Sunday, December 22, 2013

Perhaps a good idea to look into how those prisoner releases worked out

...The real question is not what makes them keep acting like savages but rather why anyone on the victims' side would ever consent to provide them with fresh stocks of seasoned, committed leaders. It's equally incomprehensible to us that the government of the United States, and in particular Secretary of State John Kerry, would continue to push ahead relentlessly to engineer more such shabby and self-defeating releases. If it's because they don't know how the Shalit deal worked out, then from this evening let's acknowledge that's no longer true. Could it be they know and just don't give a damn?

Frimet/Arnold Roth..
This Ongoing War..
22 December '13..

We are exactly a week away from yet another mass release of convicted Palestinian Arab murderers from their Israeli prison cells under absurd pressure from the US government. [Our post from last week, "15-Dec-13: Confirmed by Kerry: More unrepentant killers to walk free in two weeks", offers details.]

Amos Harel writing in Haaretz yesterday ["Hamas is alive and kicking in the West Bank - but in remote control", Haaretz, December 21, 2013] reminds us how previous releases worked out. He describes how Hamas, an organization whose very raison d'etre is terrorism directed at Jews and Israelis, currently finds itself somewhat hamstrung on its own home turf. Depending on which way you see these things, this is the result of either (a) massive pressure arising from the new political situation in Egypt or (b) certain understandings reached with Israel in the wake of Operation Pillar of Defense in November 2012.

Hamas is actively reining in its more extreme factions, Harel says, and established a special force of some 800 men a year ago to take charge of that process. All of that is in Gaza, but in the West Bank where Mahmoud Abbas' Palestinian Authority is nominally in charge, things are different. And one of the things that makes them so different, according to Harel, is the infamous Gilad Shalit Transaction.

He offers a survey of what Israelis have gotten - and can expect - from the post-Shalit status of a circle of hardened practitioners of terror now back in circulation and doing what they do best. He observes what everyone - other than the Israeli government officials who actually sold the Shalit deal to an ill-informed public - knows well, namely:

"exile in Gaza has not persuaded most of them to go into a new line of work. The senior figures among them were co-opted into Hamas’ apparatus in the Strip and some have been given key appointments relating to the renewal of the networks in the West Bank..."


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