UPDATE: SHALIT SCHEDULED TO BE RELEASED ON TUESDAY.
For the last two days, your humble servant has blogged that making the Shalit deal was the right thing to do—that the life an Israeli soldier is more valuable than 1000 of the enemy.
I have also written that the release of 1027 convicted terrorists, including 279 serving life sentences for murder, will unquestionably lead to the murder of more Israelis. One cannot help but feel nauseated when one begins to read the list of those to be released:
Abd al-Hadi Gnaim: terrorist hijacker of the Egged bus in 1989 who drove the bus off a cliff near Jerusalem killing 16 Israelis on board
Jihad Yarmur: a member of the terror cell that killed IDF Sgt. Nachshon Wachsman in 1994
Husam Badran: planner of the 2001 Dolphinarium nightclub bombing in Tel Aviv in which 21 Israeli youth were slaughtered
Nasir Batima: planner of the 2002 Passover Massacre at the Park Hotel in Netanya where 30 Israelis were blown to pieces
These men will leave Israeli prison, be hailed as heroes, and immediately begin to plan their next acts of terrorism against Israeli men, women, and children.
Yet Gnaim, Yarmur, Badran, Batima, and 275 more like these should have never been in Israeli prison in the first place. They were tried, convicted of heinous crimes, and should have been executed.
As you undoubtedly know, dear reader, capital punishment is illegal in Israeli civil courts, except in the cases of Nazi criminals. In fact, the only person ever to have been sentenced to be executed by a civil court was Adolf Eichman. On the other hand, Israeli military courts have the authority to impose a death sentence on terrorists in Judea and Samaria, which are administered under military law, but have never done so (though it was considered for the butchers of the Fogel family).
In March of this year, Likud Knesset Representative Tzipi Hotovely and Druze Representative Ayoub Kara called for a change in legislation to allow prosecutors in civil courts to ask for the death penalty for terrorist murderers. They were joined in this call by National Union Knesset Member Uri Ariel, who quoted a saying by Rabbinic sages that “whoever takes mercy on cruel people will eventually be cruel to merciful people.”
It is time for the Netanyahu Coalition to act. Judicial law must change. The death penalty should be imposed on terrorist murderers. The Gnaims, Yarmurs, Badrans, and Batimas of the world should never again be permitted to murder innocent human beings–and they should never be allowed to be ransom for kidnapped Israeli soldiers.
A not-so-small footnote: in a public announcement this morning, Hamas declared that more kidnappings are already planned and that Israelis can expect them to happen soon.