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When asked in the television interview about the government’s assertions that it had insufficient intelligence on Gilad, Cohen countered: “Intelligence is not passive but must be activated. It never was.”
Malki, when I heard this I cried bitterly. Our leaders had betrayed you and us yet again.
Additional critics of the mass release of murderers have now come out of the woodwork. Anshel Pfeffer wrote in Haaretz: “Shalit’s capture… was a colossal operational blunder, at just about every level…. His eventual release was a victory primarily for the other side’s negotiators.”
When Maariv journalist Ben Caspit spoke to Yitzhak Mordechai, a former defense minister and operating commander of the southern, central and northern commands, Mordechai told him that it was only when the worsening condition of Palestinian prisoners held in Israel became an issue in Gaza that Hamas was willing to negotiate.
Caspit then asked a question that haunts us, Malki. Referring to the astonishingly indulgent treatment that had been accorded to terrorists in the Israeli prison system, he wondered what would have happened if the authorities hadn’t waited so long to take away the perks that turned these prisoners’ incarceration into the equivalent of summer camp. “Too bad no one thought to explore this option in real time,” Caspit said.
These disclosures have hardly had an impact on the majority of Israelis. Some 80% bought Netanyahu’s absurd assertion that releasing 1,027 unrepentant, tried and convicted terrorists in return for one soldier is a “victory,” a show of our “moral superiority.”
It is nothing less than suicidal to place our trust in a leader who has sacrificed his nation’s security and its judicial system for political gain.
Malki, please know that we have not given up the fight. We will seek an investigation into the disastrous handling of the Shalit affair. We still hope for an apology from our prime minister for his role in this travesty of justice.
Your murderer has told Jordanian reporters, “All I dream about now is to live with Nezar [another freed terrorist], settle down and raise our future children.”
We will not rest until her dreams are dashed and she is back in prison. We will pursue that goal not to seek revenge or to ease our relentless longing for you, but simply because it is the only just and sane thing for a democratic state to do.
Frimet Roth is a freelance writer based in Jerusalem. After her daughter’s murder, in 2001, she and her husband founded the Malki Foundation (www.kerenmalki.org), which provides support for Israeli families of all faiths who care for a special needs child.