Friday, July 1, 2016

A bitter pill that needs an antidote

The prime minister paying a shiva call today
in Kiryat Arba [Image Source]
Here they are again: the headlines awash with prime minister Netanyahu's hard line response to the cold-blooded murder of yet another sweet, precious Jewish child, Hillel Yaffa Ariel.

I know the pain of her parents: literally. But I hope they will not be deceived by Netanyahu's visit to their home today, by his ersatz commiseration,  his assurances of harsher counter measures and his string of empty, lame cliches.

For instance:
Netanyahu, Liberman order work permits revoked for stabber’s relatives after Palestinian teen kills 13-year-old girl, call for rapid demolition of his family’s home. [Times of Israel, yesterday]
Or his utterances at today's shiva visit:
"... it reminds us once again who we are and what we are facing," Netanyahu continued. "They want to uproot us, but will deepen our roots. They will not force us out of here... acts of terror will not succeed in breaking the soul of the Jewish people and will not force Jews to abandon their homes. " [Jerusalem Post, today]
Unlike any other world leader sworn to fight Islamic terror, Netanyahu's Shalit Deal of 2011 strengthened and encouraged terrorists around the world. 1,027 of their comrades, including hundreds of cold-blooded murderers, self confessed and convicted of acts no less barbaric than the one that we are all reeling from today, were freed, many to resume their terrorist ways, just as sources within the Israeli security establishment predicted.

Never before or since has a leader of a democratic, Western state perpetrated a travesty of justice remotely as infuriating and unforgivable.

As I write this, we learn about yet another slaughter of Jews at the hands of Palestinian murderers.

No doubt Netanyahu will trot out his trusty, tough-guy speeches yet again. Perhaps even pay a condolence call to the grieving family as he did to the Ariels.

But please, let's not allow those trite promises and threats to undo his crime against humanity.

Let's bear in mind the bitter truth we learned just days ago: that Netanyahu's decision to perpetrate the Shalit Deal was politically motivated. As Zvi Hauser, former cabinet secretary to Channel 10, said in Haaretz ["Gilad Shalit Prisoner Swap Was Partly a Response to 2011 Social Protests, Ex-cabinet Secretary Says", June 25, 2016], the social justice protests of that period were endangering the prime minister's grip on power.

The vile agreement - sought by many of those protesters -  was a welcome pacifier; or in Hauser's words: "a bucket of cold water on the fire" of unrest.

It is a bitter pill to swallow when the grief is so raw. But, sadly, there is no avoiding it.

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