The releasing of one-hundred-four terrorist prisoners, many with blood soaked hands from murdering countless Israeli civilians, in four stages will continue next week with the fourth installment. The ire of many in the public is palpable and some of the reactions by the state have many expressing concerns. The protest which was taking place near the Prime Minister’s Jerusalem address was quickly terminated by the police within a few dozen hours and when queries why the rush to break up the demonstration when the demonstrations for releasing terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit was permitted to continue for months on end, the answer was basically that those protests were different. In a free state either the people have the right to protest before the Prime Minister’s official residence or they do not have. It cannot be different rules for one group than there are for a different group. That is what equality before the law is all about. Even 11-year-old Roi Fogel, survivor of the Fogel terrorist atrocity in which his parents and three siblings including a few months old infant were slaughtered in their beds, knows enough to question such a release of terrorists. The youth’s uncle, Ben-Yishai told Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barkat on Sunday, “My nephew asked why the State of Israel releases terrorists back to Judea and Samaria, when half of them resume terrorist activities? Why do they do it? The 11-year-old child understands what this government does not understand. My nephew really does not understand the government’s decision.” Yet the one person who holds that such a releasing of terrorists is in the interest of Israel is none other than Justice Minister Tzippy Livni who is also the lead negotiator with the Palestinians. This is the same Tzipi Livni who was recently quoted claiming, “I want to see a liberal, Zionist Israel, not a conservative, nationalistic one.” Well, thanks for the honesty.
Then there are the negotiations themselves and the threats which appear can come from any direction as long as their target is Israel. The fact that the Palestinian negotiators and other top Palestinian officials are all predicting the possibility of another intifada should the negotiations fail to meet with their satisfaction and that any result which does not meet their every demand and whim will have them seek recognition and statehood by other means which will also, if such is possible, isolate Israel eventually erasing her and turning all of Israel into their state. Anybody who has followed the whole Oslo Accords rolling disaster is likely not the least bit surprised by the Palestinians negotiating style of negotiations by overt threats. What was somewhat of an unexpected surprise was when United States Secretary of State Kerry threatened Israel in a press meeting he held with Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu also in attendance with Kerry that should Israel not make all the sacrifices which will become necessary to grant the Palestinians their state then Israel could expect chaos, a Third Intifada and isolation from Europe and the world stage. This is a new form of mediating negotiations, mediation by supporting one side against the other and threatening the other side with open hostilities. Due to this statement one has to question how anything Secretary Kerry might say would be relevant should the Palestinians walk out of the negotiations once all of the one-hundred-four terrorists have been released, as they have claimed is their intentions, and then proceed to assault Israel with a Third Intifada.
Of course any reasonable person might challenge Palestinian Authority Chairman Abbas on his statements concerning the entire Peace Process and the current negotiations. He is among those who have flat out stated that he will allow the negotiations to continue until the last terrorist is released and not one minute longer. He has also claimed that Secretary Kerry has given him a letter that guarantees that he will pressure Israel until they meet every single Palestinian demand, the entire litany of Abbas preconditions. If such is true then it quickly becomes obvious why Secretary Kerry would threaten Israel with isolation, another Intifada, and banishment by Europe if they do not cave to every Palestinian wish. All of the threats and other unbalanced statements coming from Secretary Kerry are reminiscent of the early days of President Obama’s first term when he actually thought up new demands of Israel which even the Palestinians had never had the gall and audacity to demand such as the building freeze and a return to the Green Line with minimal and mutually agreed to swaps which would mean that if the Palestinians refused to any swaps then Israel would be returning to the same boundaries which led to the Six Day War and history would very probably repeat itself.
How long will the fiascos that are the current negotiations going to continue? They will not last long enough for Tzipi Livni to somehow manage to give away the entire store unless she is aided in her quest for peace at any cost by Prime Minister Netanyahu. What are the odds of two Likud Prime Ministers pulling nearly back-to-back disengagements, one being Sharon and Gaza, the other being Netanyahu and Judea and Samaria. It might be prudent, if this has not yet occurred behind closed doors in private, to force a commitment from Prime Minister Netanyahu that he will not surrender the entirety of the so-called West Bank nor will he agree to a partial return of Palestinian refugees beyond fifty-thousand into Israeli property with citizenship being proffered at any future date and that he will not suddenly pull a disaster and announce some agreement which returns Israel to indefensible borders and gives up any eastern buffer zone, especially not the Jordan Valley or the ridgeline of the Judean Hills overlooking the heart of Israel. The pressures which will be forthcoming out of Washington DC, the capital cities of Europe, the European Union and definitely the United Nations will be enormous and the Prime Minister will require fortitude and support of the coalition in withstanding the onslaught. There are very trying times approaching for the little state of Israel; let us hope she really is the little country that could and make it over that hill to live a long life. After all, with the medical discoveries, technical achievements, agricultural methods, scientific revelations and generally great gifts for all humanity which come from that little country, Israel, wouldn’t it be wise and prudent to see to her safety for the benefit of all humanity? Of course it would.
Beyond the Cusp