Friday, July 26, 2013

Should Israel Release Terrorists for Peace Talks??

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Israeli Terror Victims Oppose Releasing Terrorists for Negotiations

By: Rachel Avraham

From: unitedwithisrael.org

Most Israeli terror victims say “no” to releasing convicted Palestinian terrorists especially when it won’t save a life. 

The majority of Israeli terror victims are opposed to releasing terrorists in order to jump start peace negotiations with the Palestinians, says Mark Belzberg, Chairman of One Family, an Israeli organization which assists Israeli victims of Palestinian terrorism.

Belzberg is responding to a US suggestion that Israel release Palestinian terrorists from the pre-Oslo period as a goodwill gesture to encourage the Palestinian Authority to negotiate with Israel. Israel has agreed to release 82 Palestinian terrorists with blood on their hands in the course of four stages over the next eight months, yet has refused to set free Israeli Arab security prisoners.
“Whenever terrorists are released, it brings back the horror and terror, even if the released terrorist wasn’t the one who did it to you,” said Belzberg. “It hits the terror victims in the heart. It brings back grief and anger and it is very difficult for them.”
Although Israeli terror victims oppose releasing terrorists, Belzberg reports that the victims are often less opposed to releasing terrorists if it results in saving a Jewish life. “Jews are willing to do any thing to save another Jewish life,” he says. “The Jewish people are willing to pay a price to save someone from injustice.”
For example, Belzberg says, half of the Israeli terror victims supported the Gilat Shalit prisoner exchange for this reason. Although it was painful for them to see murderers walk free and in many cases return to terror, they saw the tangible benefit that a young man was able to have his life back, he says. Belzberg also argues that many victims would consent to releasing Palestinian terrorists in exchange for the freedom of Jonathan Pollard, viewing it as a means to correct a miscarriage of justice that would permit Pollard to live out the rest of his days in peace.

Yet, the vast majority of Israeli terror victims do not support the idea of releasing Palestinian terror victims simply in order to pursue peace talks that they doubt will lead to peace between the two peoples. “If you took a life, you should be punished … If you are releasing a person who should be executed, there is a sense of injustice being done,” Belzberg says.
Since a great number of released Palestinian terrorists have returned to terror upon their release, the victims are skeptical about any value to such a deal, he adds.
And, while he understands that the Americans are making this request for pragmatic reasons, assuming the Palestinians are unlikely to agree to negotiations otherwise, nevertheless, Belzberg added, in speaking for the victims, that “this Palestinian request shouldn’t be condoned.”

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