MK Zvulun Orlev (Bayit Yehudi) intends to introduce Knesset legislation that would limit the authority of the government to abrogate prison sentences of terrorists and use them as “bargaining chips” to realize a policy objective.
Orlev said that the recent experience of Israel's release of over 1,000 terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit had convinced many MKs and ministers of the urgent need for such a law.
Orlev said that a large number of government officials, Knesset members and ministers now regret releasing so many terrorists for Shalit, and believe that Israel could have secured the kidnapped soldier's release using other methods.
Orlev was speaking at a Hanukkah event sponsored by the Almagor Terror Victims organization. He invited Almagor members to join him in pushing for adoption of the legislation against release of terrorists as a policy in seeking freedom for kidnapped Israelis, forcing the government to find other methods to secure their release.
Also speaking at the event was Rabbi Yehuda Ben-Yishai, father of Ruth Fogel, who was savagely murdered in Itamar in March, along with her husband Udi and three of her children.
Rabbi Ben-Yishai said that Israel's war against its enemies had two aspects – a physical and a spiritual aspect – and that the former was not necessarily more difficult than the latter. “The Maccabees needed strength to fight the Syrian-Greeks not only on the battlefield, but also to resist their attempts to destroy the Jewish soul and the nation's traditions,” he said – and that is similar to the situation today.