Browsing Posts published in July, 2008

Israel’s Ambassador to the United Nation’s, Dan Gillerman, will soon finish his posting in New York. This past weekend, the New York Times Magazine published an interview in which the ambassador analyzed some of his accomplishments and shared some of his diplomativ wisdom. His interview with Newsweek discusses Israel’s position in some of the more delicate Middle East issues, especially regarding Iran’s nuclear program.

As part of the prisoner exchange that will return Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev to Israel, the Israeli government will give up control of Samir Kuntar to Hizbullah. Kuntar was sentenced to five life terms in prison for his role in the murder of Danny and Einat Haran. The full story lay unknown for some time. The following article is translated from an article in Yediot Aharonot:

The Kuntar File, Exposed – Yediot Aharonot – by Nir Gontarz
After almost 30 years of being classified, File No. 578/79 has been granted permission for publication: the murderer’s testimony, the shots in Danny Haran’s back and the death blow to toddler Einat’s head.

For almost 30 years the Samir Kuntar file has sat in the district courthouse archives in Haifa. Its contents were never authorized for publication. Until yesterday. Right before his expected release in two days’ time, the court acceded to Yedioth Aharonot’s request and allowed Kuntar’s testimony, copies of the copious evidence and other testimonies in the file, the indictment and the judges’ verdict, to be perused…

Besides the Pardons Department, no one has ever read the file – which was considered top secret by court administrators. On the few occasions that it was removed from the archives, it was accompanied by an armed security officer. Being a classified security file, the contents of File No. 578/79 had never been released for publication. Due to the obvious public interest, Justice Ron Shapira has permitted publication of everything in the file except one person’s testimony. The judge also asked not to publish the pathological reports or any other detail that could harm the memory of the victims.
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The government’s decision of 29 June authorizing a prisoner swap with Hizbullah was a decidely controversial matter. Discussions of whether to approve the deal raised a storm of opinions of all types, both in support and in opposition. Below, we’ve included an opinion piece by David Saranga, Consul for Media and Public Affairs in New York from this week’s Jewish Week that explains some of the arguments.

Understanding Israel’s Painful Decision
by David Saranga
Special To The Jewish Week

‘We’re really talking about Udi; he is my husband … someone to whom I said ‘I’ll bring you the moon and do anything for you.’ ”

For many Israelis, this statement by Karnit Goldwasser, the wife of Ehud Goldwasser, captures the popular sentiment. The government’s recent approval of a prisoner exchange with Hezbollah, the Lebanese terrorist group, means the bodies of Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who are presumed dead, will be returned to their homes, families and country. This moment comes at the conclusion of a closely-watched process that drained the emotional reserves of all Israeli citizens, not only the immediate families of the kidnapped soldiers. This painful chapter, with its two years of collective worry and anguish, will now begin to close despite the high price we will pay for Regev’s and Goldwasser’s release.
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Photo:Israeli Ministry of Foreign Affairs

In a brazen midday attack yesterday (02 July), a Palestinian terrorist drove a large construction vehicle through a crowded section of Jerusalem’s Jaffa Road killing three Jerusalem residents and leaving crushed and overturned cars and buses in his wake. Once again, terrorists demonstrated their willingness and desire to harm innocent civilians–including the infants injured in yesterday’s incident.
This attack was particularly disturbing occurring as Israel has made strides in peace negotiations with Mahmoud Abbas and the Palestinian Authority. Though Hamas has agreed to abide by the Egyptian-brokered “state of calm” in Gaza, the organization’s approval for these actions is a noticeable reminder of the challenges Israel still faces from terrorists.
The State of Israel will continue to ensure its citizens’ right to security while maintaining its commitment to achieving peace with the appropriate bodies. She also calls upon the international community to condemn this attack and others like it in the strongest possible terms and to recognize the continued danger posed by extremist bodies and the necessity of advancing the cause of peace.
See the New York Times for continuing developments. Further analysis can be found through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.