The Palestinian ambassador to the U.K. has likened the Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons to the hostages kidnapped by Hamas on October 7. It’s a preposterous suggestion, but apparently not preposterous enough for much of the world, that has shown signs of accepting this absurd equivalence. More on his claim can be found here: “PLO official equates released Palestinian teen terrorists with Israeli child hostages,” by Nan Jacques Zilberdik, Palestinian Media Watch,
In the exchange deal between Israel and Hamas, Israel agreed to release 150 terrorist prisoners – among them teen terrorists – in return for 50 Israeli female and child hostages captured by Hamas during its terror attack on Israel on Oct. 7.
Palestinians and others abroad have shockingly compared the innocent Israeli civilian hostages to the Palestinian terrorists imprisoned for terror attacks.
Thus, PLO Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot referred to Palestinian terrorist prisoners and Israeli civilian captives as one and the same thing – “hostages”:
But of course, the Palestinians in Israeli prisons have committed crimes, including terrorist murders. Even those Palestinians who were only being detained, as they had not yet been tried, were being held because of crimes they were deemed to have committed. None of these people whom Israel is prepared to swap for hostages can be described as “innocent civilians.”
PLO Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot: “It is good news that hostages will be released from both sides, and while the world is hailing the release of 50 Israeli hostages – good for them – nobody is talking about the hundreds of Palestinian children that will be released, that have been taken hostage by Israel even before the 7th of October (refers to Palestinian terrorist prisoners released in exchange deal during Israeli counter-terror operation against Hamas’ terror war on Israel; see note below -Ed.)… So this is an opportunity to expose the rotten, corrupted system of racial domination that Israel has erected in the entire occupied Palestinian territories.”
[PLO Ambassador to the UK Husam Zomlot, X (Twitter) account,
Nov. 23, 2023]
There is no “system of racial domination that Israel has erected.” There has not been a single Israeli, soldier or civilian, in Gaza since 2005. How could Israel, after having been out of Gaza for 18 years, impose this “system of racial domination”? And in the West Bank, 90% of the Palestinians live in Areas A and B; in Area A, they have complete control over their own lives; in Area B, they have complete control except in matters of security, where Israel retains its responsibility. In Israel itself, the Israeli Arabs have exactly the same political, economic, and social rights as Israeli Jews, except in one respect: the Jews must, while the Israeli Arabs may, serve in the military.
An interviewer with CNN challenged Zomlot’s equating Palestinian terrorist prisoners with Israeli civilian hostages:
CNN interviewer: “When we look at the pictures of how those [Israeli] people [who] were kidnapped, elderly women thrown over motorbikes screaming, taken over the border, shoved down tunnels, kept in dark – there is a quantitative and qualitative difference in the mode of detention between the two.”
[CNN Arabic, X (Twitter) account, Nov. 25, 2023]
Zomlot answered by denying any responsibility by terror organization Hamas, belittling the brutal kidnappings of Israelis of all ages, and claiming they were “done by individuals” whereas the Palestinian terrorist “hostages” were “kidnapped” by “a state”:
In Zomlot’s imaginative and false retelling, the 3,000 members of Hamas who invaded Israel on October 7 were “individuals” who somehow came together on that day, instead of being organized members of a terror group that had been planning its invasion for two years. And as we know, the Palestinians imprisoned in Israeli jails were not “kidnapped” extrajudicially, as Zomlot wants us to believe, by the Israeli state, but were captured by the police, charged with the commission of specific crimes, and put on trial. Meanwhile, the 240 Israelis kidnapped by Hamas, on the other hand, were not charged with a crime, for they had committed none, except for the crime of being Israelis who deserved collective punishment.
Sensible people will reject this grotesque moral equivalence out of hand. They know the difference between a three-month-old baby, or an eight-year-old child (both of whom were freed by Hamas in the first hostage-for-prisoner swap) and the Palestinian prisoners, whether guilty of lesser crimes, such as crimes of property, or (among those likely to be included in a future swap) convicted of attempted murder, that is, of having shot, or stabbed, or rammed with a vehicle, Israeli soldiers and civilians, who survived those attacks. These are the people Hamas wants you to think of as “innocent hostages.” Don’t let yourself be confused.