This past summer I watched as American society was glued to their TV sets watching the case of Casey Anthony, a mother accused of murdering her two-year-old child. When the sentence was read out on the radio I listened together with my sister, brother-in-law and niece and I heard their collective groan when they heard the jury representative say: “Not Guilty.” Why did my family react so strongly when they heard the sentence?
They felt the evidence overwhelmingly pointed to the mother’s guilt. Crime should not go unpunished. This is the foundation stone of every civilized society.
So tell me: How am I supposed to feel after the ransom deal of over 1,000 terrorist murderers set free from prison after being convicted by a court of law of the most heinous crimes imaginable, in exchange for one innocent Israeli soldier who was kidnapped?
But there’s more. There is much more to be nauseated and fearful and anguished over than merely the question of justice.
The Israel Resource Review commissioned interviews with Arab terrorists who were serving life sentences in Israeli prison for the murders they masterminded and are being let out in the deal. Hearing them speak is pretty shocking. I recommend listening to all of them all the way through, as sickening as it is.
They have admitted their crimes. They are proud of what they’ve done. They are sorry they didn’t succeed in killing more Jews.
Most of Arab society (I refuse to call them “Palestinians” since there is no such nation.), whether in Gaza, Ramallah and even Israeli Arabs in Jerusalem are celebrating and proud of these “heroes,” just as they were proud and celebrated 9/11. In past deals of this kind the terrorists have sworn to go back to murder again. Since they have been true to their promise to murder innocent people again in the past, there is no reason not to believe they will be true to their promise again.
So I ask again: How am I supposed to feel? How are the soldiers who risked their lives to catch these murderers supposed to feel? How are the families of soldiers who lost their lives while catching these murders supposed to feel? How are the families of terror victims whose murderers are going free supposed to feel? You can read what Rabbi Stewart Weiss who lost a son writes about soldiers, sacrifice and self-respect.
This deal sends a clear message to the terrorists that crime pays. It sends a message that it’s a good idea to try to kidnap again. Messages are important because people act on them. This deal is a grave challenge to the judiciary system. It is a serious blow to any deterrence in the future. It will make soldiers think twice in the future before risking their lives to catch terrorists who will only go free with the next deal. It frees onto the streets skilled, experienced terrorist leaders.
Israel could have avoided all of this by simply cutting off the electricity and oil to Gaza until they hand over Gilad Schalit. Why they did not do that is beyond me.
Therefore right now although I am happy for Schalit and his family my nausea, my anguish, my identity with terror victims of the past and future colors that happiness.
I can only say it’s time for the world to wake up and understand what Israel is dealing with. It’s time for Israelis to understand what they are dealing with.
How do feel? There are just no words…