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“Israel on Monday released 198 Palestinian prisoners in a move intended to bolster the Palestinian president, Israel’s negotiating partner, hours before Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice arrived in the region to try to nudge forward Israeli-Palestinian peace efforts.

“Departing from its usual policy of not releasing Palestinians with what the Israelis call ‘blood on their hands,’ Israel this time included two veteran prisoners sentenced for life for murdering Israelis, saying they no longer presented any significant risk.

“One, Said al-Ataba, was convicted in 1977 for a bombing that killed an Israeli woman, Tzila Galili. The other, Muhammad Abu Ali, was convicted in 1980 for killing Yehoshua Saloma, an Israeli student in the West Bank, and later for killing a fellow prisoner whom he suspected of collaborating with Israel. Mr. Ataba was affiliated with the leftist Democratic Front for the Liberation of Palestine at the time of his attack, while Mr. Abu Ali was elected while in prison as a legislator for the Fatah Party, now led by the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas.” (NY TIMES)

Bank Robber Analogy

Okay…now I know that Israel is becoming famous for being on the cutting edge of technology, inventions and innovative thinking, but this is going too far.

Neither is it good faith to release people who have been convicted of crimes in hopes that this will be seen as a some sort of gesture of peace to those who hate us. It is a betrayal of the Israeli people who expect to be protected. What Israel’s leaders are in essence saying is, “You don’t have to kidnap our soldiers to get us to release prisoners—we will just let them go.”

President Abbas encouraged the gathered crowds as the criminals were given a heroic homecoming, “We will not rest until the prisoners are freed and the jails are empty.” Doesn’t look like the strategy is working. And besides, what kind of a president lobbies for the release of bomb-makers, petty thieves and would be murderers? He would be better off with these people in jail!

Since Hamas has taken over Gaza about 1,000 Palestinians prisoners have been released and still Gilad Shalit remains imprisoned somewhere in Gaza. Something is not right.

Committed to the Messiah’s Mandate (Matt. 10:6-8),

Ron Cantor

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