Daily Israel Report

Activist: Everyone Knows Releasing Terrorists Won't Bring Peace

If releasing terrorists will bring peace, then that is what must be done, says Dr. Aryeh Bachrach of Almagor. But everyone knows it won't.
By David Lev
First Publish: 3/20/2014, 1:33 PM

Protest against terrorist release, December 28
Protest against terrorist release, December 28
Flash90

In an interview with Arutz Sheva Thursday, Dr. Aryeh Bachrach, whose son was killed in a terror attack in 1995, sent a plea to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu: Do not release more Arab terrorists at the end of the month, as the Palestinian Authority is demanding, and as Netanyahu committed to do last year.

This will be the fourth time Israel is set to release terrorists in the latest “round” of releases, which began last year. Israel committed to releasing over 100 terrorists, many responsible for the deaths of multiple Israelis, as a “gesture” to tempt PA chief Mahmoud Abbas to restart talks with Israel after a three year hiatus. So far, Israel has released more than 75 terrorists, and another 26 are set to be released within a few weeks.

Over the years, said Bachrach, head of the Almagor Bereaved Parents' Forum, precious little attention has been paid to the feelings of parents who have lost children to terrorist attacks. It's time for that to change, he said.

My message to the Prime Minister is that if, sir, you are convinced that releasing terrorists will bring true peace, then it certainly should be done. Obviously you must act in accordance with what is best for all Israelis. In such a case you must ignore the feelings of people like me.

But you know as well as I do, as 99% of the people I come into contact with from all political points of view, that the only thing releasing terrorists will do is provide you with another opportunity to sit at the same table with the Holocaust denier Mahmoud Abbas,” said Bachrach. “We are paying with precious Jewish blood for this 'opportunity.' I call on you to prevent another travesty of releasing terrorists,” he said.

Bachrach's son Ohad, along with friend Ori Shahor, were killed in 1995 when they were hiking in Wadi Qelt east of Jerusalem. The PLO's Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine faction claimed responsibility for the murders. Bachrach, of Beit El, was 18 when he was killed, and Shahor, of Ra'anana, was 20.

On Wednesday, Deputy Defense Minister Danny Danon's declared that he would resign his post if the government went ahead with yet another round of releasing terrorists. The only reason talks with the Palestinian Authority were still going on, Danon said, was so that PA chief Mahmoud Abbas could secure the release of another group of terrorists, one of the “gestures” Israel made last year to encourage Abbas to restart the talks after a three year hiatus. “I will not sit in a government that releases terrorists in exchange for Tzipi Livni's fantasies,” Danon said Wednesday. “There is a limit to how much we can pay like suckers, in return for the smiles of (Tzipi) Livni and (Chief PA negotiator Saeb) Erekat.”

In response, said sources close to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, Danon can expect to lose his job if he actively tries to oppose the release. Responding to Danon’s threats, sources close to Netanyahu told Channel 2 News that “enough was enough.”

“We're tired of his cheap politics,” the sources said, adding, “You do not threaten the prime minister. Danon is threatening to resign because he has already received information about the letter of dismissal that the prime minister is preparing for him."

Danon's associates, unfazed by Netanyahu’s threats, said in response, "This is not the first time that we have been threatened with dismissal over the past year.”