Monday, February 25, 2013
As a country that has been uniquely targeted by terrorism, Israel (which has no capital punishment) has ended up with a fair amount of what are termed 'security prisoners' on its hands. Almost all of them have been tried and convicted in Israeli criminal courts and all been represented by counsel and given rights they could expect nowhere else in the Middle East.
Many of them have been convicted of terrorist assaults on civilians that turn the stomach with their brutality and callousness. Yet the Palestinian Authority continues to insist that these 'holy martyrs' ( PA leader Mahmoud Abbas' term for them) be freed as part of any peace settlement, and the PA ups the ante by demonstrating its support for terrorism by continuing to pay salaries to these men and their families.
The latest one to hit the news is one Arafat Jaradat. He was a 30-year-old member of the Al-Aksa Brigade awaiting trial after being arrested for throwing stones at Israeli civilians and security personnel during a riot.He had apparently sustained an injury from being hit by rubber bullets and had received treatment by Israeli medics.
Arafat Jaradat passed away while being held in Meggido Prison. The Israelis say his death was due to heart failure, and invited the Palestinians to examine the body themselves. Needless to say, the Palestinians used this opportunity to claim that Jaradat had been 'tortured to death', make a martyr out of him and give him a full heroes' funeral to gin up further violence directed against Israel.
Of course, the UN, which has done nothing about actual rape, torture and even extrajudicial killings in places like Egypt,the Sudan, Iran and yes, Gaza and the Palestinian Authority was on this like flies on dog droppings, calling for 'an independent inquiry' into the death at the Palestinian's instigation. This, of course lends a miasma of authenticity to stories from the usual suspects claiming that Jaradat 'died under Israeli torture.'
One could mention a number of logical reasons why this is sheer Arab fantasy. Jaradat was, in terms of the sort of people usually jailed by Israel a small fish, so there was no need to interrogate him at all, let alone allow the Palestinians to examine the body if the Israelis had tortured him.
The Israelis did it, yet again, out of a totally misplaced inclination of fair play and transparency that never fails to get them into trouble with these particular actors.
There's a much better way to deal with these situations.
When Israel was faced with trying to get back the remains of two IDF soldiers, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev who had been abducted by Hezbollah, the UN, which supposedly was conducting a peacekeeping operation did nothing and said nothing. The bodies weren't returned to Israel, they were swapped for the freedom of terrorist killers, including Samir Kuntar, who murdered Israeli civilian Danny Haran in front of his four-year-old daughter Einat so that was the last thing she ever saw and then smashed her skull in with his rifle butt. Kuntar, by the way, was feted by the Palestinian Authority upon his release, and has been made an Honorary Palestinian Citizen.
After Kuntar was released and the bodies of the two Israeli soldiers were opened, both of them showed obvious signs of torture and had been mutilated.
There is something here for the Israelis to learn.
First, the Israelis need to understand that no matter what, the Arabs are going to be willing to lie, fabricate, dissemble and perpetuate fraud in order to score victories with the already committed enemies of the Jewish State and their gullible dupes. Remember the Jenin 'massacre'? Gaza Beach Blanket Bingo? Mohammed al-Doura? I could cite literally dozens of others.
The Israelis should have known what was going to happen the minute they allowed the Palestinians to examine Jaradat's body and how the PA was going to make use of it the Israelis released it to them.
It would have been far, far better if they had simply done their own in depth, videotaped autopsy, filed it away somewhere and then treated the body to a nice quiet and anonymous burial.
They would thus have denied the PA a 'martyr'. And if the UN decided to intervene, the Israelis could simply allow them examine and view (but not remove) the records of the autopsy.
If the PA wanted the remains back that badly, the Israelis should bargain hard and make them give up major concessions for it.
The PA and Hamas shouldn't be given the tools to make propaganda. And as for the convicted murderers already in Israeli prisons, the monthly salaries the PA sends them and the tax monies Israel collects on the PA's behalf ought to be expropriated by Israel to pay for these prisoner's room and board.
Getting hit in the wallet might actually provide an incentive for the PA to end its support of terrorism against Israelis.