Housing Minister Ariel: How does freeing murderers bring peace?

Yesh Atid's Shelah says prisoner release immoral but courageous and necessary for negotiations.

August 12, 2013 12:42
2 minute read.
Bayit Yehudi MK Uri Ariel

MK Uri Ariel 370. (photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/ The Jerusalem Post)


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Politicians came out for and against releasing prisoners Monday, after the government decided overnight Sunday to let 26 terrorists out of jail.

“Terrorists belong in jail. Otherwise, the government is making a mockery of the legal system that ruled these vile murderers should be in prison,” Construction and Housing Minister Uri Ariel said.

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He pointed out that the terrorists being released killed women and children, adding that “it’s not clear to me how releasing murderers can bring peace.”

“Releasing terrorists and peace are total opposites,” he stated.

Bayit Yehudi faction chairwoman Ayelet Shaked took part in a demonstration against the prisoner release in Tel Aviv Monday, saying that “there is no longer deterrence for murderers; only the death penalty will solve this.”

According to Shaked, military courts can give the death penalty, but they don’t, and the military prosecution should demand that terrorists be executed.

MK Mordechai Yogev, also of the Bayit Yehudi party, said it’s immoral to release prisoners and accused the government of giving in to American dictates.

“This shows us the character of the US president and his messengers, and what these negotiations are worth when they’re based on an immoral act,” he stated.

“We will continue building all over our land and certainly in Jerusalem, our capital.”

Yesh Atid faction chairman Ofer Shelah also said releasing prisoners is immoral and undermines the government’s sovereignty.

However, Shelah expressed support for the decision and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“When you see a prime minister begin negotiations despite opposition from members of his party and others in the coalition, you understand that we have no choice but to support him. A prime minister needs courage to start talks, and we need to follow him,” Shelah told Israel Radio.

In the opposition, Shas MK Ya’acov Margi accused Bayit Yehudi of “selling out bereaved families for settlement construction.”

According to MK Omer Bar-Lev (Labor), the government for political reasons rejected alternatives to releasing terrorists.

“In the current situation, there is no doubt that the right thing to do to ensure Israel’s future as a safe and prosperous country is to release prisoners, but it’s the worst alternative for our image, values and strategy,” Bar-Lev said.

He called for Netanyahu to stop his “dangerous and embarrassing zigzag” in authorizing construction in settlements and criticizing Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas while talks are taking place.

“This zigzag will cost us a lot and end in a serious accident that will lead to Israel’s decline in the international arena and bring a security crisis,” he concluded.

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