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Friday, June 27, 2008

Kuntar to be released?

Prime Minister Ehud K. Olmert's 'cabinet' will vote on Sunday to release heinous murderer Samir al-Kuntar (pictured at top with Marwan Barghouti - Kuntar is the bigger man) as part of an exchange for what may be the dead bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev according to Friday's Jerusalem Post. The paper says that its survey shows that at least fifteen ministers - whom it has named - plan to vote in favor of the deal. The article admits that the cabinet has no idea whether the two soldiers are alive or dead, and amazingly, some ministers think it doesn't matter. Due to a 'publicity campaign' mounted by the families, many ministers are afraid to vote no!
Among the ministers' considerations is the issue of whether Goldwasser and Regev are alive or dead.

But [Comrade Yuli] Tamir said that from her perspective, the question was no longer relevant.

"At this point it doesn't really matter. We have to allow the families to know what exactly happened to them. Karnit [Goldwasser's wife] should be allowed to live a normal life as far as possible," said Tamir, adding that the whole issue "touches a very sensitive nerve within the public as to what it means to be Israeli. We have a responsibility to every soldier, and we should bring them home." [The IDF has a responsibility to bring every soldier home, but not at any price. We constantly hear stories about the IDF incurring additional casualties to bring home dead and wounded soldiers from the field. Unfortunately, the price of war is that people are killed and sometimes you don't get to bury them when and in the way that you would like to. As far as Goldwasser's wife goes and her being able to live "a normal life as far as possible," one would have to assume that the reference is to her being able to remarry. But if the soldiers are declared dead, she would be able to remarry both legally and under Jewish law. On the other hand, I don't see how the cabinet can possibly cast an intelligent vote on this deal without Israel knowing what it is getting. And while the surveys have shown overwhelming public support for the deal, that support evaporates if the question is supporting the deal in exchange for dead bodies, and besides, leaders are supposed to lead, not follow polls. CiJ]

None of the ministers contacted by the Post spoke out against the deal. However, MK Yuval Steinitz (Likud) said that if he were a minister, he would oppose the move. It should not be considered unless Hizbullah can prove that the two men are alive, he said.

"I think this deal is a disaster," he said, particularly because "we have strong evidence that they [Goldwasser and Regev] are dead." He would not elaborate on what that evidence might be, but he added that it had been known for almost two years.

In general, he said, "you should never start any kind of negotiation before you get solid information about the fate [of the captives]," Such a move would be a mistake because one should not "bargain for corpses," he said, as that would mean terrorists would have no incentive to provide information about future captives, or to even keep them alive.

Steinitz warned that in the aftermath of such a deal, Hamas, for example, would have no incentive to keep alive St.-Sgt. Gilad Schalit, who was kidnapped by the group in June 2006. Since his abduction, his family has received two letters and an audio recording proving that he is still alive.

A exchange of live terrorists for corpses could even encourage terrorists to steal body parts from cemeteries in hopes of striking a bargain to get them back, he said.

"I call on my colleagues in the cabinet not to vote for it," he said.
It's amazing that thirty years ago, this country refused to negotiate the release of terrorists in exchange for kidnapped civilians, let alone for soldiers. But the terrorists have succeeded where the Israeli government has failed, and it is becoming easier and easier for the terrorists to set their comrades free.


At 4:58 PM, Blogger J. Lichty said...

Welcome to Chelm.

At 5:22 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I don't know what to say except to add if it does go through, every one knows Jewish blood is cheap and the terrorists know it.


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