Saturday, July 21, 2007

Prisoner Releases: Negative Omens

All past releases by Israel of Palestinian Arab prisoners have led to a significant proportion of those released resuming their terrorist activities. It leads to obvious questions, such as why does Israel keep repeating the same mistake and why does anyone with any interest in peace keep pressuring Israel to make such counterproductive gestures.

There was one bright spot in an Associate Press story on the release yesterday of 255 prisoners. According to the AP, "Some of the prisoners suggested the era of armed attacks on Israel is over. 'We want to send a message to the rest of the world that we want peace for our people,' Majdi Abdullah [one of the freed terrorists] said."

Only time will tell whether Abdullah is interested in the end of "the era of armed attacks on Israel" or just wants the gullible to believe it. Unfortunately, the signs are not positive, even ignoring the fact that one portion of the disputed territories, Gaza, is ruled by a terrorist group that is not even feigning an interest in peace.

According to the article, "Israel has balked at freeing inmates who are serving time for wounding or killing Israelis, in part for fear of a public outcry. Palestinian negotiator Saeb Erekat said it was time for Israel to ease the release criteria."

Amazing! According to this leader of the Palestinian Arabs, people are supposed to believe that putting killers on the streets is a good thing! Unfortunately, that's the mentality of the so-called moderates.

For example, the same article included the following quotes.

Palestinian Authority Chair Mahmoud Abbas: "Our work must continue until every prisoner returns to his home."

Palestinian Authority Prime Minister Salam Fayyad: "Your [Israel's] policy is a policy of small change. You do a little here, a little there ... Israel is a large, strong country. Israel can allow itself to be more bold."

The article also included the following opinion of the writer, who in line with the current standards of journalism doesn't realize such opnions don't belong in what is purported to be a news article: "Prisoner releases are seen as the most effective way of swaying Palestinian opinion in favor of moderation after more than a decade of failed negotiations that drove many to support Hamas."

The real need is for the leaders of the Palestinian Arabs to lead their people into a brighter future, building a civilized society rather than struggling to make sure murderers continue to control the streets.

When their leaders start to lead, there may be some realistic hope for peace. Letting them believe otherwise only perpetuates the conflict.

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