Bereaved families protest prisoner release outside Court 370.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem/The Jerusalem Post)
Outrage and horror are the sentiments felt by anyone with a modicum of moral
decency upon reading the list of Palestinian terrorists slated to be released
Many of these “prisoners” are responsible for
horrendously brutal murders perpetrated against innocent Israelis. Often, the
murders took place well inside the Green Line, proof that these terrorists –
referred to as “freedom fighters” by officials in the Palestinian Authority –
made no distinctions between settlements and Israel proper.
particularly tragic case that took place during Passover in 1994, Isaac
Rotenberg, 67, a plasterer by trade, was attacked from behind by Atiyeh Salem
Musa and an accomplice at a construction site where the three men worked,
according to the Almagor Terror Victims Association’s website.
had managed to survive the Sobibor extermination camp; had stayed out of harm’s
way during the period he fought against the Nazis with the partisans in the
forests of Eastern Europe; and had lived through Israel’s War of Independence as
a soldier in the IDF. But he would not survive his encounter with Musa. The
repeated ax blows that Rotenberg sustained to the head and neck induced a coma.
He died two days later.
And there were other bloodcurdling murders, such
as the case of 79-year-old Morris Eisenstatt who was hacked to death by
ax-wielding Fatah terrorist Ali Ibrahim al-Rai as he sat reading on a public
bench in Kfar Saba; or the case of 72-year-old Israel Tenenbaum, who was beaten
to death with a metal bar by Fatah terrorist Ahmed Mugdad; or Sean Feinberg, a
30-year-old father of three and proponent of Palestinian economic development,
who was killed during a business meeting in Gaza City with the aid of Abdel
Sa’id Ouda Yusef.
And the list goes on.
The Supreme Court
ultimately rejected a petition brought by the families of the victims against
the release of the cold-blooded murderers responsible for these atrocities and
others. But Justice Elyakim Rubinstein – who admitted to the petitioners that he
was devastated by the desperate pleading in court Monday of the mother of Lior
Tubol, ruthlessly stabbed to death in 1990 at the age of 17 – made it clear that
the decision was made with “a heavy heart.”
“We thought about the
murderers who would be released to a hero’s welcome,” Rubinstein said.
added that it was legitimate to question the logic of the move. “Why is this
being done now as a prelude to negotiations – a move I believe is unprecedented
– and not later, if at all, as a result of headway in the talks?” asked
“Why is such a move, which the American broker would probably
not agree to at all if the terrorists had killed US citizens, let alone as a
condition for starting negations, become a legitimate condition because
Palestinians are demanding it of Israel? “And yet,” concluded Rubinstein, “the
court must rule in accordance with the law.”
If we are to believe Jeffrey
Goldberg, who wrote about the Israeli-Palestinian talks in his latest Bloomberg
column, European threats of boycott and delegitimization of Israel were
leveraged by US Secretary of State John Kerry to extract from Prime Minister
Binyamin Netanyahu this prisoner release. Netanyahu is worried that, left
unchecked, the European-led campaign against Israel will change the tide in the
international community in a way that if and when Israel is forced to launch a
military operation to defend itself, either on its southern border against
Hamas-controlled Gaza or the lawless Sinai Peninsula or in the North against
Hezbollah, Western powers will rush to condemn us before we have a chance to
The irony has not been lost on us: Europe, the
continent that, through its lethal anti-Semitism, has done the most to prove the
existential need for a Jewish state capable of defending its people, now has the
chutzpah to pressure Israel to either free the murderers of Jewish Europeans who
managed, miraculously, to escape the Shoah, or else face a geopolitical reality
in which Israel will find itself increasingly isolated and unable to muster the
international legitimacy to protect its people from Islamism, the latest
metastasis of anti-Semitism.