Eretz Israel is our unforgettable historic homeland...The Jews who will it shall achieve their State...And whatever we attempt there for our own benefit will redound mightily and beneficially to the good of all mankind. (Theodor Herzl, DerJudenstaat, 1896)

We offer peace and amity to all the neighbouring states and their peoples, and invite them to cooperate with the independent Jewish nation for the common good of all. The State of Israel is ready to contribute its full share to the peaceful progress and development of the Middle East.
(From Proclamation of the State of Israel, 5 Iyar 5708; 14 May 1948)

With a liberal democratic political system operating under the rule of law, a flourishing market economy producing technological innovation to the benefit of the wider world, and a population as educated and cultured as anywhere in Europe or North America, Israel is a normal Western country with a right to be treated as such in the community of nations.... For the global jihad, Israel may be the first objective. But it will not be the last. (Friends of Israel Initiative)

Friday, 2 July 2010

Blame Barbarism, not Bibi!

The agony and anger of Gilad Shalit's family is understandable; all normal hearts must bleed for them.  But blaming Bibi Netanyahu for their son's continued detention is unfair.  He has declared his government's willingness "to release 1000 Hamas prisoners, but not the most dangerous ones, and not to Judea and Samaria", from where they can attack Israelis again.  This is prudent; indeed, perhaps not prudent enough. 

Many Israelis would caution against any deal with terrorists, recalling, for example, that the exchange in January 2004 of 400 Hezbollah prisoners for Elhanan Tannenbaum, kidnapped in Dubai in 2000 and taken to Lebanon, and for the bodies of three soldiers ambushed on the Israeli-Lebanese border, resulted in the subsequent deaths of around 30 Israelis at the hands of some of the beneficiaries of the deal.

 Since the start of this century freed prisoners have murdered almost 180 Israelis, and have wounded and permanently incapacitated many more.  Hamas, responding to Netanyahu's offer, is insisting that before any deal can be done regarding Sergeant Shalit Israel must hand over 450 hard-core terrorists currently held; this is someting that the Israeli prime minister has declined to do, avowing that there is a price that Israel will not pay.  However painful this appears, it seems the correct course.  Bibi is not to blame for the impasse; a brutal and barbaric organisation with a mindset that would thrust us all back into the Dark Ages is. 

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