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May 24th

Kidnapped teens and the State Department

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Restraint? The State Dept. urges restraint in the search for the kidnapped Israeli teens?

Sometimes we think that there is a boilerplate button at the State Department that is automatically pushed when the subject of Israeli self-defense comes up. Israel’s search for kidnapped citizens is an act of self-defense. Greeting it is the latest cut-and-paste quote from the diplomatic center of this country, urging “all parties to exercise restraint and avoid steps that could destabilize the situation.”

What does this even mean? What exactly is the restraint that is being urged on the Palestinian Authority — not to break its ill begotten union with Hamas? not to cooperate with Israel in finding the kidnapped teens?

Or, if this “urging” is directed at Hamas, does the State Department believe that a statement from it will convince Hamas to change its anti-Semitic charter calling for the destruction of Israel, or convince Hamas not to engage in more kidnappings?

Or, if this “urging” is directed at Israel, does the State Department believe that Israel should not do all in its power to finds its kidnapped, teenage citizens? The more one looks at this statement, the more senseless is seems.

Meanwhile, this is what we have not heard:

• A statement from President Obama condemning either the kidnapping or the unification of the PA and Hamas that motivated it. Obama had a lot to say — rightly — when Boko Harem kidnapped 300 Nigerian girls. Why is he silent about three kidnapped Jewish Israelis?

• A statement from Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu — or from any other top Israeli leader, for that matter — renouncing once and for all the practice of trading convicted Palestinian murderers for Israeli hostages, soldiers or kidnappees. Put yourself in the place of the family of Police Chief Superintendent Baruch Mizrachi, who was murdered last Passover eve by one of the murderers whom Israel released in exchange for Gilad Shalit. How this family can face Netanyahu, how Netanyahu can face this family, and, for that matter, how the family of Gilad Shalit can face the Mizrachis, is utterly beyond us.

The equal signs bear repeating: Palestinian murders an Israeli = imprisonment = release from imprisonment in exchange for a kidnapped Israeli = murder of another Israeli. This is moral, political and judicial bankruptcy, which only invites the likes of State Department urgings of “restraint” in the face of the inevitable: the next Palestinian kidnapping.

We pray that the three boys return safely. We pray that Jews around the world find positive developments around which to express their solidarity.

Copyright © 2014 by the Intermountain Jewish News

Last Updated ( Thursday, 26 June 2014 03:20 )  

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