Among the outraged at Netanyahu's dhimmitude: Stephen Flatow
My daughter Alisa was murdered by Palestinian terrorists in 1995. Some of those terrorists or their co-conspirators were killed by Israeli security forces; some were arrested by the Palestinian Authority, then released soon afterward. Two have been in an Israeli prison since 1995, serving life sentences.As of now, it may not have happened yet. But if it does, and Netanyahu's career is destroyed as a result, then what can I say? He'll deserve it, because of his own failures to prove which side he's really on.
Unlike the United States, Israel doesn’t have the death penalty for terrorists, but I thought these guys would be behind bars for, well, life — because Israel, our family was told, wouldn’t use terrorists as political bargaining chips. That was a “red line” that Israel would supposedly never cross.
I’ve always accepted the fact that Israel would have to make hard decisions when it came time to negotiate a solution to 65 years of Arab hostility and warfare against the Jewish state. I understood this when an Israeli prime minister shook hands with arch-terrorist Yasser Arafat on the White House lawn in 1993.
And I didn’t complain to the Israeli government when, after Alisa was murdered by Islamic Jihad, some Israeli officials called her a “casualty of the peace” — when she was, in fact, murdered by Palestinian Arabs freely operating with the knowledge of the Palestinian Authority and some of her killers were roaming free under the noses of Arafat and his deputy — now Palestinian president— Mahmoud Abbas.
But then Israel began to breach the red line on releasing terrorists. Small numbers of Palestinian terrorists — although not those directly involved in murders — were set free as “good-will gestures” to either revive a stagnant peace process or because Israel’s hand was forced because of some political or military blunder.
Perhaps one could understand the logic of releasing prisoners to establish good will with the Palestinian public or to strengthen the Palestinian leadership. But it became clear to me, and (according to poll after poll) the Israeli public, that these efforts were not met with any reciprocity from the other side.
Terrorists are idolized by the Palestinian people; their leaders name parks, stadiums and athletic events after mass murderers.
As a result, I thought that by now Israel would have learned the first lesson of negotiating: Never negotiate with yourself.
I appear to be wrong, because, apparently at the behest of Secretary of State John Kerry, over 100 terrorists are going free, including many directly involved in multiple murders — as a good-will measure to “bolster” Abbas and to give Kerry something to say he accomplished after racking up so many frequent-flyer miles traveling to the Middle East.
What will Israel get in return? From all news accounts, it appears the answer is nothing more than the Palestinians returning to the negotiating table.
Here's more on the issue from USA Today.
Update: and here's still more from Esther Pollard.