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Moshe Elad
Prisoner swap to legitimize terror
Shalit swap to grant official status to Gaza terrorists holding IDF captive
If there is a scenario that could accelerate the escalation in our ties with the Palestinians and also renew the violent intra-Palestinian clashes, the prisoner swap currently being formulated is it. The Palestinians are expecting the release of about 1,000 "brave fighters," rather than illegal aliens, thieves, or drug dealers, in accordance with a formula that grants clear preference to Hamas prisoners, including the most despicable murderers.


For example, Abed Rabbo abu-Husa, a senior Hamas figure responsible for the kidnapping and murder of many soldiers and civilians at the end of the 1980s. Abu-Husa was only captured in 2001 in a sophisticated operation that took 12 years to complete. Indeed, the Palestinians demand the release of a thousand Abu-Husas in exchange for one Gilad Shalit.


Yet the dangerous that are lurking for Israel do not only stem from the return of the "big time" terrorists. A no lesser danger is the diplomatic precedent created in the wake of the expected deal, with Egypt, the Palestinian government, and even Israel giving a kosher certificate and granting an official and almost legitimate status to the Gaza terrorists holding Shalit.


In the heat of the negations, everyone seems to have "forgotten" that an official Palestinian government, which the West is wooing and yearning to crown over Palestinian, is hiding behind the back of a gang of outlaws that is holding Shalit and is determining (in coordination with the PA government, of course) the price tag for the deal, while also dictating the identity of those to be released.


The Palestinian government has reached a nadir when its spokespersons noted that "the kidnappers are making demands," as if the abductors and captive Israeli soldier are located at some hideout in Columbia's forests and not within sovereign PA territory.


This precedent would no doubt encourage every terror organization affiliated with the PA and working in coordination with its leaders to continue abducting soldiers and demand an unbearable price for them. If it worked in Shalit's case, why wouldn't it work in other cases?


Abbas chooses Hamas embrace

And so, another abduction, and another deal, and we'll see our neighbor Palestine, a state in the making, being run by armed militias with a PLO past and a Lebanese future.


One wonders whether the Norwegians, Spaniards, or the United Nations are familiar with another place in the world where a government that boasts ten members who hold PhD degrees from top US universities, three doctors, three engineers, and even one lawyer would be able to take part in such emotional blackmail and crude sadistic utilization of the raw nerves of another public - because this is precisely the kind of conduct that must be mey by discounting the possibility of international recognition.


The dangerous precedent in this deal also has to do with the potential release of jailed Tanzim leader Marwan Barghouti. I'm convinced that behind closed doors, Palestinian leaders are imploring Israel not to release him, because who else does he threaten if not the current Fatah leadership? And if we add to this the fact that Hamas' Mashaal and Haniyeh are also afraid of him, then who really needs him to be freed?


I would be willing to disregard the severe sentence handed down by an Israeli court, if we were truly talking about a "Palestinian Nelson Mandela." But he is far from it. On a personal note I would add, based on my experience, that if there is a person that in the 1990s undermined the implementation of the Oslo Agreement in the West Bank on a daily and ongoing basis, and attempted to torpedo it in every way possible – it is Marwan Barghouti.


If he is a "man of peace," I don't know what war is. On the other hand, the Israelis who currently call for his release are in fact harming him. He is increasingly perceived as an Israeli collaborator expected to pay off "promissory notes" in the future by becoming a "moderate, level-headed leader."


Experience shows us that if he is indeed released, Barghouti will first do everything in order to first rid himself of the collaborator label. We should not be surprised to see him becoming more extreme than Hamas even – and then, either we will be harmed, or he will disappear from politics altogether – and then we would wonder why we released him in the first place.


Palestinian leader Abbas also has an important role in this precedent. If it depended on him, he may have "recommended" releasing Shalit. However, instead of showing leadership and being rid of Hamas, he preferred to give it a "national hug" and is currently reaching the end of his road while embraced by Hamas. This irrelevant man, who four times since Shalit's abduction declared his "upcoming release," has also been exposed as a virtual real estate swindler, who is trying to sell us an asset he does not possess.


The Palestinians are also talking about a precedent: The release of only hundreds of Mujahideen is viewed by many as capitulation to Israel and a severe failure on the Palestinian government's part. If the deal is indeed finalized, and once the names of terrorists expected to be released become known, a Winograd Commission would not be established there – but we'll see a real commotion: Accusations of treason, claims of discrimination by some organizations, demands for re-evaluation, and internal violent clashes.


However, we can also expect a Palestinian outburst of revenge against Israel.


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