In return, Samir Kuntar, perpetrator of one of the most infamous murders in Israeli history is being released together with 4 Hezbollah terrorists (I note that Haaretz has decided that they can be referred to as "militants" - thanks for nothing), Palestinian prisoners and remains. Hezbollah and Hamas are throwing parties in the streets of Gaza and Beirut in celebration at the release of this evil piece of work.
Following the Bulldozer pigua in Jerusalem, former Jerusalem Police Chief Mickey Levy wrote an op-ed in Ynetnews, under the headline "confirming kill immoral" arguing that once the terrorist:
"was neutralized, there is no room to shoot again – even if this is the most terrible and despicable terrorist."Or in other words, take him prisoner, lock him up so that a subsequent government can release him to a hero's welcome, underlining our weakness so that he can kill again.
In April 1984, 4 Palestinian terrorists hijacked a number 300 bus and demanded the release of 500 prisoners. A unit led by Yitzchak Mordechai stormed the bus, freeing the prisoners. It later emerged that 2 of the terrorists were killed during the operation and 2 more were led off the bus and subsequently killed by the Shin Bet Security service. The killing was covered up at the time but later came to light.
Had the 2 not been killed at the time then they too, would doubtless have enjoyed a similar celebratory release to that which Kuntar is enjoying and would also have gone on to kill more innocent Israelis.
The rule of law is important. Sometimes however, we pander to the terrorist scum far too much. Marwhan Bargouti has become something of a martyr, a cause celebre by sitting in an Israeli jail. Calls go out periodically for his release too. The handing over of Kuntar will only cause the emboldening of Hizbollah and Hamas to kidnap more Israelis to use as bargaining chips to get Barghouti and the like released.
Sometimes it's pretty clear what the just thing to do is - that the police who watched Kuntar kill Danny and Einat Haran did not immediately fill him with lead, choosing instead to arrest him is inexplicable to me. We had the opportunity to kill Arafat in Lebanon and didn't go ahead - how many lives did that cost? How many lives will the failure to send Barghouti to his 72 virgins when we had the chance cost us.
Mickey Levy's moral concerns may be justified in New York or London but in our neighbourhood they're clearly flawed. It's time to take the gloves off and to send a clear message to terrorists: Zero tolerance. If you live by the sword, we will make sure that you die by the sword, bullet or missile. No more second chances.