So You Thought PM Netanyahu Is Tough On Terrorism? Not exactly.

This Ongoing War: A Blog: 15-Jun-12: So you thought PM Netanyahu is tough on terrorism? Not exactly..

The article below, authored by Frimet Roth, is cross-posted today at the Times of Israel.

LAST WEEK, our government sent my daughter’s murderer, Ahlam Tamimi, a pre-wedding gift.

Tamimi, the woman who engineered the 2001 massacre in Jerusalem’s Sbarro restaurant, was released from prison by the Israeli government in October 2011. Along with 1,027 other terrorists, many of them murderers like her, she was freed to secure the return of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Since then, she has been explicitly inciting audiences throughout the Arab world to further acts of terror.

Tamimi presenting her weekly TV program “Breezes of 
the Free”. When, anywhere, was an unrepentant murderer
ever given a global platform to encourage millions of
viewers to emulate her crimes? And then rewarded with a gift 
from the government that represents her victims?
Nevertheless, on June 7, Israel chose to deliver her the man to whom she became betrothed by proxy in prison some years ago. Like Tamimi, her fiancé and cousin Nizar al-Tamimi is a murderer, serving a life sentence until he too was freed in the Shalit transaction. 

My daughter Malki, 15, was among the victims of the Sbarro massacre. For years, aware of the pressure from Hamas to see Ahlam Tamimi freed, my husband and I wrote and spoke at every opportunity about the danger and injustice of that move.

Even now, it is beyond our comprehension how the Netanyahu government could have included her in the swap. In the days following the release, revelations about alternate and feasible means – ones never pursued by our leaders – to rescue Shalit, deepened our pain. Now we are reeling from this fresh outrage.

Perhaps aware of the Tamimis’ wedding plans, Israel’s release of al-Tamimi in October 2011 stipulated that he remain in the area controlled by the Palestinian Authority. Any attempt to leave would amount to a violation, subjecting him to re-arrest and re-imprisonment for life.

Three weeks ago, the Arab media reported that al-Tamimi presented himself at the Allenby Bridge seeking to enter Jordan and was refused. Ahlam Tamimi claimed the Israelis had agreed to allow her fiancé to join her and then reneged.

The matter received no local coverage, so we contacted the Shabak, Israel’s General Security Service, on May 22. We asked whether Tamimi’s claim was accurate. Despite several follow on phone calls and e-mails, it was June 6 when a response finally arrived by fax from the Prime Minister’s Office. It curtly stated that “after consideration” permission had been given for Nizar al-Tamimi to go abroad subject to his undertaking to remain away for five years. It said he had not yet departed.

We immediately retained a lawyer to petition the High Court of Justice – in Hebrew, the Bagatz – to have this decision reversed. We sent all the Bagatz papers and affidavits to the Prime Minister’s office and the Ministry of Justice. In addition, we faxed and emailed a personal letter to Netanyahu begging him to reconsider this move.

We asked the government’s lawyer to agree to close the borders to Nizar al-Tamimi pending the urgent High Court hearing. We never imagined how ridiculous that request was. The following day, the government’s lawyer responded to ours [see our post: 10-Jun-12: A phone call from the government’s lawyers] with the news that Nizar al-Tamimi had been allowed to cross over to Jordan three days earlier.

The disdain of these government representatives should not have surprised us.Prime Minister Netanyahu himself has been nothing short of contemptuous towards victims of terror like us before, during and after the Shalit transaction. He ignored our two desperate pleas for Ahlam Tamimi’s name to be removed from the list of prisoners to go free in the Shalit deal. The first of those was hand delivered to him four months before he caved in to Hamas’ demands. The second letter was published in the Hebrew and English editions of the Haaretz newspaper days before the release. Neither one elicited any response.

We have based our actions on principles of justice and security for all Israelis. Politics plays no role. Perhaps this is why Mr. Netanyahu has never deigned to answer us. A political creature to his very core and a terribly busy man, he has no time for citizens who do not advance his career.

Though he clearly has Iran on his mind, we know the PM does make time for less-than-earth-shattering matters. 
  • On March 28, he spoke to windsurfer Lee Korzits, who won the RS:X Windsurfing World Championship in Cadiz, Spain. “Congratulations Lee, you have honorably and successfully represented both yourself and the State of Israel,” said the PM. “You are a champion, the best in the world. I and all of Israel hope that you will also win a gold medal at the London Olympics.”
  • On May 5, Netanyahu invited the players, coach and team owner of Ironi Kiryat Shemona to his office to warmly congratulate them after they won the Premier League championship.
  • On May 25, the Prime Minister phoned swimmer Jonathan Koplev after he won a gold medal in the men’s 50-meter backstroke. “Mazal tov. Your achievement is incredible. Keep your head above water and continue breaking records” he said.
  • On May 30, Mr. Netanyahu gushed to Israeli Chess Grandmaster Boris Gelfand: “Yours is a huge achievement. I followed your moves and I was impressed. When you were thinking, I thought about what you were thinking. You created great interest among many people about chess thanks to your example. I congratulate you about your personal, and the national, achievement.”
Why, we demand to know, did this government secretly delete the condition of the murderer Nazir al-Tamimi’s release? This had been accepted by Hamas and was the last vestige of punishment that remained for two evil monsters. There is simply no rationalization for rewarding them.  

Unlike the Shalit deal, this generosity will not return to Israel any missing soldiers. It does not benefit the nation in any way. But it will embolden terrorists everywhere. Tamimi will make certain of that.

Since the Shalit deal, she has traveled freely from her base in Jordan. On visits to Lebanon, Libya, Tunisia and Qatar, she incites crowds of fans to follow in her footsteps. She hosts a weekly prime-time TV talk show every Friday night on a Hamas satellite channel. Since March, her hateful messages are beamed to households throughout the Arabic-speaking world. She brags about her barbaric deed, declares she has no regrets, encourages others to follow and states her readiness to repeat it.

Many know Tamimi as the “star” of a viral YouTube clip in which she smiles joyfully upon learning that her fifteen victims at Sbarro include eight children. She had thought there were three, she says.

This is the person our leaders – sworn to uphold the basic democratic principles of justice and fairness – have chosen to reward.

Precious Malki has been denied forever the right to life, marriage and a family. But we must now watch Tamimi, the embodiment of evil, living her life to the fullest. Courtesy of our own government.

Frimet Roth is a freelance writer in Jerusalem. Her daughter Malki was murdered at the age of 15 in the Sbarro restaurant bombing (2001). She and her husband Arnold founded the Malki Foundation. It provides concrete support for several thousand Israeli families of all faiths who care at home for a special-needs child.


About Brian of London

Brian of London is not the messiah, he's a very naughty boy. Since making aliyah in 2009, Brian has blogged at Israellycool. Brian's interests include electric cars, world peace and an end to world hunger. Besides blogging here, Brian of London now writes at the Times of Israel. Brian of London also hosted Shire Network News

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  • Tom

    How sad and depressing. Unfortunately this family is not the only one. What a shame.

  • Norman B.

    It’s time that Netanyahu and other Israeli politicians stopped worrying what the goyim think and do what is in Israel’s best interests, and that includes taking no terrorist prisoners. Israel is not an overgrown shtetl but a world power that can wipe out enemy infrastructures through cyber warfare and manufactures high-tech products in big demand by the rest of the world, and politicians should act accordingly.

    • ziontruth

      Well said. But on the “stop worrying what the goyim think” part, this has been the failure of Israel’s leadership ever since Ben Gurion in late 1956. He had a well-known saying, “It is not important what the non-Jews say but what the Jews do.” Unfortunately, that saying leaves a gaping hole a truck can get through, in the sense that what the non-Jews say may not be important but what the non-Jews do certainly is. And so, in late 1956, after the Sinai War, Ben Gurion’s initial steadfast resolution to keep the Sinai Peninsula came to nothing when Eisenhower and Bulganin (may both rot in hell) issued a combined threat of sanctions on Israel.

      The extrication of the Diaspora out of the Jew is still a work in progress.

      • Norman B.

        1956 was 56 years ago, when Israel was quite a bit weaker than it is now. Russia has now all but admitted its fear of cyber weaponry, for example. So what non-Jews do now is not as overwhelmingly critical as it was back then and can more easily be countered, as with “lawfare” for example.

        • ziontruth

          I hope you’re right. More, I hope our leaders will come to realize this soon.

          • Jim from Iowa

            What on earth are you two talking about? I hardly ever agree with you, ziontruth, but occasionally I do with Norman. You actually think Israel’s role in the Suez Crisis was a good thing?!!? I know there is a long-standing (and understandable) fear of what Arab nationalism means for Israel, but participating in the support of the re-colonization of Arab lands is not in your interest or America’s. Britain, France and Israel had no business trying to take the Suez Canal from the Egyptians. The Russians and Americans were right to put a stop to that monkey business. Your assessment of a true American hero, Ike, probably reveals more about how you truly feel about Americans than you have previously revealed. That’s a problem for Israeli rightwing extremists like you. Too bad.

            • ziontruth

              “You actually think Israel’s role in the Suez Crisis was a good thing?!!?”

              First of all, whether or not it was a good thing, Egypt merited a casus belli by closing the Tiran Straits (in 1956 as in 1967). You actually think Israel should have stayed put after having its route to the Indian Ocean blocked?

              Second, Israel was the minor victim here. America stabbed its allies Britain and France (Israel wasn’t an ally at the time) in the back just as surely as the U.S.S.R. put the lid on the Polish and Hungarian attempts at independence. That was unconscionable.

              “…but participating in the support of the re-colonization of Arab lands is not in your interest or America’s.”

              Re-colonization of Arab lands?! How about you stop taking the enemy point of view, revisionist rhetoric and all, and start being on your side, you left-wing POS? Or, at the very least, say nothing at all, just as the U.S. should have done nothing at all during the Suez War? Your interventionism is insufferable.

              “Britain, France and Israel had no business trying to take the Suez Canal from the Egyptians.”

              Egypt had no business using the Suez Canal as a club in its war, just as the oil-holding Islamic states should not be allowed to use their oil profits to fund the worldwide jihad with impunity. You’re letting Arab/Islamic imperialists get away with their crimes.

              “The Russians and Americans were right to put a stop to that monkey business.”

              The Russians were allied with Nasser’s Egypt, and the Americans wanted to assert their authority over Britain and France. It was a power play with nothing noble about it.

              “Your assessment of a true American hero, Ike,…”

              I’ll give him his role in WWII. I’ll also give him a prosperous American decade, though, as a non-American, that doesn’t concern me. But if you think I’m going to gloss over his interventionist strong-arming of two allies and another state, then think again. He and his Arabist sec-of-state Dulles were behind a series of foreign-policy screw-ups that exacerbated the Cold War.

              “…probably reveals more about how you truly feel about Americans…”

              Because all Americans are the same. /sarc

              I feel so about American appeasers of Arab/Islamic imperialist aggression. I don’t feel so about Americans who decide the rest of the world is free to fail or flourish without intervention, let alone about true American supporters of Israel who stand behind the Jewish nation’s right to the entire Land of Israel, free of Arab colonists. Not you, in other words.

              “That’s a problem for Israeli rightwing extremists like you.”

              No, that’s a problem for American left-winger naifs like you (the Stupid Left) or traitors and Islam-symps (the Satanic Left; see here for the distinction).

              • Jim from Iowa

                You really are living in a right-wing bubble. I’m no threat to the well-being of Israel. But you certainly are, if your fellow Israelis are stupid enough to follow your disastrous course. Go-it-alone messianic land acquisition does not sound like a course that serves the interests of the Israeli people. But I suspect your countrymen have already figured that out and will never willingly give over political power to people like you. Go pound sand, loser.

            • Norman B.

              As it turns out, Israel didn’t fare too badly in 1956. It got the Straits of Tiran opened and a UN peacekeeping force installed in the Gaza Strip, which gave the country 11 years without incident on its southern border until the 1967 crisis.

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