July 30, 2013 | 6:54 pm
Posted by Ariel Blumenthal
The images of released killers boasting their triumph are not images of peace.
In October 2011 Palestinians cheered 1,027 prisoners, responsible for 569 deaths, whose release was forced upon Israel by what basically was a hostage situation. Among the released, the likes of Ahlam Tamimi, a young, beautiful woman shown here gloating upon learning that her attack killed 8 children, not 3 as she previously thought.
104 more killers will be released now, part of an agreement to restart peace talks.
Last Thursday, at the height of Secretary Kerry’s efforts to usher in the talks, Mahmoud Abbas’ party Fatah posted a fb shout-out for the “The brave free prisoner” Abdallah Barghouti, carefully itemizing his achievements: “15 Zionists dead at Sbarro restaurant, 11 Zionists dead at Café Moment, 15 Zionists dead at Sheffield night-club - -” and on it goes. 61 deaths in total.
The Palestinian society deserves its glorified heros, killers of women and children.
On July 18th the Palestinian Authority honored the diseased Abu Sukkar, who killed 15 in a 1975 bombing in Jerusalem, with an official military funeral. President Abbas eulogized the “righteous son”; Jibril Rajoub vowed to keep his “principles and goals”.
A broadcast on Palestinian TV in June glorifies Ibrahim Faiz Abu Ali, who murdered a 24-year-old taxi driver, as “A hero whose struggle brought honor to us and all of humanity”, and in another broadcast in May, Farej Saleh Abdallah Al-Rimahi is described as an “Heroic giant who brought pride to all humanity.” Al-Rimahi killed an 84-year-old using a hoe.
The Palestinian attachment to violence and blood is a morality-free pathology. Everything is named after killers: from squares and bridges to summer-camps and football tournaments, and that’s the moderate Palestinian Authority we’re talking about. Murderer of an 84-year-old a “Giant hero” - when the moral inversion is so complete, it is not just a case of culpable neglect in the face of Secretary Kerry’s committed efforts towards peace, it’s a cultural, societal disorder.
The Huff-Post reports that a majority of Israelis support the negotiations - they absolutely have to. But more than half have no hope that it’d bring peace - including yours truly. My reason expressed in a metaphor: A person in debt would have to stop burrowing before they can start paying off their debt; The Palestinians will have to stop nourishing and nurturing tendencies that contradict peace before they can start moving towards it.
Release and even total amnesty of all perpetrators makes sense when a conflict is resolved. Releasing guilty parties is never a moral move or a moment of justice, but under real, meaningful circumstances it’s an understandable step in a momentous change that finally puts all the pain, blood and agony of the past behind. At the moment, there’s no resolution or momentous change in sight, all we are left with is the unjust and immoral moment.
About 70% of Israelis, reports that poll on the Huff-Post, reject release of prisoners or other gestures of that sort, they don’t see how it may serve any positive goal. Indeed, even the most sober, strategic calculations I can think of won’t turn the moment of joy for radically disturbed killers, poster-boys for the non-peaceful reality, into an appropriate interlude to peace efforts.
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