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November 09, 2006

The columnist that ignored everything


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Soad El Joeb'e (center), one of six female Palestinian prisoners released by Israel Feb. 11, 1997, is kissed by her parents in East Jerusalem/Photo by Awad Awad/AFP

In his Op-Ed Tuesday in Ha'aretz, entitled "The murder that stopped everything," Nehemia Shtrasler suggests that Yasir Arafat fought against terror in the interest of peace. In contrast, former Prime Minister Netanyahu aimed to

smash the Oslo agreement; and he did so throughly. In September 1996, he opened the tunnel in Jerusalem (at Ehud Olmert's advice), and therefore, the two of them set Jerusalem and the territories on fire. Netanyahu invented the cliche "if they give, they'll get" to create a complete standstill. He rejected the incremental process, but instead intensified building in the settlements, Har Homa and East Jerusalem.

He did not permit safe passage between Gaza and the West Bank, and did not release Palestinian prisoners. Thus the Oslo agreement was smashed.

First, the factual error: During his tenure from May 1996 to July 1999, Netanyahu released at least 281 Palestinian prisoners. On Feb. 11, 1997, he released 30 Palestinian women (New York Times, “West Bank Town Hails Freed Prisoners,” Feb. 13, 1997). On Oct. 1, 1997, Netanyahu released Hamas leader Sheik Amhed Yasin to Jordan (New York Times, “Israel Frees Ailing Hamas Founder to Jordan at Hussein’s Request, Oct. 1, 1997). Finally, in November, 1998, as part of the Wye River Accords, Netanyahu released 250 Palestinian prisoners, including 150 common criminals and other offenders (New York Times, “Israel’s Release of Criminals Elicits Dismay in Palestinians,” Nov. 30, 1998).

Don't expect a correction from Ha'aretz, though. (Nevertheless, send requests for a correction to publisher Amos Schocken at amoss@haaretz.co.il.)

Was opening an airport in Gaza and withdrawing from Hebron part of Netanyahu's plan to "smash the Oslo agreement?"


Posted by TS at November 9, 2006 07:43 AM

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