Thursday, April 12, 2007

The price for a captive?

I am against exchanging as many as 1,400 or even 450 Palestinian prisoners for Cpl. Shalit. But, it is not only the number, since we can afford to give up large numbers of prisoners if they represent no future danger to Israeli civilians. But, unfortunately that cannot be guaranteed. What I am definitely against is giving up major terrorist leaders, murderers with "blood on their hands" and organizers of terrorism in exchange for one soldier.
It is unfortunate that Cpl. Shalit was captured by a terrorist group in Gaza, but the fault is that of the IDF that allowed soldiers to sleep so close to the border and did not have extra guards and did not employ detectors that would have detected the digging that was going on so close to the border for months! Of course, the parents want their son back, but how many other sons will die as a result of freeing so many dangerous prisoners. In the negotiations that go on thru intermediaties, such as the Egyptians and the Germans, Israel must forcefully express its interests, just as the terrorists do. We can afford not to have our captive back if it means paying too high a price!
In order to get their prisoners back the PA Govt. has made a strong PR campaign, basically saying that the ball is now in Israel's court and if they want to get Shalit back they must do this, that and the if the PA has any influence on the situation. Neither the Government spokesman Mustafa Barghouti nor President Abbas have any influence whatsoever on the terrorists holding Shalit. However, it is clear to them that the PA Hamas dominated Govt. cannot be accepted as legitimate by the international community until Shalit is released. There is no doubt that a deal can be made, it just musn't be so costly as far as Israel is concerned. Also, we must remember that Hizbollah hold two of our soldiers captive, and the price for them will be at least twice as high as we pay for Shalit.


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