Thursday, July 3, 2014

Catch and Release

Recently, during my trip to Israel, I had dinner with the IDF soldier who in 2001 captured Abdel Aziz Salha, the Butcher of Ramallah.  If you don’t remember the infamous animal, the picture might help jar your memory.

The Butcher of Ramalloah took part in the murder and disembowelment of two IDF soldiers who took a wrong turn and found themselves at a PA roadblock.  Instead of being allowed to turn around, a PA policeman took the soldiers to the police station in Ramallah, an Arab town in the heartland of Israel just a few miles north of Jerusalem.  It was there, at an Arab police station, that a mob of Arabs lynched and killed the soldiers while 1000 Arabs stood outside and cheered.  (Incidentally, U.S. tax dollars are used to buy weapons for and to train PA policemen.)
This friend, who captured the Butcher of Ramallah, is hands-down the toughest man I know.  At the same time, he is one of the kindest men I know.  And funniest.
I had the privilege of meeting his wife on this trip.  I tried my best not to stare at her the entire evening.  She was that beautiful.  The kind of beauty that, well, one just wants to stare at.  I was later told that she was a survivor of a terrorist attack.  When she was a student, the playground at her school was attacked.  Boys playing basketball were shot and killed by Arabs who hate Jews. She fell on the ground, played dead, and survived. 
This couple is a picture of all of Israel.  Tough.  A toughness that you and I will most likely never have to know.  Maybe.  They are kind.  A deep kindness, not just a sugarcoated kindness, but an authentic kindness that one could rely on with his or her life.  And they are survivors.  In so many ways.  Just like Israel.
By the way, the Butcher of Ramallah, who my friend risked his life to capture, was released in 2011 in a prisoner release deal along with 1026 other prisoners.  The insanity of politics.
Kerry continues to push Israel to release even more terrorists from prison in exchange for peace.  For some insane reason, Israel listened to Kerry and let more prisoners go free.  And of course, everyone knew exactly what would happen when killers are allowed to walk free and indeed it did.  On Passover eve, in Israel, a Jewish family was shot at by one of the terrorist who had been released from jail, killing the father. 
The IDF continues to search for the Arab men who recently killed the three Jewish teenagers.  My prayers are with the soldiers.  Not just to be strong and to be protected.  But to survive the insanity of their government.  As I’m sure they, and sane people in Israel wonder, if the terrorists are captured, how soon will they be released? 

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