Guardian publishes letters arguing Shalit’s release (in exchange for 1027 terrorists) is unfair to Hamas

The Guardian published letters on the Shalit deal, “Letters: Perspectives on the Middle East prisoner swap“, Oct. 14.

The first one, from CiF’s Ghada Karmi, a Palestinian “academic” whose repeatedly called for an end to the Jewish state, equates Shalit with Palestinian terrorists being held in Israeli jails and, evidently will not consider justice to be served until the other 8,500 Palestinian terrorists are released.

Once again, it is Israel‘s perspective which has primacy in our media (Captured Israeli to be swapped for 1,000 Palestinians, 12 October). Apparently one Israeli prisoner, complete with photograph, personal history and anxious family, is worth a thousand nameless, faceless Palestinians without identities, histories, or grieving families. Where is the coverage of these and the 8,500 other Palestinian prisoners, including 35 women and 337 children, currently rotting in Israeli jails, some of them for over 20 years? Hundreds have been on hunger strike since 27 September against their inhuman treatment at Israel’s hands without international reaction. Palestinians draw from this the lesson that they are still regarded as lesser beings than Israelis. Unless that perception changes, there will be no progress towards a solution.
Dr Ghada Karmi

This was written by Professor Colin Lacey, Institute of Education, University of Sussex.  Lacey clearly suggests here that the abduction, and five-year captivity, of Shalit was morally justified as a means to free thousands of Palestinian terrorists. 

So let’s celebrate the release of an “icon”. But what about the nameless Palestinians? Are they mere statistics or just a mob? Netanyahu understands the “pain of Israeli families who have lost loved ones to violence”. One hundred Palestinians lost their lives when Israel launched an attack after Gilad Shalit‘s capture. Perhaps they were not loved? William Hague reckons Shalit’s captivity was “utterly unjustified”. How else would 1,000 Palestinians have obtained their freedom? When are Palestinians going to get some recognition as people, every bit as important as Israelis?
Professor Colin Lacey

But, the most insidious letter by far goes to John Curtis, from Suffolk.  Curtis, from my brief research, seems to identify with the UK’s Socialist Worker’s Party, (here and here) – a ‘revolutionary Marxist/Leninist inspired socialist party.  Curtis’ letter, published by the Guardian, suggests that Hamas should consider abducting more Israelis in order to secure the release of the remaining Palestinian terrorists. 

With up to 10,000 Palestinians still in Israeli jails, does that mean Hamas has to kidnap a further 10 members of the IDF to secure their release? Justice for the Palestinians is as far away as ever.
John Curtis
Saxmundham, Suffolk

Here’s a partial list of the 1027 Palestinian prisoners being released in the deal for Shalit.

  • Abdel Hadi Ghanem,  an Islamic Jihad terrorist responsible for the 1989 terror attack on Egged bus 405, in which 16 Israelis were killed.
  • Fahad Schludi, a terror operative who took part in the 1993 abduction and murder of IDF soldier Yaron Chen.
  • Bassam Abu Sneina and Riyad Asila, who are serving a life sentence for the 1998 murder of yeshiva student Haim Kerman.
  • Nael al-Barghouthi, the longest-serving Palestinian prisoner, who was sentenced to life in prison in 1978, for murdering an Israeli security officer.
  • Yehiya As-Sinwar, who was one of the founders of Hamas’ security forces in Gaza and was involved in the abduction and murder of IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman. He is also the brother of one of the terrorists involved in Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping.
  • Jihad Yarmur, who was convicted of Nachshon Wachsman’s murder.
  • Ahmed Najar, former head of the Silwad terror cell, which killed 3 Israelis in six shooting attacks during the al-Aqsa Intifada.
  • Mohammed Hamada, who was convicted of planning a rocket attack on Teddy Stadium in Jerusalem.
  • Ruhi Musteha, a senior operative with Hamas’ military wing.
  • Husam Badran, the former head of Hamas’ military wing in the West Bank, who orchestrated the deadly terror attacks at the Tel Aviv Dolphinarium in 2001, at the Park Hotel in Netanya in 2002 (which killed 30) and at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001 (which killed 15).
  • Muhammad Duglas, who was implicated in the Sbarro attack, and is serving 15 consecutive life sentences for the murder of 19 Israelis. 

So, even the partial list of Palestinian terrorists being released to gain the release of Gilad Shalit are responsible for the murder of 86 Israelis – a fact which doesn’t in the least concern the three contributors provided a platform by the Guardian.

19 replies »

  1. Thank you for posting this Adam. I had already read the ‘Fair and Balanced’ presentation that you linked to and saw it, once again, as hard evidence of the Guardian’s biases against the one democratic state in the Middle east.

    ‘Perspectives on the Middle east’. What a joke. Unless of course, one accepts that only anti Israel perspectives are in any way valid.

    Presumable nobody had written to the Guardian asking why Israel released more than one thousand Palestinian prisoners in exchange for a single Israeli soldier when the Guardian seemed so put out that only 11 Israelis had dies during Cast lead when more that 1,400 Palestinians lost their lives.

    The charge of proportionality has been bandied about there for years and, suddenly, the Palestinians own views on ‘proportionality’ become clear.

    Stepping back a bit, Israelis should be proud that they value a single Israelis soldiers life so highly.

    If only the Muslims would do the same this conflict would very quickly end.

    • “Stepping back a bit, Israelis should be proud that they value a single Israelis soldiers life so highly.

      If only the Muslims would do the same this conflict would very quickly end.”

      Very well put

  2. You beat me to it Adam. I was in the middle of writing a post on this very same subject when I checked back here to get some more background on Ghada Karmi – and saw you’ve done my work fro me already!

    As JerusalemMite said above, the letters page should have been titled “Perspective [in the singular form] on the Middle East prisoner swap” and not perspectives in the plural, for only one perspective is ever allowed there – that of the Guardian World View. Just sickening.

  3. “Apparently one Israeli prisoner, complete with photograph, personal history and anxious family, is worth a thousand nameless, faceless [Arab settlers] without identities, histories, or grieving families.”

    “But what about the nameless [Arab settlers]? Are they mere statistics or just a mob?”

    Blame Israel for everything. Everything—that includes the culture of death nurtured by the Islamic imperialists, the very thing that makes a thousand Arabs nothing but nameless foot-soldiers whose collective value equals one Jewish soldier.

    The Graun and its readership: Supporting the injustice of Islamic imperialist aggression come hell or high water.

  4. I note the emotive language used by my fellow Brits: the suffering of families, the grieving, the love, the injustice of it all…..

    I can’t help but wonder how they’d react if our government threw open the doors of British prisons basing their actions only on heartfelt compassion for the loved ones of those incacerated?

    Perhaps these authors of Guardianist outrage should be leading the charge to demand the release all those held in British jails who have been convicted of conspiring* to commit terrorist activities in the UK, along with anyone charged with abduction. I’m sure their families are missing them enormously.
    A probationary period served in their towns might be a really sweet gesture.

    I’d also suggest they toodle off and inspect conditions in our jails. Unless they’ve personally visited both British and Israeli jails, how can they make any comparisons?

    (note: conspiring, not – as in Israel – actually succeeding)

    • Penny

      “I can’t help but wonder how they’d react if our government threw open the doors of British prisons basing their actions only on heartfelt compassion for the loved ones of those incacerated?”

      But the British government have already done just that when they released Abdel Basset Ali Megrahi the Lockerbie bomber who murderd 270 victims – on the grounds of compassion (allegedly).

      Britain: I terrorist released – 270 dead
      Israel: 450 terrorists to be released – 87 dead

      In the compassion stakes the British win. Another reason that the Guardian contributors believe that Israel has been thoroughly merciless by not releasing enough Arab terrorists for just one Israeli

      Consider the tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of Jews that could have been saved from the holocaust if Britain had not restricted their immigration into the Palestinian mandate in the 1930’s

      No one does compassion like the British !

      • True enough, Millfield. I’d forgotten about him!

        I’ll use my ‘Get out of Jail Free’ card here though, because at least he was shipped some 1500 miles beyond our shores. That there was some hand-wringing over the safety of his conviction and his state of health is also true, but by and large his release was met with anger and suspicion both in the UK and America.

        What these outraged Big G writers are doing, however, is tantamount to a show of solidarity with the likes of Ahlam Tammimi, who, as Frimet Roth points out, smiled when informed that her actions had lead to the death of more children than she’d believed had been murdered.

        Would these letter-writiers lead the charge to release the likes of Hindley (now deceased, I admit!) Brady or Sutcliffe? It could be argued that the latter is mentally ill, but it takes a very sick mind to smile at the deaths of children. In my view we are talking about an indoctrinated people, living in a situation perpetuated by themselves and amongst whom such an unbalanced mindset seems rather prevalent. Would Dr Karmi, Professor Lacey and John Curtis be quite so blase if those of similar beliefs were released into their local vicinities?


        • Penny, having nailed their colours to the mast and been so unequivocal in their support of these scum, Karmi, Lacey and Curtis would be in the throes of cognitive dissonance, having argued for so long that these “poor Palestinians” are oppressed, they’d have dreadful difficulty with the notion being played out before them of said Palestinians as blatant oppressors. The resulting emotional discomfort as well as their being proven wrong so publicly would be almost unbearable – and they would therefore be busily engaged in trying to peddle some guff to give spurious credence to their continued support for the perpetrators of Islamist violence in their own back yards to try to save their pitiable faces. We have seen it before in the UK, after 7/7 when, instead of publicly consigning Islamists and their fellow travellers to the scrapheap, the government of the day actually threw taxpayers’ money at them and co-opted them onto the equivalent of peace and reconciliation initiatives, all of which were doomed to failure.

          Of course these moral imbeciles are showing solidarity with Islamist murderers.They would twist themselves out of shape trying to find excuses for any murderous behaviour in their own back yards rather than put the blame for it where it so squarely belongs.

          Of course, in so doing they have lost contact with any humanity they themselves might have had, but I’ll bet they’re all very fond of fluffy kittens.

          Israel is locked in mortal combat with Islam. If, heaven forbid, Islam were to triumph, then there would still be no peace because these people are not wired in that way. It would not be long before they began fighting among themselves and killing each other off as they have been doing for centuries on the flimsiest of pretexts.

          • “Of course, in so doing they have lost contact with any humanity they themselves might have had”

            I’d also say they’ve lost contact with common sense, common decency and reality, Mitnaged.

            “Israel is locked in mortal combat with Islam”

            I agree – and we should be learning from that battle.

            “If, heaven forbid, Islam were to triumph……”

            Those who think a PA/Hamas triumph in the region would end the problems of all this awful jihad are wrong. The psychological boost of such a win would be huge and far from ending global terrorism, would exacerbate it.

  5. The total number of Palestinian security prisoners held in Israeli jails is now just over 6000, not 10,000 as some of the letters state. The number was close to 10,000 a few years ago but has gone down steadily since then as prisoners complete their sentences and fewer are arrested due to the improved security situation.

    • “…due to the improved security situation.”

      Which is the REAL problem the Graun and its readers have here. How dare those Zionists make it harder for Hamas to terr^H^H^H^Hresist them!

  6. Once again, it is Israel‘s perspective which has primacy in our media (Captured Israeli to be swapped for 1,000 Palestinians, 12 October).

    Is Ghada Karmi accusing the Guardian of being shamelessly pro-Israel?!?!

    And as for Colin Lacey’s “How else would 1,000 Palestinians have obtained their freedom?” Since when do convicted murderers have a right to freedom?

  7. The letters are a sideshow. The main show is Israel’s inhumane approach to its own terror victims, releasing their killers and encouraging yet more terror.

  8. The point of these letters is very simple: killing Jews is not illegal and therefore arresting, convicting and imprisoning anyone who killed (or tried to kill but failed to) Jews is illegal. And also that the rule of law agrees with this, so that any steps Israel takes to deal with people who kills Jews is illegal, even if it’s based on a genuine legal system. It does create the excellent salient conclusion that Israel should not consider itself bound to the rule of law if it equals “Jews can be killed without reprecussions”.

  9. Merci ‘Israeli’ nurse, Return Monsieur Giliad et son papa to France, where they belong. The Shaleet family adventure in the Middle East was a very bad idea.