For those who are home, and for those who are on the way. For those who support the historic and just return of the land of Israel to its people, forever loyal to their inheritance, and its restoration.
Blanket prisoner release demand inconsistent Dr. Aaron Lerner IMRA 6 August 2009
The Fatah General Assembly being held in Bethlehem unanimously adopted a resolution today demanding the release of all Palestinians being held in Israeli prisons while at the same time asserting that all Palestinians being held by Israel have the status of “prisoners of war and combatants” subject to the Geneva Convention “as they are not terrorists or criminals.”
Here’s the problem:
The moment that the Palestinians argue that each and every terrorist now being held by Israel should be subject to the international conventions that apply to combatant they cannot also insist on a blanket release of all Palestinians now being held by Israel.
International conventions set restrictions of what combatants can and cannot do. And there are many Palestinian terrorists serving time in Israeli prisons for actions that constituted gross violations of those international rules of combat.
If these terrorists are “combatants” then they are also “war criminals”.
And war criminals don’t win a “get out of jail” card just because the war the “fought” in is over.
Fatah has to decide what they are.
As a terrorist movement they can certainly argue that any and every terrorist attack is legitimate in their eyes and thus those who carry them out deserve praise as heroes and immediate release from captivity.
But if Fatah instead sees itself as the advance guard of a Palestinian state in the making then they must not only acknowledge that there are limits and restrictions that apply to the activities of “combatants” and that “combatants” who violate these restrictions must be punished. .
I visited Hevron in November 2000 after the outbreak of the Rosh Hashanah War to see what could be done to assist in the face of the growing daily attacks on the community. After returning to work for the community in the summer of 2001, a bond and a love was forged that grows to this day. My wife Melody and I merited to be married at Ma'arat HaMachpela and now host visitors from throughout the world every Shabbat as well as during the week. Our goal, "Time to come Home!"