many of whom promptly took up their weapons and returned to ply their trade.Â — Binyamin Netanyahu, Fighting Terrorism, 2001… we cannot gloss over the colossal capitulation of our prime minister… Binyamin Netanyahu has degenerated from merely disappointing to downright dangerous.Â
— Rabbi Stewart Weiss, The Jerusalem Post, August 8.Why is such a move, which the American broker would probably not agree to at all if the terrorists had killed US citizens, let alone as a condition for starting negotiations, become a legitimate condition because Palestinians are demanding it of Israel?Â
— Justice Elyakim Rubinstein, in rejecting (??) a petition to prevent Tuesday’s release of 26 convicted Palestinians murderers, August 12.
The shameful release of over a score of Palestinian murderers, conducted in the thick of night as surreptitiously as possible, is the culmination of an ongoing process that has stripped the government of any residual shred of moral authority that it may have had up to now.
It can no longer reasonably expect to command the respect of the nation or to retain its trust. The Netanyahu government is irretrievably bereft of credibility — in the eyes of allies and adversaries alike.
Indefensible, inexcusable and incomprehensibleÂ
The move is indefensible — whichever way you slice it.
It is inexcusable on moral grounds and incomprehensible on substantive operational ones.
It has left many in Israel — and many of its supporters abroad — utterly bewildered. Perhaps the most perplexed are those who tend to be supportive of Netanyahu.
Typical of the confusion left in its wake were the sentiments in a recent Facebook exchange posted by Karyn Simon Basle: “Many Israeli’s have criticized Bibi for caving.
I have supported him forever and as much as I disagree with the release of MURD[ER]ERS….I always felt he must have had good reason to agree to the prisoner release. I still believe there is much going on behind doors that we don’t know. Maybe I am naive but I just don’t understand why Netanyahu would jeopardize Israel’s safety.”
I am willing to bet that when Karyn’s long-standing support for Netanyahu began, he was ardently advocating policies diametrically opposed to those he has recently embarked upon, and was powerfully and persuasively warning of the dire perils entailed in adopting his current course.
I am quite willing to concede that Karyn is probably right. It is quite likely that “much is going on behind doors that we don’t know” and that Netanyahu “had good reason to agree to the prisoner release.” But though this might be true it is entirely irrelevant.
Let me be quite categorical about this: No matter what was going on behind closed doors, no matter how good Netanyahu’s reasons were for making the decision that he did, the reasons for not doing so were better.
Bemused befuddled and bewilderedÂ