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Kidnapped Israeli Teenagers – A Palestinian View: Mudar Zahran, Gatestone Institute, June 25, 2013— While Israel prays for the safe return of three Israel teenagers kidnapped by terrorists last week…
The Names of the Victims: Caroline B. Glick, Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2014— Three families in Israel are in agony.
Don't Succumb to Hamas: Dr. Shaul Bartal, Israel Hayom, June 30, 2013— The publication of the names of two Hamas operatives suspected of kidnapping the three Israeli teens prompted a particularly thunderous response from Hamas spokespeople.
Israel Must Defeat the Tactics of Terrorists: Daniel Greenfield, Frontpage, June 26, 2014— In Jerusalem, Israelis pray for the return of three missing boys and in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers hunt for them and for their captors.
U.S. Senator: Innocent Israeli Kidnapped Boys and Evil Abductors (Video): Lori Lowenthal Marcus
Jewish Press, June 27, 2014
Hamas Extremism: Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014
The Fight Against Hamas: The Legal Angle: Pnina Sharvit Baruch, INSS, June 27, 2013
Hamas Kidnappings: History of a Constant Threat: IDF Spokesperson, Jewish Press, June 16, 2014
Gatestone Institute, June 25, 2014
While Israel prays for the safe return of three Israel teenagers kidnapped by terrorists last week, although Palestinian Authority [PA] President Mahmoud Abbas tepidly defended the search for the teens — comments for which many Palestinians attacked him — the official PA daily wrote that "Israel itself is behind the 'kidnapping'," alleging that the three boys were soldiers when in fact they were students, two in high school, and the kidnappings were celebrated by people, glorifying the kidnappers and passing out sweets. The Fatah Facebook page then published a cartoon showing the three kidnapped teenagers as rats bearing the star of David with the caption "The Master Stroke".
Keep in mind that the PA exerts extreme monitoring and control over social media used by Palestinians in the West Bank. A Palestinian man was jailed for six months for "liking" an anti-PA post on Facebook. The PA, therefore, is fully responsible for encouraging the celebrations of the kidnappings over Palestinian social media. Responses such as these should help the world — which has been trying to force a peace agreement with the PA down Israel's throat — wake up to the reality that the PA is a terrorist organization that has been inciting acts of violence and radicalism, and should be treated as such. Its leaders should be recognized as terrorists who deserve jail rather than a red carpet treatment in Western capitals.
While some argue that freedom of speech is sacred, it seems the only freedom of speech the PA allows is the one that incites terrorism. The first thing the world should remember is that the PA is now officially united with Hamas, a terrorist organization that pledges to destroy a sovereign nation, Israel, and establish a Muslim caliphate. Financing the PA now is therefore financing terrorism. Yet, despite uniting with Hamas, the PA will still apparently be receiving generous financing from the U.S., Canada and Europe. The UK, with the best of intentions, offers an average of $135 million a year to the PA for development; nonetheless, the Guardian newspaper reported that the money, always fungible, was instead being used by the PA to finance terrorist imprisoned in Israeli jails — thus inadvertently financing more terrorism.
In addition, it is no secret that the PA officials have been stealing hundreds of millions of dollars of the aid money intended to improve the livelihoods of my people, the Palestinians, with no sign that Western aid to the PA ever filters down to the Palestinian public. Instead of financing the PA leaders' lavish lifestyles, the world might finally start questioning the PA's institutionalized incitement of terror and hatred to my people which they relay daily through media, education and the religious institutions. Ever since the PA came into existence, it has been keen to mass-produce and institutionalize the hatred of Jews and also the West. With their government-controlled TV shows that teach children how to kill Jews, and textbooks that preach hatred for Israel, the PA and Hamas are directly and fully responsible for each and every terror act committed by Palestinians, including the kidnapping of the three teenagers. Is this what the West is so breathless to support?
Ironically, the PA is claiming no responsibility for the kidnappings, however you cannot be running TV, newspapers and social media encouraging terror and the murdering of Jews and then claim that you are innocent when acts of terror happen. Another reason for kidnapping the three teenagers, of course, is also the regular prisoner-release agreements forced on Israel. Gilad Shalit was kidnapped and held for five years then released in a prisoner exchange agreement for more than 1,000 terrorist prisoners who were let out of jail. Such deals have been openly encouraged and blessed by the PA leader. In other words, the PA encourages the kidnappings of Israelis to exchange them with terror prisoners. The world should therefore understand Israel's position when it recently called off releasing yet more terror prisoners in a deal promoted by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry. These releases just encourage the kidnapping of more Israelis.
As a Palestinian, I do not wish for any of my people to be in jail; nonetheless, I cannot sympathize with those who kill children and innocent civilians. I also know that releasing those prisoners in "swaps" sets a bad example, and even encourages more of my people to commit acts of terror: they see they can be released in a few years in a prisoner exchange brokered by the West. Would the U.S. or Europe agree to give its cities and parts of its soil to a terrorist organization to establish a country the way Secretary Kerry has been pushing Israel to give up most of the West Bank and return to pre-1967 borders? Also, if the US or any European country were facing terror attacks from any neighboring country, wouldn't it seek to build a barrier to protect itself from that country? The U.S. already has a fortified wall along parts of its border with Mexico to stop illegal immigration — an offense not by any means close to any of the terrorist acts that have claimed the lives of thousands of Israeli civilians over the years. Therefore, can the world keep blaming Israel for having a security barrier?
Can we Palestinians blame Israel when the barrier never existed before Hamas and the PLO started launching terror attacks on Israel on a daily basis? Yes, the wall looks sad and ugly and depressing, but if Israel's neighbors proclaim every day that their sole desire is to displace Israel, what else — apart from surrender — can Israel do? We Palestinians know that Israel welcomed us with open arms before the PA came and brought terror-preaching with it. And yes, there have always been constant acts of Palestinian terrorism. But PA terror has became a major industry — in which terrorists are pampered, protected, financed, employed, and glorified by the PA — with streets, soccer stadiums and summer camps named after them. And Europe breathlessly joins in.
Israeli measures towards securing the safety of its citizens as well as that of the Palestinians, have been demonized by the world and the so-called Palestinian sympathizers, who choose to ignore the fact that Palestinians' lives have become harder because of the terrorists and not because of Israel. A Palestinian businessman, for instance, who frequently passes illegally into Israel to buy his products, said: "Most people are mad at those who kidnapped the kids…[because] When they commit such acts, we rejoice, celebrate for Israel's suffering, then sit down and worry if we will be allowed into Israel for work and medical treatment. To me, such a kidnapping only destroys the livelihood of my four children. This has to stop, for our own sake."
The Palestinian Authority is a terrorist organization, and its leaders are terrorists who deserve international arrest warrants rather than the red-carpet treatment in Western capitals. The PA has been an inciter of terror; it jeopardizes the safety and livelihoods of Israelis and Palestinians alike. This tragedy should remind the world that the PA — and organizations like it — is a threat to all of us and should not be rewarded with still more funds for terrorist behavior. For the sake of both Israel and the Palestinians, it is not Israel but the PA that should be boycotted, excluded and even dissolved.
Caroline B. Glick
Jerusalem Post, June 26, 2014
Three families in Israel are in agony. On June 12, when their sons Naftali Fraenkel, Eyal Yifrah and Gil-Ad Shaer were kidnapped by Islamic savages, the Fraenkels, Yifrahs and Shaers entered a new world where every breath they take is filled with devastating guilt – that they breathe free while their sons suffer unknown miseries. Every moment that passes is filled with crushed hope that they will get word that their sons are free, and then the word doesn’t come. And it doesn’t come the next moment, or the next. And so they will live, in agony, until this ordeal has ended. Our hearts go out to these families. Our prayers are continuously directed towards them. And in a profound sense that is uniquely Israeli, the people of Israel share their pain. And with this pain comes a sincere and overpowering desire to do something to bring the captive teenagers home.
What can be done? There are only two ways for Israel to free hostages. The government can devote all necessary resources to gathering actionable intelligence that will lead IDF troops to the boys. Or the government can surrender to the terrorists by freeing thousands of Palestinian terrorist murderers from Israeli prisons. So far, the government is concentrating on Option 1. But Option 2 is lurking around the corner. And we need to confront it now – head on – before it takes center stage. Over the past 30 years, Israel has released thousands of terrorists from its prisons in exchange for hostages. Thousands more have been freed as so-called “confidence building measures,” to appease our supposedly moderate Palestinian negotiating partners into sharing a table with their Israeli counterparts. In every instance, these terrorist releases have led to the murder and abduction of other Israelis.
The clock started ticking down to Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal’s abduction on October 19, 2011 when Israel released 1,027 Palestinian terrorists in exchange for IDF Sgt. Gilad Schalit who had been held hostage by Hamas for more than five years. The countdown also began that day for the murder of Baruch Mizrahi, the police officer who was killed in a roadside shooting in April as he drove to a Passover Seder with his wife and children. Mizrahi’s killer was one of the terrorists released for Schalit. Some politicians are trying to take steps to prevent these swaps in the future. Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman told the media he will prohibit all members of his Yisrael Beytenu party from voting in favor of a hostages-for-terrorists swap if one is on offer in the future. The day before Fraenkel, Shaer and Yifrah were kidnapped, the Knesset passed a preliminary reading of a bill sponsored by MK Ayelet Shaked from Bayit Yehudi to constrain the president’s power to commute the sentences of some convicted murderers. The idea is that by passing the law, the Knesset will make it impossible for the government to agree to swap murderers for hostages. But then, to avoid the law, all governments will have to do is release prisoners who weren’t sentenced to life without possibility of parole.
The problem with statements like Liberman’s and bills like Shaked’s is that they miss the point. The problem isn’t the law. The problem isn’t that in past swaps MKs were given the freedom to vote as they pleased. The problem is our media-compliant leadership refuses to act responsibly. The only way to prevent more Israelis from being abducted in the future is to deter the Palestinians from abducting them. Deterrence cannot be achieved by cheap political pronouncements or insufficient legislation. Deterrence can only be built up over time, by behaving consistently in a manner that convinces the other side that it is not in its interest to do something that you don’t want it to do. Since May 1985, when then-prime minister Shimon Peres freed 1,150 terrorists for three IDF soldiers held hostage by Palestinian terror master Ahmed Jibril, Israel’s behavior has consistently encouraged our enemies to take hostages. Through their willingness to release murderers for hostages – and even for hostage bodies – our leaders have told our enemies that they should feel free to steal our children. Their payoff is guaranteed.
Through their willingness to free murderers, our leaders have shown our enemies that they should feel free to murder as many Israelis as they can. They know that once their comrades take another Israeli hostage, (or three), they will go free. And of course, our politicians are not the only ones at fault. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and his colleagues and predecessors swim in an acrid stream, where this sort of behavior is required. To their disgrace, our media consistently behave as advocates and lobbyists for hostage-takers and imprisoned murderers against Israeli society. For instance, in the case of Schalit, the media worked hand-in-glove with the Schalit family and its public relations firm to convince the public that we should think of a soldier as a child, and not as any child, but as our child. In more than a thousand media reports, profiles, tear-jerker interviews with Schalit’s kindergarten teachers and siblings, we were told that if we are good and moral people, we must prefer Schalit’s freedom to the continued imprisonment of terrorists who constitute a mortal threat to every other child – and parent – in the country. Public relations agent Tami Shenkman led the campaign for the terrorists’ release. She was the one who put together the sales strategy for convincing us that capitulating to Palestinian extortion is an act of moral courage. For her efforts the media lavished her with fawning, heroic profiles. And for the media’s efforts, three teenagers are now hostages…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
Dr. Shaul Bartal
Israel Hayom, June 30, 2014
The publication of the names of two Hamas operatives suspected of kidnapping the three Israeli teens prompted a particularly thunderous response from Hamas spokespeople. It could no longer be denied that Hamas was responsible for the kidnapping. The two kidnappers come from families known for their support of Hamas, and the kidnappers themselves have served time in Israeli prison for being members of the group.
What was left for Hamas to say? Hamas spokespeople claimed the publication of the names stemmed from the "failure of the occupation to find the captives and its failure to achieve its goals." Unlike Khaled Mashaal, Hamas spokespeople did not deny that group was behind the kidnapping.
Has Israel in fact failed? Israeli officials have not denied that the purpose of Operation Brother's Keeper is to deal a blow to Hamas and sever the ties between the terrorist group and Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. This is well understood. A Fatah website said the objectives of the Israeli operation include "foiling final [Palestinian] reconciliation and creating hostility between different parts of the [Palestinian] people."
There is no doubt that Hamas was unpleasantly surprised by Abbas' speech in which he called for the return of the captives to their families and sanctified security cooperation with Israel. Kidnapping "settlers" for the purpose of an exchange is nothing new for Hamas. Hamas literature dealing with the prisoner issue makes mention of Eliyahu Asheri, a settler from Itamar who also just wanted to return home. Asheri was abducted the same day as Gilad Schalit in June 2006. Imprisoned Hamas terrorists Mahmoud al-Adwan and Ali Shawaneh have written that this kidnapping failed because the abductors were unable to keep Asheri alive long enough. This attack was ordered by the Popular Resistance Committees in Gaza, an organization that includes Fatah and Hamas members and carries out joint actions against Israel.
Following Abbas' speech, a war of words broke out on social networks and the websites of various Palestinian groups. Hamas took a tough stance, the two main components of which were expressed by Mashaal on Al-Jazeera — justifying the kidnapping and condemning security cooperation with Israel. Mashaal said he would be proud if it turned out Hamas operatives were responsible for the kidnapping. Also, Hamas is calling security cooperation with Israel treason. Abbas is being presented as a Zionist agent and, in one photo circulating online, Abbas is seen as a kippah-wearing settler defending Israel.
On the other hand, the Palestinian Authority is defending Abbas' speech. "It is better to make an unpopular speech than a popular one that would cause a massacre of my people," the Fatah website wrote, in a hypothetical quote attributed to Abbas. This is how the Fatah website responded to Hamas official Mahmoud al-Zahar's criticism of the PA for its security cooperation with Israel: "Why should we accept them as martyrs? Why should Gaza die from the blockade? You are destroying Hebron, Nablus and Ramallah and you are returning to destroy the Palestinian population." Fatah asked, with amazement, how Hamas could organize rallies against Abbas in Judea and Samaria while at the same time demanding that the PA pay the salaries of Hamas workers in Gaza. It appears that, in the wake of the kidnapping, the PA has woken up, realizing that it will be its loss if it succumbs to the temptations of Hamas.
Frontpage, June 26, 2014
In Jerusalem, Israelis pray for the return of three missing boys and in the West Bank, Israeli soldiers hunt for them and for their captors. But in the midst of all this, it is important not to lose sight of the larger conflict. Israel made one tragic mistake with the Gilad Shalit deal. That deal, aside from already costing the life of one Israeli, is what led to this kidnapping. One kidnapping turned into three. It can easily become many more.
Defeating terrorist tactics can be more important than defeating terrorists. It is not that hard for a modern nation to kill a terrorist. Drones allow us to kill enemies from a distance at the push of a button. But drones cannot protect the morale of a nation. Conventional armies use tactics to defeat enemy forces and seize territory. Terrorists however use tactics to take over mental territory. A suicide bomber is not out to take over a particular block. He is out to change how people think about that city block and the larger conflict.
Terrorism has succeeded in accomplishing that goal in Israel. The scale of terrorism turned every piece of land into a mathematical equation. How many lives was this village in Gaza worth? How many lives is this West Bank town worth? How many lives is East Jerusalem worth? However terrorists are not trading an end to violence for a village or a town. They are calculating how many deaths it will take to force Israel to abandon that village or town. And once they have that town, they will use it to inflict more terror on another town or village.
Israelis were convinced that a price in lives had been put on Gaza and that if they withdrew, the killing would end. But Gaza was just the beginning. Not the end. Terrorists try to create the perception that the winning side is losing. This perception can be so compelling that both sides come to accept it as reality. Terrorists manufacture victories by trapping their enemies in no-win scenarios that wear down their morale. That is what has been happening to Israel. The entire carrot and stick of the peace process and the suicide bombing, the final agreement that never comes and the final solution that is coming, were designed to wear down Israelis, to make their leaders and people chase down empty hopes. The last few decades were meant to create a sense of helplessness among Israelis. Taking hostages is one form of the no-win scenario. If the winning side can’t cut the Gordian Knot by rescuing the hostages, it faces a choice between releasing terrorists or having to watch its own people held captive or killed. Either one creates a sense of helplessness and defeat. Terrorists are not attacking land or buildings. They are targeting morale. Their goal is to destroy the mental and spiritual resistance of a people by wearing it down with acts of terror, tying it down with moral and legalistic debates, and finally finishing it off with negotiations that are also designed to wear down the other side without ever concluding a final agreement.
As important as it is to defeat terrorists, it is even more important to defeat their tactics. The first and best way to defeat terrorist tactics is to refuse to negotiate with terrorists. Terrorist tactics work best when they create complicity on the other side. The first wave of complicity comes from leftist activists and sympathetic terror lawyers making human rights arguments. But the second wave of complicity has to come from the authorities for terrorism to be successful. Negotiating with terrorists makes the negotiators complicit in whatever plans the terrorists have. Once negotiations begin, the terrorists will force the negotiators to violate their own side’s values and to sell out portions of their own population or those of allied countries. These tactics allow the terrorists to divide and conquer the enemy. A terrorist group that seizes hostages from Country X in exchange for Country Y freeing prisoners has managed to turn two of its enemies against each other. If Country Y frees the prisoners, the terrorists win. If Country Y doesn’t free the prisoners, they still win because Country X will now blame Country Y, rather than the terrorists, for what happened. Swap the two countries for two groups of people inside a country and it becomes easier to understand what the terrorists are trying to accomplish by taking hostages.
Israelis were convinced that they could buy their way out of the problem by betraying their fellow citizens living in the West Bank and Gaza. European leaders are convinced that they can have peace in their time by pressuring Israel and restraining America. American leaders are convinced that peace will come if they can pressure the Europeans and Israelis to stop offending Muslims. This is classic divide and conquer. The greatest danger of fighting terrorists is falling into a reactive pattern. The more you react to what terrorists do, the more they set the agenda. Taking hostages is the ultimate reactive trap. The kidnapping of three Israeli boys has sent Israel into the same predictable pattern, rounding up the usual suspects, making temporary arrests and a public outcry that, like the one surrounding Gilad Shalit, can easily be turned into a campaign to pay any price to free them. The only way to defeat a terrorist tactic is to invalidate it. The act of invalidating it is often painful, but it’s less painful than not doing it. Refusing to negotiate with terrorists cripples their ability to set the agenda. It’s hard to divide and conquer people who won’t talk to you. Human shields proliferate because they work. The only way to invalidate them as a tactic is by reacting to terrorists the same way whether or not they are using a human shield. Hostages are taken because the terrorists have a realistic expectation of striking a deal. Eliminate the deal and the hostage taking ends…
[To Read the Full Article Click the Following Link—Ed.]
U.S. Senator: Innocent Israeli Kidnapped Boys and Evil Abductors (Video): Lori Lowenthal Marcus, Jewish Press, June 27, 2014 —U.S. Senator Ted Cruz (R. Tex) spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate on Thursday, June 26. He spoke about the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers, Gilad Shaar, Naftali Frenkel and Eyal Yifrach, and their abductors.
Hamas Extremism: Jerusalem Post, June 24, 2014 —Blessed be the hands that captured them,” Khaled Mashaal, head of Hamas’s political bureau, told Al Jazeera on Monday, referring to those who kidnapped the three boys Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer and Eyal Yifrah.
The Fight Against Hamas: The Legal Angle: Pnina Sharvit Baruch, INSS, June 27, 2013—Following the abduction of three teenagers on June 12, 2014, Israel launched a campaign against Hamas in the West Bank that involves intensive activity on the ground, including searches, arrests, interrogations, confiscation of property, and other actions.
Hamas Kidnappings: History of a Constant Threat: IDF Spokesperson, Jewish Press, June 16, 2014 —Last week’s Hamas abduction followed dozens of attempts to kidnap innocent Israelis. Since the beginning of 2013, Israel has foiled 64 planned abductions, many of them at the hands of Hamas terrorists.
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