Op-Ed: The Freed Terrorists and the "Settlers"
Giulio MeottiThe writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a twice-weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary. He has just prblished a book about the Vatican and Israel titled "J'Accuse: the Vatican Against Israel" published by Mantua Books.
It began with Jibril Rajoub and his men, the “security apparatus” of the Palestinian Authority. Israeli intelligence gave them information and money, and the ability to liquidate their own.
But who knows how many Jewish souls have been slaughtered - on bus number 18, at Cafe Hillel and the Sbarro, in the Propos Cafe, at the Beit Lid Junction, in the Mahane Yehuda market, in Jerusalem streets, because of this first, treasonous behavior?
In the last few years, Israel has released hundreds of assassins of children, pregnant women, elderly and other civilians. Israeli leaders, ministers and Israel's Supreme Court are creating the trigger for new Palestinian shedding of Jewish blood which has already cost Israel thousands of losses.
In 1985, 1,150 prisoners were exchanged for soldiers Hezi Shai, Nissim Salem and Yosef Groff, held by Ahmed Jibril’s Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine-General Command. The released terrorists included several mass murderers.
Two years later the first Intifada broke out.
According to Israeli data, 48 percent of the 238 Palestinian prisoners who returned to their homes in the framework of the “Jibril Deal” were jailed again. After having killed or maimed more Jews.
During the "peaceful" interlude of 1993-1999, 7,000 terrorists were freed and 854 of them carried out terrorist attacks, murdered or planned to harm Israeli citizens once again.
Then came the Second Intifada. Out of the 364 prisoners who returned to the territories in January 2004 after being freed by Israel in exchange for Elhanan Tannenbaum, 30 percent were arrested again. Those freed in the “Tannenbaum deal” had killed 35 Israelis.
The terrorists that Israel frees in return for captives should not have been freed at all. But if the state has to do that, they should not be freed in Judea and Samaria, but sent abroad. If you free murderers, it is because you hope to achieve something. What?
In his important book “A Place Among the Nations”, Benjamin Netanyahu called the “Jibril Deal” a fatal blow to Israel’s efforts to form international front against terrorism. Why he is allowing the terrorists to settle in areas in whose midst there are Jewish communities which will pay the ultimate price for this folly?
I have a premonition that doesn’t leave me in peace: since Israel cannot deport thousands of Jews from Judea and Samaria, is it consciously handing “the settlers” security to terror groups so they will leave of their own volition?
The view from Tel Aviv is different from that in Karnei Shomron: in the latter you see the lights of the houses of the released terrorists, you hear the sadistic joy and the vengeance inside these dwellings. You see evil raising its head and hand against you. You see the Umschlagplatz coming closer to you.