Free GIlad Shalit: Time in Captivity

Poll: Five Years On. What should the Israeli Government do?

What action should the Israeli Government take now that Hamas has clear control of Gaza and it has been 1 year since Gilad Shalit was been kidnapped
Negotiate with Hamas
Negotiate with Hamas, release as many prisoners as it takes
Hold the Hamas Leadership directly accountable
Hold the Leadership accountable and give them one final deadline before military action
Hold Leadership accountable, give deadline for military action and total cessation of all Israeli supplied electricty and Water.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Free Shalit Yes, But Not At Any Price

There are some in the Israeli MSM that are trying to convince us that we have no choice, that we must pay any price that the Hamas asks in order to save Gil'ad Shalit.

I beg to disagree. The Jewish people weren't born yesterday. We are an ancient people and we have a long a bitter experience with kidnappers and other rogues. In general, our sages have said that we do not redeem captives for more than they are worth (see Gittin 45). There are other factors to be considered, but it is clear that giving in to the demands of the kidnappers will encourage more kidnappings. What's more, experience has shown that when Israel releases terrorists, the results are disastrous, as Yisrael Harel explains:

May 21, 1985 witnessed what has come to be known as the "Jibril deal". Some 1,115 terrorists were released in exchange for three Israeli soldiers who had been abducted in Lebanon. According to statistics published by the Israel General Security Service (Shabak, or Shin Bet), more than 40 percent of those released went on to resume terrorist operations including acts of murder. Those released in the Jibril deal also produced the Palestinian leadership that launched the 1989 intifada--that in many ways continues to this day.

With 22 years hindsight, that was a cancerous precedent. The terrorist organizations discovered Israel's soft belly: the inability to withstand the pressures exerted by the families of the abducted soldiers. Ever since, abductions have become routine: Israelis are kidnapped and Israeli governments, right- and left-wing, redeem the abductees with the wholesale release of terrorists. It is these frequent capitulations, especially in the Lebanon arena, that led Hassan Nasrallah in 2000 to the conclusion that Israel had lost the will to fight and could be likened in its weakness to a spider web.
We have to pray that God will give our leaders the wisdom to do what is good for the country. With all of the sympathy that I have for the Shalit family, we cannot have their personal interest take precedence over the interest of the entire nation.

[Cross posted on Cosmic X in Jerusalem]

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