sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue

October 14, 2011

“Courageous” Prisoner Swaps

Filed under: Israel, politics — Tags: , , — edge of the sandbox @ 9:17 am

It looks like after five years in Hamas captivity Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit will be finally coming home:

David Meidan, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s pointman on the Schalit affair, is expected to travel to Cairo on Saturday night to work out the final details of the deal approved by the cabinet earlier this week.

Under the agreement, Israel will immediately release 450 male prisoners on a list of names drawn up with Hamas, and another 27 female prisoners, and then get Schalit in return. Israel will then free another 550 prisoners of its own choosing in two months.

Gilad Shalit

One can’t help suspecting that after the release of the first 477 jihadis Israelis will get a cold body.

Israeli/terrorist prisoner exchanges are notoriously lopsided.  Here’s wiki:

Over the last 30 years, Israel has released about 7,000 Palestinian prisoners to secure freedom for 19 Israelis and to retrieve the bodies of eight others. A number of diplomatic efforts have been made to secure the release of Israeli IDF personnel following their capture by enemy forces.

In 1985, Israel released 1,150 prisoners in exchange for three Israeli soldiers captured in Lebanon. Then-Defense Minister Yitzhak Rabin defended the deal. “When no military option exists,” he said, “there is no choice but to enter negotiations and pay a price.”

How about this 2004 swap with Hizbollah:

In exchange for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers, missing since October 2000, and one Israeli businessman, abducted in October 2000 under questionable circumstances, Israel released more than 430 Arab prisoners on January 29, 2004.

I remember reading comments in conservative chatrooms in the US at that time; some people thought that there was something wrong with the reporting because that can’t be true.  No; this is how it’s done in Israel.  Bodies of three IDF soldiers are worth more than 500 jihadis.  On the other hand, as long as prisoner exchanges exist, lopsided or not, more Israelis will be kidnapped.  That’s why countries like the UK don’t pay ransom.  Israel, on the other hand, will release terrorists who will, no doubt, go back to slaughtering people.

Hillary Clinton called the deal “courageous”.  That’s a novel concept.  There are good deals, and there are bad deals.  If a deal is “courageous” it  means it is not just bad but dangerous.

It must be very important to Israeli soldiers to know that they will not left behind.  It’s important for the nation created in the aftermath of the Holocaust to know that every one of them counts.  And no matter how a civilized government acts with respect to prisoner exchanges, it’s always a bit of a cold calculation.

Another thing to consider is that quite a few terrorists that will be released on Tuesday are alive because Israel doesn’t have capital punishment.  They need to return to it.  Masterminds of terror attacks on Israeli citizens should meet death in the hands of Israeli justice.  Plus, Israeli prisons will not accumulate reasons to kidnap IDF soldiers.



  1. Negotiating with Islamics must be a nightmare. They don’t put the same value on life that the Israelis do.

    Comment by Conservatives on Fire — October 14, 2011 @ 2:33 pm

  2. What the Israelis live with every day is astounding.

    God bless ’em.

    Comment by KingShamus — October 15, 2011 @ 9:29 am

  3. […] “Courageous” Prisoner Swaps […]

    Pingback by Sunday Links: Tony MacAlpine Edition » Conservative Hideout 2.0 — October 15, 2011 @ 10:05 pm

  4. I suppose I shouldn’t be particularly critical of the country considering that I could, but didn’t immigrate there. Still, I think it’s a good idea to bring back capital punishment.

    Comment by edge of the sandbox — October 17, 2011 @ 8:51 pm

  5. […] former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon for alleged war crimes.  Following the kidnapping of Gilad Shalit, ” Di Rupo came out with a press release claiming Israel used this as a pretext to start a […]

    Pingback by Not Only in Israel « sitting on the edge of the sandbox, biting my tongue — December 14, 2011 @ 11:37 am

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