Saturday, July 27, 2013

Over a hundred Palestinian prisoners to be released - almost all murderers

The Israeli government will probably be releasing over a hundred Palestinian prisoners (almost all of them murderers) as part of the process of restarting the peace negotiations with the Palestinians, and their names have just been released. (The decision has to be voted on by the cabinet, and according to Haaretz, Netanyahu may have a hard time getting enough people to vote for the releases). It's painful to see who some of these people are:

In the fall of 1988 Jumaa Adem and Mahmoud Kharbish killed Rachel Weiss and her three children (Ephraim, Raphael, and Netanel) and David Dolorosa, who tried to save the lives of the four. They died in a molotov cocktail attack on the vehicle in the Jordan Valley. I remember this - I was in Israel then, during the first intifada.

In 1989 Israeli Prize Laureate Menahem Stern was murdered in the Valley of the Cross as he was walking to National Library on the Givat Ram campus of the Hebrew University. I was also in Israel at the time. His murder was especially painful, because he was a great scholar of Second Temple Jewish history. These are some of his publications (list from Wikipedia):
  • The Great Families of the Period of the Second Temple (1959)
  • The Documentation of the Maccabee Rebellion (1965)
  • Greek and Latin authors on Jews and Judaism/ edited with introductions, translations and commentary by Menahem Stern. Jerusalem: Israel Academy of Sciences and Humanities, (c1974-c1984)
  • Studies in the History of the People of Israel in the Period of the Second Temple (1991, published posthumously)
  • The Reign of Herod (1992, published posthumously)
  • Hasmonean Judea in the Hellenistic World: Chapters in Political History (1995, published posthumously)
Mahmoud Issa, who led the terrorist cell that kidnapped and murdered Border Guard officer Nissim Toledano on December 12, 1992 (The ynet article has the date wrong). I remember this murder too. I was in Israel for the year doing research for my dissertation, and I was sitting in the Scholem Library when the word came that Toledano had been killed. He had been kidnapped with the aim of exchanging him for Ahmed Yassin, the leader of Hamas, who was in an Israeli prison. When the deadline for the exchange passed, Toledano was killed by his captors.

Note: Ynet has just published the complete list in Hebrew:,7340,L-4410284,00.html.

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