Nine months from now the Israeli government, guided by the US and with the help of God, is expected sign a peace agreement with the Palestinians. In the event that such a deal is reached, will it include the release from prison of Hakim and Amjad Awad?
Some two years ago this duo entered the Fogel family home in Itamar and butchered the parents, stabbed their 11-year-old boy to death, strangled their four-year-old boy to death and murdered their three-month-old girl by stabbing her in the head and turning it into a colander. Had they known that another boy and baby were present they would have slaughtered them as well, the Awads said during their interrogation. Too bad we didn't know. They were each sentenced to 130 years in prison.
Abbas called the act "despicable and inhuman." MK Ahmad Tibi used similar words to describe the murders. In Gaza they celebrated the incident with fireworks and candy.
A man named Damian Karlik got into a dispute with his employer, Dmitry Oshrenko. Some four years ago he broke into the Oshrenko family home in Rishon Lezion and slaughtered those inside. Among other things, Karlik threw a three-month-old baby so hard against the floor that his skull was fractured. Karlik then stabbed the baby to death. Then he murdered the child's sister to death while repeatedly flipping her over and stabbing her as though she were a pillow.
Some acts are diabolical; unique in their cruelty. A two-legged animal, late prime minister Menachem Begin called Samir Kuntar, who smashed a four-year-old girl's head against a boulder in Nahariya.
Diplomatic, legal and ideological trap
Some acts are outside the human realm. In countries where there is no capital punishment, the perpetrators of such acts rot in jail until their dying day. Even if in Israel inmates do not rot, it would benefit humanity if such people remain imprisoned.
Israel holds hundreds, perhaps thousands of Palestinian prisoners who acted in the framework of the struggle for national liberation and against the occupation. There are enough terrorists Israel can release. On the other hand, some terrorists must not be released because of the citizenship they hold or the severity of their actions – or both.
A year before the signing of the Oslo deal, three new members of the Islamic Movement in Israel left Umm al-Fahm and the village of Mushreifeh, stormed an army base near Kibbutz Gilad and slaughtered three IDF reservists in their sleep with an axe and a pitchfork, in an attack known as “the night of pitchforks.”
These murderers are expected to be released as a gesture to Abbas as the peace talks resume. Their release, and the release of Arab Israelis in general, holds within it a diplomatic, legal and ideological trap. An abyss of absurdity: The release of Israeli citizens who murdered Israeli citizens in the State of Israel.
Should such prisoners be released as part of an agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, it would create a new category in the law of nations; an insane category, no less. The inclusion of Arab Israelis on the list of prisoners slated for release makes a mockery of Israeli citizenship and Israeli sovereignty. It also gives new meaning to such basic terms as affiliation and authority.
The ones who should be the first to protest against this trend are the leftists, human rights groups and social activists. Those who accept such a decision by either supporting it or keeping quiet will not be able to say anything in the future – not a word – against the transfer of the "triangle," Wadi Ara, or other Arab-dominated areas to the Palestinian state, as suggested by Avigdor Lieberman and those who share his opinions.
Citizenship is not a Lego game. A person can carry in his heart two presidents – Abbas and Peres, but he cannot carry in his pocket a remote control for the activation of two contradicting penal systems, at his convenience.