to live. How can it be interpreted any other way, when the bones of the dead are equal to the lives of your children?

I have ALWAYS been a supporter of Israel, even as I find the liberal 90% of Jews to be traitors to humanity, but this, this is too much. Every $$ that goes to support Israel at this point is wasted.

At 2:01 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Jews have a high regard for the dead and bury them almost immediately after they pass away. The issue here isn't to provide closure for the families who have lost their loved ones. No decent human argues they don't deserve it - they do. What the controversy is whether this terrorist exchange provides long term benefits for Israel. Releasing terrorists from prison is a way of saying deterrence is useless since sooner or later, they will get out and that's wrong. And it doesn't even given terror victims the satisfaction of true closure, which is why it should have been opposed. But the Israeli government disagreed and came to a different conclusion on the subject. So here we are.

At 3:51 AM, Blogger Findalis said...

Olmert will do anything to stay in power. He has already destroyed Kadima and now he's giving in to Hezbollah.

At 5:37 AM, Blogger NormanF said...

Israel's political system is so corrupt that terrorists have more rights than Jews! That says it all - and its not just Olmert who is showing mercy to the wicked while being cruel to the merciful, as the classic Talmudic proverb says.

At 12:46 PM, Blogger Red Tulips said...

This is so beyond vile, I am speechless.


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