WOULD BUSH RELEASE HIS "PRISONERS?"

By Arlene Peck

For six years I chaired a Jewish discussion group at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. During those years I learned a little about the penal system and the thousands of dollars it costs to keep those criminals in jail. Of course, that being a maximum prison, people may have complained about the high cost of incarceration but they sure didn't give a thought to letting those hardened criminals out. Whatever the savings, it just wasn't worth it. In fact, it's never worth it to open the gates of hell and release murderers and rapists onto the general population. Hey, even if one or two managed to escape, all points bulletins are issued and the news media have a field day until those inmates are captured. We fought a war following 9/11 and a lot of our soldiers died.

I don't care how many human rights organizations march, our government has no plans to open the doors of Guantanamo and let the terrorists out. These are bad people and they belong in jail. On that we're all in agreement. However, I'm astounded that there seems to be a growing contingent of morons out there who are pressuring Israel to release between 3,000-5,000 terrorists that have murdered Jews. Personally, I find it mind-boggling that Israel has already released over 350 of these terrorists. One has even been honored upon his return to the Palestinian Authority, gave his customary kisses to Arafat and then was appointed to the post of an advisor. This man, incidentally, planned and carried out an attack against a school bus which was loaded with children. The parents of one family, where three of their children lost limbs as a result of a deadly explosion, are still in mourning. And Israel opens the jailhouse doors?

Am I the only one who sees insanity in this? What happens to the leaders of Israel once they get elected? And I don't just mean Ariel Sharon. He possibly has been the biggest disappointment but pretty much the past four--Peres, Rabin, Netanyahu, and Barak have given carte blanche to the wishes of everyone but their constituents. Who would have believed that these men, either because of weakness or corruption, would have sold the citizens of Israel down the Road to Hell? Has anyone noticed that Abbas was not only the terrorist in training with Arafat , but Abbas was the same man who financed the cold-blooded Munich Olympic massacre. In addition, he's still making out those checks to the Palestinians and vowing that the Intifada must continue.

What will he do with the released inmates? Hire them into his new police force as Arafat did in Oslo I? Will Peres send them the guns again? Is this where you want your tax dollars going? A billion more is waiting in the wings. I am astounded that Sharon, of all people, is now catering to Mahmoud Abbas, also known as yadda yadda, yadda, who believes that both the Holocaust and the Temple are a myth.

Despite all this, Bush, Powell and Rice see nothing wrong with the mass release of criminals who have not suddenly been transformed into choir boys. Oh, and let's not forget the negotiations that Israel is obliged to engage in with terror organizations to get their executioners back on the streets. Disgusting. Our President, as a former Governor of Texas, is not known for pardoning convicted murderers or releasing known convicted criminals. His state has and probably still does have the largest mortality rate for criminals on Death Row. As Governor , Bush was not famous for complying with wishes from state authorities for the wholesale release of "prisoners", otherwise known as inmates.

So why is he so accommodating when it comes to demands that Israel be victimized in this manner? Back when he was Governor , Bush wasn't a good bet to be offering "goodwill gestures" for any kind of Texas "peace process". It should be obvious that once a nation releases on a grand scale its incarcerated murderers, and all those who are hell bent on their destruction ...this is asking for trouble ! It's outrageous that our country is demanding, and Israel is acceding to, letting out the most hardcore elements who have killed before and who are preconditioned to kill again. Israel might as well issue a press release informing the enemy that it's "open season" on the killing of Israelis. Relying upon the so-called "hudna", or temporary cease-fire, for protection is like relying upon the discredited Oslo Accords for the same purpose.

Why would any country in its right mind willingly agree to such a prisoner release? It is no answer to say that pressure was brought to bear on the Sharon government. That factor cannot be allowed to result in an appreciable diminution of Israeli security. The United States might be the world's only superpower but, in the case of Israel, who can respect any country that so slavishly acts like it was a vassal state? It's ironic how when we pre-empt and destroy the enemy, as we recently did with Saddam's evil sons, it's great! It's morale boosting! Hey, George Bush even gets on television and gives a press conference praising the action and calling them murderers and terrorists who will never be able to do that again.

Terrific . I totally agree. Yet, had it been an Israeli operation, the evildoers would have been described as "activists" who Israel was attacking in violation of the sacred Road Map. I have a difficult time swallowing the double standard . A recent poll , conducted by the Neil Newhouse Public Opinion Strategies, found that 83% of Americans said Israel should not release any Palestinian prisoners who have been involved in the killing of Israeli citizens . And just 15% said they have faith in the hudna, compared to the 78% who said the hudna isn't enough to secure peace. Oh yes, and a McLaughlin poll found that 71% of Americans oppose creating a Palestinian Arab state, only 13% favor it.

Hardly anybody agreed to the wanton opening of jails either. Frankly, though, in a way I think that those who advocate the massive prisoner release have a marvelous idea. The more I think about it, opening up the prisons is looking pretty good to me. But with this catch: let's open the prisons AND the borders and send them out to their twenty-two brother nations. A massive move-out might just be the solution and if they are going, let them go as far away as possible! When a people have only one thought for my people and that thought is reflected in the word death, Transfer is the only solution. Before getting any more politically incorrect, however, I think I'll tackle that topic in another column.



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