Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Israel shows once again that justice must prevail
Although not quite in the same league, many people have suggested yesterday's raid on the Jericho prison can be talked about in the same breath as the daring raid on Entebbe and Israel's bombing of the Iraqi nuclear facility at Osirak in 1981.
However, like those two events Israel did what it felt was necessary regardless of world opinion. Israel has long been in a state of stupor where every Israeli move has to be seen in the context of world opinion. Israel has deliberately stayed her hand many times in recent history when a reaction was necessary to mollify terrorism or violence meted out to its citizens. Many people talk of the might of Israel's military, so they must know that the IDF does not even use a small fragment of its firepower because it understandably and morally does not want to kill innocents. A few years ago we had an almost farcical scene of one of the most technologically advanced armies in the world going house to house in an anti-terrorism operation using tactics more reminiscent of decades ago. This was all because Israel did not want to shed innocent blood so did not fire on targets from the air or from a safe distance. Because of this tens of Israeli soldiers lost their lives, when only double that number of Palestinian terrorists were killed.
So to yesterday, Israel saw a situation that was intolerable and decided to act, world condemnation be damned.
Speaking during a visit to the destroyed jail, Palestinian Authority Chairman Mahmoud Abbas said the raid was a blow to the Palestinian Authority.
"What happened is an ugly crime which cannot be forgiven and a humiliation for the Palestinian people and a violation of all the agreements. Their arrest by Israel is illegal," Palestinian MrAbbas said, referring to Saadat and other militants detained.
Of course none of this would have been necessary if the PA Chairman had not confirmed the intention of Hamas to release these prisoners - and his intention to do nothing about it - by stating that he should not be held responsible for the result.
The whole situation of these prisoners was ridiculous from the start (timeline) with an Israeli government minister gunned down in a hotel. The prisoners were convicted by a 'Kangaroo court' only because of international pressure mounting on the Palestinians to act.
This latest Israeli act has righted those wrongs. While the UK, Belgium and many other nations reserve the right to try Israeli leaders and soldiers who have never perpetrated a crime against anyone of that country, Palestinians who murdered a member of the Israeli government were never going to face Israeli justice.
Although a long way from the daring of Entebbe and Osirak, yesterday's mission went a long way in telling the world that Israeli can mean business again, especially when it means justice for one of its slain.
Now the Israeli Prime Minister has stated that the prisoners will finally face an Israeli court.