Standing With Israel

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Afghanistan prisoners
An Afghan National Army soldier stands guard near the Bagram detainee center gate north of Kabul, Feb. 13, 2014. The Afghan government released 65 detainees on Thursday whom the United States has warned pose a serious security threat, a move that further strains already tense U.S.-Afghan ties as the international mission in Afghanistan winds down. (Mohammad Ismail/Reuters)

Afghan President Hamid Karzai has made international waves by releasing dozens of dangerous prisoners in an effort to garner favor with the Taliban. According to Fox’s Leland Vittert, these are men who “have the blood of U.S. servicemen on their hands.”

General Jack Keane, a Fox News contributor and all-around tough guy, made the argument that this makes as much sense as releasing Nazis after World War II as a gesture of peace to the Germans. On the contrary, many of the captured Nazis were hung.

The U.S. had requested that these terrorists stay behind bars. No one was to be released without the approval of U.S. forces. However, Karzai, possibly realizing that with U.S. troops on the way out, he will be left with the Taliban, one of the most vicious, ruthless organizations on earth, is seeking to make friends in low places.

What’s the Problem?

What I don’t understand is why the U.S. is so upset. Isn’t this right in line with U.S. policy regarding terrorists in Israel? John Kerry should be backing Karzai—not criticizing him!

Since August, Secretary Kerry has pressured Israel to release 104 Palestinian prisoners, nearly all with blood on their hands, in exchange for ... well, zilch. Releasing these killers was called a “confidence-building measure.” (You have to wonder: Who is getting confident through such idiotic policies? Not Israel.) Just as Palestinians welcomed home their terrorist sons, the Taliban is also laughing as their fighters come home—just in time for the spring battles.

This is called reaping what you sow. The United States has been more than willing to put Israel’s soldiers, not to mention innocent women and children, in a precarious position but cries foul when Karzai does the same thing to U.S. troops.

Technically, they are right to be mad. It is suicidal to release these Taliban fighters. They will no doubt return to the battlefield. Not only will U.S. soldiers be at risk, but also Afghani women and children.

But how can President Obama and John Kerry think that Palestinian terrorists whom they pressured Israel to release will not return to fight another day—or be used as inspiration to young would-be terrorists? You can’t have your cake and eat it too!

Hopefully Israel will grow a backbone and stop kowtowing to Kerry’s threats. Last week in Germany he seemed to almost threaten Israel, saying that if we missed this opportunity for peace—the “Kerry” opportunity—we would be even more isolated than we presently are and that we should expect more boycotts and divestments. Thanks for encouraging the enemy!

The problem is that he makes no declarations like that to the Palestinians, who have been offered a state by Israel on three different occasions—and said no each time.

Sadly, it may only be when an American soldier is killed by one of Karzai’s released prisoners that the Obama administration sees the lunacy of its policy towards Israel. But from what I have seen over the past five years, even that most likely won’t change its hypocrisy.

Note: For those who don’t know me, I am an Israeli American, and I equally hold in high esteem the soldiers of both of my homelands.

Ron Cantor is the director of Messiah’s Mandate International in Israel, a Messianic ministry dedicated to taking the message of Jesus from Israel to the ends of the earth (Acts 1:8). Cantor also travels internationally teaching on the Jewish roots of the New Testament. He serves on the pastoral team of Tiferet Yeshua, a Hebrew-speaking congregation in Tel Aviv. His newest book, Identity Theft, was released April 16. Follow him at @RonSCantor on Twitter.

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