When Hamas captured the serving Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit; the eventual decision of the Israelis to swap 1,027 Hamas and other terrorist prisoners in exchange for the one Israeli was possibly the biggest mistake Israel has made since the War Cabinet ignored the warnings regarding the readiness of the Egyptians and Syrians to attack Israel in what came to be known as the Yom Kippur War.
The Israelis had a ‘trusted source’ within the Egyptian hierarchy, and this source was telling them that Egypt was the Country which was leading the planning for war, so the Israelis believed him, and ignored Syria, the silent partner. By ignoring, or rather dismissing Syria from the equation, they ignored the ‘battle-ready’ Syrian warnings from other sources; and it was only a half-hearted reinforcement of a full tank brigade, ordered by General Dayan as a ‘precaution’ which saved the Golan Heights, and possibly even Israel, from a massacre by the massed tanks of both Syria and Iraq. The Israelis, by their silly ideals of treating the forces of both Egypt and Syria as ‘just a motley bunch of Arabs’ nearly cost them their Country.
As I stated, the mistake was to agree to swap all those Palestinian prisoners in the first place, because now Hamas knew that, if they had Israeli civilians ,or more importantly, Israeli military prisoners; they knew that Israel would argue, and twitch, but, in the end, relent and give way to the demands.There is now a further ‘Swap’ on the table, but it is not only prisoners, it is the release of huge amounts of Qatari funds, sent specifically for the Gaza Strip, and also for Hamas.
But because of the pressure exerted on the Israelis to allow the ‘Swap’, a single family, whose daughter was so savagely murdered by Ahlam Tamimi , the leader of the suicide bombing raid on the Sbarro cafe, have called upon America to exert pressure on the Jordanians, who now give shelter to this sick killer, to send her back to the Israelis, and of course to prison.
Malki Roth’s parents, who had to endure the sheer hell of watching a documentary, “Hot House,” by an Israeli filmmaker named Shimon Dotan — a film that “got a terrific reception in the New York Times,” where it was described as an “absorbing look at Palestinians held in Israeli jails… full of remarkable interviews.”
“It focused,” Arnold says slowly, disbelief still underpinning his words, “on the woman who murdered our child. That woman’s grinning face — a picture of total self-satisfaction — looked out from the front page of one of the sections of the New York Times. It was a documentary filmed inside Israeli prisons. Israel had allowed them to interview Ahlam Tamimi.
And then the first ‘Shalit’ swap’. Time after time, the family was told that Tamimi would never be released. After all, the judges put on the record their recommendation that she never be released. Then the ultimate betrayal, as one of the most important prisoners, Hamas demanded that she be freed, and the grinning killer passed from Ramallah to Jordan, and lives there, married, successful t.v. programme, and all the rest.
But a faint hope now sets in with the American demand to bring her back from Jordan. Will it work? As Netanyahu keeps his problems juggling in the air, with annexation, the PLA, the settlers, Gantz, along with the myriad problems of a Jewish State surrounded by those who wish her destruction, will the anguish of a single Family turn the tides for the second proposed ‘Swap’.
Somehow, I am glad I am not an Israeli Prime Minister.