Wednesday, March 19, 21:31 On Wednesday, March 19, leading up to the fourth round of Arab prisoner releases, 30 Knesset members from both the coalition and opposition signed a letter to Netanyahu asking that he release Jewish nationalist prisoners as a counterpart to the release of Arab terrorists. Among the signatories are Miri Regev, Yariv Levin, Tzachi HaNegbi, Chaim Katz and Moshe Feiglin of the Likud party, David Rotem, Robert Ilatov and Shimon Ohayon of the Yisrael Beiteinu party, Shuli Mualam, Yoni Chetboun and Zevulun Kalfa of the Jewish Home party and prominent members of the hareidi parties, Shas and Yahadut HaTorah.
The requested release involves eight Jewish prisoners who have been incarcerated for committing nationalistically motivated acts. These Jewish prisoners have been sentenced to long prison terms despite the fact that some of them – such as the Bat Ayin Underground members – only planned the acts, did not commit them and did not injure anyone. Others, such as Ami Popper, have already served many years of their prison sentence.
Since its founding Honenu has led the struggle for the release of Jewish prisoners incarcerated for nationalistically motivated acts. The aforementioned letter is part is part of the campaign which Honenu initiated to that end.
Photo: Scan of the letter with some of the signatures
Text of the letter, translation by Honenu:
To Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu
Re: Release of Jewish Prisoners
Hundreds of terrorists will have been set free by the Israeli government in the releases which have taken place in the last few months and in those planned for the near future.
Needless to say not one of us desires the release of heinous terrorists who have harmed so many families in Israel, however the refusal to release Jewish prisoners constitutes a double standard.
Our signatures do not under any circumstances constitute agreement with their actions, although we do not disregard the difficult context of those actions.
While these Jews are rotting in jail, sitting behind bars, having left their suffering families, some of them bereaved, they see that terrorists, among them despicable murderers, are returning to their people, to their families and to freedom.
It is important to note that statistics show that a high percentage of released terrorists return to terror, while none of the Jewish prisoners ever repeated similar acts.
We call on you, Mr. Prime Minister, to immediately work towards the release of the handful of Jewish prisoners and towards rectifying this injustice.