Israel’s “goodwill measures” — a bad deal?
posted at 11:14 am on July 14, 2013 by Ed Morrissey
During my two trips to Jerusalem, I’ve had the pleasure of becoming friends with Richard Wittman, director of Strategic Development for the Knesset Forum. Richard “rescued” me from my hotel during the Presidential Conference in 2011 and gave me a late-night tour of the Old City, and last month took me on a longer visit. Richard and I now joke about being brothers separated at birth, given that we have similar hairstyles and similar senses of humor.
Richard’s passionate about the policy in Israel of “goodwill measures” of swapping hundreds of prisoners for a handful of kidnapped soldiers. He has a new op-ed in the Jerusalem Post expressing his frustration at their consequences:
The Israeli justice system gave these terrorists a more than fair trial, and their sentences, while not commensurate with their crimes nevertheless constituted some measure of justice; at least they would never be released.
Now some of those seeking peace think that persuading the government to release these murderers as a goodwill measure will bring the Palestinians to the negotiating table. Even if it were so, the crimes committed by these barbarians were so heinous that for the government or release them or use them as bargaining chips would make a mockery of the justice system, in addition to encouraging and rewarding terrorism and causing even more pain for the families of their victims.
The results of our goodwill measures to the Palestinians in the past have been particularly bad. Our government has released thousands of terrorists only to have them come back and continue murdering our people.
One report I have seen in the media claims that since the year 2000, over 180 innocent Israelis have been killed by released terrorists. Based on this experience and claims that around half of all those released return to terrorist activities against us, how could our government contemplate releasing even more terrorists knowing full well around half will go straight back to terror? It would be foolhardy, and moreover in my view would render the government culpable for the resulting deaths; we know full well the outcome will be more death, we just don’t know the names and times.
Be sure to read it all.