Gilad Shalit and the cost of freedom

Ahlam Tamimi, one of the 1,027 Palestinian prisoners who will be freed in exchange for Gilad Shalit

Gilad Shalit is to be released soon. Thanks be to God. But his release comes at an awful price. Israel is releasing 1,027 “security prisoners” – the term used for those Palestinians arrested for terrorism-related activities. Among these, 280 have blood on their hands, meaning they actively have participated in murdering Israelis.

Scanning the names of those terrorists to be released, I noticed the name of Ahlam Tamimi. Miss Tamimi is not a freedom fighter. She’s not a political prisoner. She is a craven and unrepentant murderer. In August of 2001, she drove Izz al-Din Shuheil al-Masri to the Sbarro pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem, where he detonated his suicide bomb belt. I was in my first year in seminary and living in Jerusalem then. These are the names and ages of my murdered neighbors from that attack:

Giora Balash, 60
Zvika Golombek, 26
Judy Greenbaum, 31 (an American citizen from Passaic, New Jersey)
Tehila Maoz, 18
Frieda Mendelsohn, 62
Michal Raziel, 16
Malka Roth, 15
Yocheved Shoshan, 10
Lily Shimashvili, 33
Tamara Shimashvili, 8
Mordechai Schijveschuurder, 43
Tzira Schijveschuurder, 41
Ra’aya Schijveschuurder, 14
Avraham Yitzhak Schijveschuurder, 4
Hemda Schijveschuurder, 2

In 2006, Tamimi told Israel’s Yediot Achronot newspaper that she was not sorry for what she’d done and that she does not recognize the existence of Israel. Despite being sentenced to 16 terms of life in prison, she predicted she would be free. Turns out, she was right.

The morning after the bombing, as my classmates and I gathered for morning prayers and read the names of the dead – the third, fourth, and fifth members of the Schijveschuurder family – we wondered what kind of monster could do something so depraved. What kind of hatred compels a human being to do this? The monster’s name is Ahlam Tamimi. And her hatred is terrifyingly common. There are 279 other Ahlam Tamimis set to go free from Israeli prisons in the coming days. 279 other demons to be loosed on the world. 279 other stories of murderous hatred and inhumanity.

Please understand, I am not critical of the decision made by Prime Minister Netanyahu and the Israeli government. I rejoice in Gilad’s impending freedom and look forward to seeing the anguish on his parents’ faces replaced by joy. His life is worth saving. Were it one of my boys in a hole in Gaza – a hell I can’t even imagine and don’t want to try – I, too, would beg the government to give up whatever it took.

But I do think it important to realize what Israel is giving up for the sake of one boy. Agree or disagree with the policy, we must have the moral clarity to say that this deal is painful to all people who love peace and justice. Necessary, perhaps. But awful. The injustice of the whole situation – Gilad’s kidnapping from within Israeli territory, the conditions of his captivity, the cruelty of his captors, the ongoing Palestinian attempts to abduct still more Israelis – should infuriate us. And should, in the final analysis, lead us to act!

Rabbi Jonathan Greenberg is the new Director of Advocacy at The Fellowship. Jonathan previously served as the Midwest Political Director for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), where he was responsible for building pro-Israel political activism in 95 Congressional districts across nine states.  He is a member of the Central Conference of American Rabbis and the Chicago Board of Rabbis. Jonathan, his wife, and their two sons live in Northbrook, IL.

Author: Stand For Israel | October 13, 2011
Posted in:  Uncategorized


What do you think?

  • Chandan
    October 15, 2011
    2:11 pm

    I am from India, although i am not a Jew. I support Israel and its forces against the terrorist.

    Long Live India and Long Live Israel.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Grace
    October 14, 2011
    5:52 pm

    This evil woman will have to go on her knees before the GOD of Israel, the one and Only GOD… Let’s see if she has have remorse then!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Hank
    October 14, 2011
    8:05 am

    Ah, the peace process…?? I thought I misheard the news of this exchange. I have learned that there are only a few things we need to live. Food, Clothing, shelter and fuel. We spend our lives in procurement of “necessities”. Our birthright is freedom. Freedom to choose between good and evil every day. Our success is in choosing good and eschewing evil. All the things we have can be taken away, including our freedom if we allow it. I am sad that those whose life are murder and hatred are free to choose the evil of their life, but I will pray to our God that they will see the the light of truth. I stand for Israel!

    Reply to this comment »
  • John
    October 14, 2011
    4:41 am

    ahlam tamimi.Printing the name in lower case is the only way to describe this excuse that breaths the same air as the rest of us.The Scriptures explain to the Faithfull who follow the ONE TRUE GOD that to break the SIXTH COMMANDMENT willingly can be most offensive to our SAVIOUR.I prefer not to judge,but HE will….AMEN.

    Reply to this comment »
  • William
    October 14, 2011
    1:48 am

    I have no feeling of value for the terrorists. The young hero from Israel is worth more than any or all of them. May he find peace at home. I stand with Israel and would fight for her any day.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Michelle
    October 14, 2011
    12:46 am

    This is not a smart move.Israel should not free murderers who will kill again.The Israeli leaders know how heavy the price is, and they are doing it only because of the Media’s pressure.

    Reply to this comment »
    • Courtney
      October 14, 2011
      9:17 pm

      Why, they kill innocent Muslims!!!! And who is to say that these thousands of people are actual terrorists?

      Reply to this comment »
  • Dan
    October 13, 2011
    9:36 pm

    I don’t know- seems like an awful steep price. But then I won’t second guess the Israeli negotiators on this. I am certainly glad Gilad is going home, and I pray his wounds (physical and emotional) will heal.

    I am a staunch proponent of the death penalty. Try them, execute them, then trade them if that’s what the “Palestinians” want. But store ’em in a live tank and it will only encourage the Palestinian gangsters to kidnap others.


    Reply to this comment »
  • William
    October 13, 2011
    9:20 pm

    May God have mercy on my soul I would hunt them down individually and send them to God for judgement. God bless our hero of Israel

    Reply to this comment »
  • Lexah
    October 13, 2011
    7:38 pm

    If we are releasing 1027 prisoners, why don’t we demand our other captives? What about Majdy Halabi (2005), Guy Hever (1997), Ron Arad (1986), Tzvi Feldman, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz (1982)?

    Reply to this comment »
    • Pat
      October 17, 2011
      8:22 am

      I agree with Lexah. I totally believe that the people of Israel are God’s Chosen People. I pray that America always supports Israel. May God send Israel peace.

      Reply to this comment »
  • Judith
    October 13, 2011
    6:38 pm

    It seems that both the Palestinians and Israelis believe that 1,027 Palestinians equal 1 Israeli.

    Scary exchange but very honorable.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Terry
    October 13, 2011
    6:36 pm

    My thoughts are very simple. First secure the release of Gilad and take advantage of any other benefit of the deal worked out with those who have held him all these years. Then, after he is safe in Israel-release the great white shark! Very quietly.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Denise
    October 13, 2011
    6:09 pm

    I think Israel should consider the death penalty for terrorists.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Bill
    October 13, 2011
    6:06 pm

    Shalom Gilad and Israel. I am thankful that Gilad Shalit is going home. He is a Protector of Israel and her people. God of Abraham protect your people from the injustice and may the IDF capture each and every one released. These barbarians are not worthy to be out of their cages. They will not be free too long.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Linda
    October 13, 2011
    6:02 pm

    Terrorists ought to be executed immediately. They are not worth feeding and housing and not one
    should ever be allowed to be free to commit atrocities again.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Ellen
    October 13, 2011
    4:59 pm

    Infect them all with something that is dormant for 30 days then causes death. Then make the exchange. That is the only way to eradicate the hate.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Michael
    October 13, 2011
    4:39 pm

    I’m not Jewish but I believe in Israel and what God has placed in my heart. Terriost WILL NEVER tear down God. This woman and her fellow killers will be made to pay. Not in this world, but in God’s world. Bless you

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jenny
    October 13, 2011
    3:59 pm

    Mixed emotions. I want this innocent man free but not for this high price :( just this one woman will pay for her sins by God Almighty. God save her <3 God bless Israel <3

    Reply to this comment »
  • Miguel
    October 13, 2011
    3:53 pm

    I think Gilad Shalit is worthy to be free; but these palestinian monsters don`t deserve to be alive.

    Reply to this comment »
  • nora
    October 13, 2011
    3:26 pm

    i agree i pray that some how the Lord will turn this around,maybe the Lord has worked in their hearts ,i know i have seen Him do that before.thats the only thing the devil cant copy

    Reply to this comment »
    • Rob
      October 13, 2011
      6:19 pm

      Thank you Nora!! Hopefully those released will realize that the true enemy is whatever belief system causes you to take up arms against your neighbor. Just because certain beliefs have been in place for thousands of years, does’nt mean that that system has been right for that long. The Palestinians will never have a status above a family pet because they choose to act like animals. Plus, they have no sustainable economy, so it’s the poor house puppet act for the next 2000 years. They will one day need a hand from their neighbor…. how will God answer?

      Reply to this comment »
  • Claudia
    October 13, 2011
    3:00 pm

    I am stunned that the government of Israel considers this a good deal! At least they will be hopefully getting back one live soldier instead of boxes of bones. More Israeli’s will die as a result of this lunacy, how will the Shalit’s deal with that?

    Reply to this comment »
  • Frieda
    October 13, 2011
    2:53 pm

    What an unjust act for a very justified cause. I hope that maby somehow, the Israelis could catch those they must release and put them back in custody before they kill more people. ” Wishful thinking”, but it would be great. I’m happy for Gilad, but sorry about that kind of a trade.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Price
    October 13, 2011
    2:51 pm

    I stand with Israel !!!

    Reply to this comment »
  • Jeremiah
    October 13, 2011
    2:48 pm

    Israel be prepared.

    Reply to this comment »
  • Bronwyn
    October 13, 2011
    2:45 pm

    One Jewish person is worth 1,000 of the enemy.

    Reply to this comment »

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