US Secretary of State John Kerry will arrive in Israel for his 14th visit this
week. And to assure that his stay will be a happy one, Saturday night the
government approved the release of 26 more Palestinian mass murderers from
prison. This will please Kerry because today a core goal of US Middle
East policy is to secure the release of Palestinian mass murderers from Israeli
That’s right. The same America that until a few years ago led
the free world in the global war against terror, now conditions its support for
Israel, its chief regional ally in that war, on the Jewish state’s willingness
to release unrepentant, mass murdering terrorists back into Palestinian
Not to put too fine a point on it, but it ought to go without
saying that this policy hinders, rather than advances the cause of
peace. It is impossible to rationally claim that by coercing Israel into
releasing people like Juma Ibrahim Juma Adam and Mahmoud Salam Saliman Abu
Karbish that the US is advancing the cause of peace.
In 1992, the two men
firebombed a civilian bus, murdering Rachel Weiss, who was nine months pregnant,
and three of her pre-school aged children, as well as IDF soldier David
Delarosa, who tried to save them.
They were released on Monday, due to US
pressure on Israel and received back home to heroes’ welcomes. Their
freedom empowers Palestinians who reject Israel’s right to exist and seek its
destruction through acts of genocide against its Jewish citizens.
their release all but guarantees that the new round of terror war that Kerry
threatened Israelis would break out if we aren’t forthcoming to PLO demands,
will take place. In other words, by supporting the release of terrorists from
prison, the US government is enabling the next round of the Palestinian terror
war against Israel.
Beyond that, both the Palestinian demand for the
terrorist releases, and the US support for those releases make a mockery of the
whole concept of the two-state solution. A society that insists on the release
from prison of its worst, most prolific murderers is not a society with any
interest in making peace with the society targeted and victimized by their
And US support for this Palestinian demand puts paid to Kerry and
President Barack Obama’s claims that they seek a peaceful resolution of the
Palestinian conflict with Israel.
The Palestinians’ support for
terrorists doesn’t merely demonstrate their ill-intentions. It shows that the
whole peace process that has become the centerpiece of US Middle East policy is
based on a fiction.
When Israel agreed to accept the PLO as its partner
in peacemaking two decades ago, that agreement was predicated on the terror
group’s pledge to abjure further terrorism and to cooperate with Israel in
fighting and defeating terrorists within Palestinian society. Without that
pledge Israel would never have agreed to recognize the PLO . And that
pledge, as we were reminded yet again on Monday, was a complete lie.
there is the international legal aspect to the Palestinian demand for Israel to
free terrorists, and to the US support for this demand. Binding UN
Security Council resolution 1373 requires all states to “Deny safe haven to
those who finance, plan, support, or commit terrorist acts, or provide safe
So by sheltering terrorists the Palestinian Authority stands in
breach of binding international law. And by supporting the PA ’s sheltering of
those terrorists, by coercing Israel into releasing them, the US has placed
itself in a deeply problematic position in relation to international
law. It has also forced Israel into a deeply problematic position by
bowing to the US demand to release them.
The Israeli public, rightly,
views the release of Palestinian mass murderers as insane, dangerous and
immoral. In a bid to placate public opinion, every time his government agrees to
free terrorists from prison, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu announces that he
is approving another stage in a seemingly endless process of permitting Israeli
Jews to build homes in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria. At this point, few in
Israel are won over by Netanyahu’s largely hollow, transparently opportunistic
But whereas few Israelis are convinced Netanyahu is sincere,
internationally his action has the egregious effect of reinforcing the deeply
hostile and widely held perception that there is moral equivalence between
murdering Jews and permitting Jews to live near Arabs. Netanyahu’s
political pandering is counterproductive.
But on Sunday the government
took what may be the first productive action that Israel has taken toward the
Palestinians since the onset of the phony peace process 20 years ago.
Sunday, the Ministerial Committee for Legislation approved a bill sponsored by
Likud MK Miri Regev to apply Israeli law over the Jordan Valley.
Jordan Valley protects Israel from invasion and other acts of aggression from
the east. And since 1967, there has been a consensus among Israelis that the
area must remain under Israel’s sovereign control in perpetuity. This position
remains inarguable today in light of the PLO ’s refusal to recognize Israel’s
right to exist.
Were Israel to transfer control over the Jordan Valley to
the PLO , it would enable the Palestinians to collaborate with outside actors in
the planning and execution of major acts of aggression against Israel.
Safeguarding against such an eventuality by asserting Israel’s international
legal right to sovereignty over the area is an eminently reasonable, and indeed
required means of ensuring Israel’s long-term survivability.
On the face
of it, it is the champions of Palestinian statehood, led by Justice Minister
Tzipi Livni, who should be most in favor of applying Israeli sovereignty to the
Jordan Valley. Only by doing so does the two-state solution Livni has staked her
career on have a chance of producing peace.
But of course, Livni and her
colleagues on the far Left don’t see things this way. She and her comrades
responded with apoplectic fits of rage at the cabinet committee’s vote, saying
that Israel would be to blame for destroying the peace process.
her friends, of course, had not a word of criticism for Abbas and his followers
for their unlawful championing of terrorist mass murderers.
She gave no
indication that she views their continued support for Israel’s destruction as an
obstacle to peace. Her wrath and that of her colleagues is reserved for Israeli
elected officials who seek to safeguard Israel’s survival.
assures us that Netanyahu will bury the bill in governmental bureaucracy and
proceed on course with further negotiations with the PLO , and further terrorist
releases, in order to keep Kerry and Obama happy.
We must encourage the
government to surprise the media.
Twenty years ago Israel crossed the
Rubicon from strategic rationality into irrationality when we embraced the PLO
and the chimerical twostate solution. This week’s cabinet decision was the first
step in crossing back to the other side.
And we must work with our
elected representatives to ensure that it is not an isolated