A friend pointed out an obvious contradiction in the Obama administration’s policy towards terrorism. In a series of “goodwill” gestures aimed at enticing the Palestinians to keep negotiating, President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have forced Israel to release long-term prisoners who include terrorists and murderers. Upon their return to Palestinian society, they are given a hero’s welcome and generous government benefits. Indeed, the Palestinian Authority just allocated $46 million for payments to such prisoners in 2014.
Meanwhile, when President Hamid Karzai of Afghanistan announced that he would release dozens of prisoners from Bagraim prison, including many accused of terrorism and serious crimes, the Obama administration has protested–and for good reason, of course. Karzai, for whom the Obama team expressed open dislike long before taking office, and who has done much since to harm the U.S. in the region, defended the release as an exercise of Afghanistan’s “sovereignty.” That claim at least has some merit. There is none in the Palestinians’ behavior.
The contrast between the Obama administration’s attitude towards the release of terrorists in Afghanistan and terrorists in the Palestinian territories is striking, and shows an alarming double standard. It is blatant evidence of discrimination. Simply put, those who kill Jews are not subject to the same penalties. That sends a message to Palestinians, who understand that their terrorism will never really be punished as harshly as the measures Israel takes to protect civilians. It also sends a message to Israelis about how Obama really feels about them.