Almagor Letter: Stop Calling for Release of Terrorists
On the 30th day since the slaughter in Itamar, I and my fellow active bereaved members of Almagor, who are acting against the release of terrorists, are calling on those senior government and security officials who called this week to release terrorists and make a deal with Hamas: Stop!
In the past you were partners to gestures and deals in which terrorists were released. You did not pay the price for those deals, but rather our loved ones did. You won’t pay for the risk you called to take this week, but Israeli families like ours will.
Stop with your repeated suggestions that not only bring up for us the memories of your past failures, but also encourage Hamas and frighten us about the future.
Here is the math: 183 Israelis have lost their lives since 2000 by terrorists who were released. Many others died in the years before that, including by terrorists released in the Jibril deal, which is the exact same deal as what you are offering now. There are many who were murdered and whose names we do not know, since their stories are hidden in the ISA interrogation files and have not been made public.
A notable exception is the two released Fatah terrorists who murdered Zehava Ben Ovadia and Paul Appleby after being released as part of the Jibril deal. They will again be released if G-d forbid your recommendation is accepted.
And we still have not talked about the 1,000 victims of the 2000 intifada who were murdered - though indirectly - in a very organized manner by former prisoners of Hamas and Fatah, among them Barghouti (Fatah) and Sheikh Yassin (Hamas).
Yassin was also released on the recommendation of some of you, in exchange for two security men detained in Jordan, with an evaluation that he is a disabled man and is thus not dangerous.
At that time you said, as you do now, that if he acts against us we will act against him, but until we were able to kill him, he initiated and commanded from his wheelchair a slew of mass terror attacks which killed and wounded hundreds of Israelis.
Barghouti is in prison a third time - after previous arrests and releases – and again is a candidate for release in your eyes.
We urge you to not only look at what’s popular, populistic and publicized, but rather at the whole picture, and the whole picture, if G-d forbid the Prime Minister answers your call, will be bleak.
On the 30th day since the murder of the Fogel family, we ask you to look into the future. What will happen if these terrorists, these predators, are released from their cages? All the deterrence that we created after the arrests and killings in recent years - after you left your posts – will be destroyed and what happened a month ago in Itamar may become a tsunami of terror. The images of the mass terror attacks will come back and chaos will rule our streets again.
We who already paid the price, some of us during your time in office, call to you - stop!
Let us beat Hamas rather than submit to it. We tried your methods and they brought us nothing but bereavement and grief. Now we hope to wage a struggle against terror and not to conduct dialogue with it.
We hope that the soldiers and their commanders persist in this struggle and that we will not be subject to interference from within, as was the case last week.
Dr. Aryeh Bachrach and 100 bereaved families
Egypt: Protesters at Israeli consulate want '3rd Intifada'By OREN KESSLER 04/15/2011 01:05
Olmert: There can be no forgiveness for GoldstoneBy JERUSALEM POST STAFF 04/15/2011 00:33
There have been significant advances in the rule of law and justice sector, including the drafting of legislation, and regulations to ensure compliance with international human rights norms....[However] ... the “continued divide” between the West Bank and Gaza “presents a major challenge to coherence between legal systems”:
Hamas is gradually replacing the formal judicial system with another system. Hamas appointed new judges, prosecutors, police officers and Ministry of Justice staff in Gaza, and has not invested in the capacity building of these new staff. Furthermore, the traditional/tribal information justice systems have been replaced by “reconciliation men”.
Body of Kidnapped Italian ISM Activist Found
Kidnappings of foreigners are commonplace in Gaza. In the past year 14 such kidnappings have occurred. In each case the victim has been released after a short period of time and unharmed. The demands are not usually aimed at Hamas, however.
In Sufi and Shi'ite literature the term Salafi is interchangeable with the term Wahabi, but many Salafis reject the term as unfounded despite philosophical similarities. Wahabi Islam dominates the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and characterizes the philosophy of the al Qaeda international terrorist organization.Both sects are a part of the Sunni orthodox mainstream. (IsraelNationalNews.com)
Christian Zionist settlers in Samaria?
Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Ryan Jones
Israel: P.A. Statehood a 'Diplomatic Tsunami'video http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/insideisrael/2011/April/Israel-PA-Statehood-Bid-a-Diplomatic-Tsunami/
JERUSALEM, Israel -- The Palestinian Authority is now ready to function as a state, a new United Nations report concluded. The main obstacle to such a goal, the U.N. noted, is "Israeli occupation."
Palestinian leaders plan to ask the U.N. General Assembly in September for statehood recognition on all the territory Israel occupied in 1967, including Gaza.
If the P.A. is successful, Israel's Defense Minister Ehud Barak predicts a "diplomatic tsunami."
"They are now refusing to sit to the table because they think -- and maybe rightly so -- that the support of almost two thirds of the countries that are represented at the General Assembly and they can get some kind of recognition of a state at the General Assembly," Gabriella Shalev, who served as Israel's U.N. ambassador for two years, told CBN News.
Shalev is sounding the alarm that international recognition of a Palestinian state poses a grave threat to her country.
"Come September we are there - if nothing will happen in between - and there are still a few months that we can do many things, we are in for big trouble," she warned.
Shalev says the Palestinians may well use an obscure U.N. resolution to bypass the Security Council where the U.S. holds veto power. "According to this resolution 377, if there is not a consensus within the Security Council, then it goes to the General Assembly which can take collective measures," she explained.
Collective measures could have profound consequences for Israel including sanctions, boycotts, an arms embargo and even the use of force. The U.N. might impose a Palestinian State on Israel and isolate the Jewish State.
"If this will happen, we can be considered an occupying power in a state which is working for its independence and then sanctions can be inflicted on Israel," Shalev said.
That's why Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is under enormous pressure. The left in Israel wants him to make dramatic concessions to the Palestinians. He's also under pressure from Washington, where he will visit next month to meet President Obama and address Congress.
Meanwhile, a new poll shows most Americans may have already made up their mind on the issue.
The survey by the Israel Project found that 51 percent of U.S. registered voters oppose the Palestinian Authority if it "unilaterally declare(s) an independent Palestinian state without a signed peace treaty with Israel." Only 31 percent support it.
Shalev told CBN News she sees hope in the American people.
"The people of the United States are so important for us because they have an influence on the government, on the president," she said. "And we know and the Americans know that still, after everything takes place in the Middle East, our values are very much like the values of your founders."
Iran's Backing of Hamas Has Introduced Shi'ite Islam to Gaza
Al Arabya reports a large number of Arabs in Gaza have adopted Shi'ite doctrine within the past few years, although the enclave is controlled by the Sunni Islamist Hamas rulers.
Agence-France Press characterized the conversions as a clear sign of an increase in the Iranian influence among the Gaza's Arabs.
Arab states have accused Iran of inciting hatred and igniting sectarian tensions throughout the region. These same states have frozen Hamas out in favor of its arch-rival Fatah.
As a result, Hamas leaders in Gaza find themselves forced to tread lightly with Shiite missionaries in order not to jeopardize their relationship with their closest ally, Tehran.
This, depsite Hamas' stridently fundamentalist brand of Sunni Islam.
Abdul Rahim Hamad, who lives in Jabalia, told the Associated Press he converted to the Shi'ite doctrine five years ago. Hamad attributed the growth of Shi'a in Gaza “to the influence of Iran and Lebanon's Hizbullah in the region.”
“We are now hundreds in Gaza," Hamad said. "We will start our political activities soon. Palestinian Shi'ites will play an important role in controlling this region in the future.”
Ahmed Youssef, adviser of Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, denied any increase in Shi'ite Islam in Gaza, but added Gaza's Arabs “love Iran and Hizbullah.”
A Message For Iran Despite Haniyeh's lovey public rhetoric vis-a-vis Iran, Hamas is starting to show signs of displeasure with the ideological Trojan Horse Iranian aid represents in its bailiwick.
Security sources in Gaza intimated police forces last Thursday shut down the premises of the Shi'ite al-Baqeyat al-Salehat society, located in northern Gaza.
“We were surprised today by the shutdown of the society premises,” Hisham Salem, the society chairman, told the Ma'an News Agency.
Salem insisted al-Baqeyat al-Salehat was a charitable society that was given the municipal license four years ago.
“The society receives funds from several foreign states, including Iran,” he said.
Some observers have suggested the shutdown was a veiled message Hamas has little intention of allowing Gaza to become an Iranian satrapy.
But Hamas, messages aside, is in a proverbial catch-22. If Hamas leaders wish to retain control of Gaza they must stanch the spread of Shi'a. But doing so may come at the cost of Tehran's patronage, which serves as a vital life-line for a largely isolated Hamas.
Israel Leaving Door Open For Iran For their part, Israeli security officials have left the door open for Iran in Gaza.
In a batch of classified US Embassy Cables recently released by Wikileaks founder Julian Assange, Shin Bet Director Yuval Diskin was quoted as having told US officials his agency possessed intelligence indicating Gaza Arabs were using the Rafah crossing to travel to and from Iran and Lebanon to increase Hamas' capabilities.
Diskin told the Americans: “If we want to approach this seriously, we need to start with the movements of people.”
Despite these comments, Diskin maintained that it was important to leave the Rafah crossing open.
When US officials asked about Egypt’s ability to influence matters in Gaza, Diskin replied, “The most important thing they can do is stop the smuggling which takes place between their borders with both Gaza and Israel.”
A Palestinian state by September?
Thursday, April 14, 2011 | Ryan Jones