Counter-Terrorism: We Forgive You


October 24, 2008:  Israel has found that amnesty deals are an increasingly effective way to dismantle terrorist organizations. Last year, a deal was made with the Al-Aqsa brigade, one of the major Palestinian terrorist organizations, and hundreds accepted amnesty. The terms included cash payments (of $15,000 or more) to members who accepted, as well as offers of jobs or job training. Some of those who were guilty of the worst crimes had to agree to spending their nights in jail for months. But the offer attracted 270 members, about 20 percent of them actively being sought by Israeli police. A hard core of the group refused to surrender, but because so many have surrendered, the police have an easier time tracking down the holdouts.

Israel has noted that many Islamic terrorists, like common criminals, grow out of their violent ways. Some want to get married, but others lose heart. Palestinians have been using terror against Israel for over four decades. Israel is still there, apparently undiminished by all the terrorists efforts. Amnesty offers, if carefully crafted and carried out, can accelerate this process.

There are still thousands of Palestinians involved in terrorist activity, especially in Gaza. Here, Hamas actively encourages terrorism as a way to destroy Israel. Most Palestinians say they believe this is still a goal they favor. But throughout the Arab world, terrorism has sharply declined in popularity. The spectacular al Qaeda defeat in Iraq played a large role, as did the failed al Qaeda attempts to use terror in places like Saudi Arabia, Lebanon and Jordan. The Palestinians are feeling more isolated than usual. Then there is the Arab Reform Movement, which is calling for reforms in the Arab world, and recognition that the biggest problems in the Arab world are caused by internal issues. For decades, Arabs blamed external forces (past colonialism, the CIA, Western culture in general) for their lack of economic progress and good government. Change is in the air, and an amnesty to enable active terrorists to try another solution is a growing trend.


Article Archive

Counter-Terrorism: Current 2022 2021 2020 2019 2018 2017 2016 2015 2014 2013 2012 2011 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 



Help Keep Us Soaring

We need your help! Our subscription base has slowly been dwindling. We need your help in reversing that trend. We would like to add 20 new subscribers this month.

Each month we count on your subscriptions or contributions. You can support us in the following ways:

  1. Make sure you spread the word about us. Two ways to do that are to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.
  2. Subscribe to our daily newsletter. We’ll send the news to your email box, and you don’t have to come to the site unless you want to read columns or see photos.
  3. You can contribute to the health of StrategyPage. A contribution is not a donation that you can deduct at tax time, but a form of crowdfunding. We store none of your information when you contribute..
Subscribe   Contribute   Close