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Indor: Releasing Terrorists for Tenenbaum is Dangerous

Meir Indor, spokesman for Almagor Terror Victims Association, said today that the deal currently being discussed to obtain the release of Elchanan Tenenbaum would endanger Israeli interests and citizens.
First Publish: 10/22/2003, 11:30 AM


Meir Indor, spokesman for Almagor Terror Victims Association, said today that the deal currently being discussed to obtain the release of Elchanan Tenenbaum would endanger Israeli interests and citizens. "How will Tenenbaum's family be able to look into the eyes of the loved ones of those who will be killed by the terrorists who will be released?" he asked Arutz-7's Yosef Meiri today. "A country has to know how to pay a price for the war against terrorism, just as I myself was sent to fight a battle against four terrorists; I was wounded, but could just as easily have been killed. We are fighting a war, and soldiers are sent to fight, and the risk is known."

Asked if there is no price he would be willing to pay for the return of captives, Indor said, "We must do just as we did in 1950, during the Jibli affair. We abducted Arabs specifically for the purpose of using them to obtain the release of our citizens. We did not release terrorists who would further endanger us." He mentioned the precedent almost 1,000 years ago of the saintly rabbi, the Maharam of Rotenburg, who was kidnapped and instructed his Jewish community not to pay the ransom that was demanded for his release. "He in fact died in prison, and even said that they should not pay to have his body released, because he knew that this would lead to more such kidnappings - and this was when the price was only money, not a threat to Jewish life!"

Indor mentioned the 1974 hostage situation in which 22 Jewish children were killed in Maalot: "Prime Minister Golda Meir said at the time that there would be no release of terrorists - and in fact the army launched a commando operation that ended up costing us 22 children... Since then, there has been a deterioration in our stance, which began with the famous Jibril deal in 1985, in which we released over 1,150 terrorists in exchange for three captive soldiers. The released terrorists included Marwan Barghouti, who is now charged with the murder of at least 13 Israelis, and two more who murdered a Jewish woman in eastern Jerusalem, and many others who were involved in various ways in terrorism."

"In addition," Indor said, "deals of this nature decrease our deterrence, by encouraging others to perpetrate terrorism in the knowledge that the chances are good that they will be released... After the Jibril exchange, I and several others started a petition to the government saying that if we were taken captive, we do not want to be released in exchange for terrorists, and that the government should not listen to whatever pleas to the contrary we might later make from captivity."