In one of her first acts as German chancellor, Angela Merkel has shown herself to be a true European, and chosen appeasement. She has released TWA 847 hijacker Mohammed Ali Hammadi apparently in exchange for a German woman kidnapped in Iraq. One of Hammadi’s co-hijackers was Imad Mugniyeh, today one of the most dangerous Arab terrorists at large with an American bounty of $5 million on his head. Mugniyeh has been implicated in scores of kidnappings and bombings including the Israel embassy blast in Buenos Aires which killed 29 people and for which he has been formally charged by Argentina. To appreciate the callousness of Merkel’s decision, it is worthwhile recalling the full story of the TWA 847 hijacking ordeal in which a US naval officer was executed and his body thrown out of the cockpit window. I remember how, in those troubled days Israel stood firm and alone on the world stage in refusing to do deals with terrorists. Oslo-dreamer Peres and the left’s new poster boy Ariel Sharon have changed all this by allowing thousands of terrorists out of their own jails to appease the Quartet and by allowing 5-time lifer Barghouti to run Fatah from his prison cell. Even worse, following the PA elections, will be Israel’s acceptance of Hamas leaders in their new guise of Palestinian lawmakers.
The sad fact is that today the US is far tougher and uncompromising on terrorists than Israel. But that seems to be only for killers of US nationals. When it comes to the killers of our own people in Israel, the US state department demands amnesties. No sooner do we bus them out of their jail cells, they return to work in their terror cells. Mrs Merkel can expect a rough ride from the US for freeing the killer of their navy hero. And with his old friend Hammadi home free for Christmas in Beirut, Mugniyeh will no doubt be emboldened to extract even greater ransoms from the obliging German chancellor.