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Monday, July 07, 2008

Murdered policeman's family tries to block Kuntar release

Smadar Haran, whose husband and daughter were murdered by Samir Kuntar, and whose other daughter suffocated while hiding in a crawl space from the terrorist, may be willing to see Kuntar released in exchange for the corpses of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. But the family of Eliyahu Shahar, the policeman who was Kuntar's other victim, is not.
The family of Eliahu Shahar, the police officer who was murdered in 1979 by Samir Kuntar, filed a petition to the High Court of Justice on Monday appealing the decision to release the terrorist as part of the planned prisoner swap between Hizbullah and Israel.

"The decision to release this murderer seriously hurts the victims," the petition stated. "It diminishes the punishment that the most terrible of murders deserves and sends a message to the victims that there is forgiveness for murder."

According to the family, no government official ever contacted them regarding the details of the prisoner swap. As it were, the family members said they were entirely opposed to any deal which would include the release of Kuntar.
Meanwhile, another aspect of the deal has drawn the ire of twelve Iranian Jewish families, including four women who are agunot (ineligible to remarry because their husbands' fates are unresolved). Aaron Lerner explains.
When the Olmert Cabinet voted last week to, among other things, provide information on the fate of four missing Iranian officials in return for the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev they ostensibly gave priority to the need to free Karnit Goldwasser [pictured above with Olmert. CiJ] from her aguna (unable to remarry) status against the chances of trading this information in order to resolve the status of four other agunot.

I say "ostensibly" because it is far from clear that the Olmert Cabinet even considered the fates of Nahid Farangian, Simcha Razakansari, Orit Rabizadeh, and Linda Balazadeh (Ram), the four wives of Iranian Jews arrested in the 1990s as they sought to escape from Iran across the border with Pakistan.

None of these women may remarry because it is believed that their husbands are still alive and wallowing in Iranian prisons.

The only bargaining chip Israel holds to help resolve their fate is the information it has on the Iranian diplomats.

But the Olmert team threw that chip on the huge pile of concessions in the live terrorists for dead Israeli trade with Hezbollah.

But what of Karmit Goldwasser's rights?

A key argument that has been raised by supporters of the trade of Kuntar for Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev is that Goldwasser's wife, Karnit, is a live hostage since, under Jewish law, she cannot remarry until it is determined that her husband is indeed dead.

Is the Rabbinate unable to make this determination in the absence of a body?

A resounding "no".

Chief Rabbi of the IDF, Rabbi Avichai Ronsky was in the process of making just this determination when it was put on hold so that the Olmert Cabinet could vote without knowing if Karnit could be freed from her aguna status without the bodies-terrorist swap.

But the Olmert Cabinet did not want to know. So the determination was never made.
Karnit Goldwasser's aguna status is the biggest 'justification' for the terrorists for corpses swap. But it could be resolved without having a body. Instead, four other women may remain agunot for the rest of their lives.


At 11:45 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Does it surprise any one that even with a nominally Orthodox party sitting in the government too - that it sees fit to ignore Jewish law? That's probably the worst aspect of this treif deal - never mind Shas going along with kashering it.


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