I never thought I’d be writing this post, but it looks like Gilad Shalit is going to be home in Israel in a matter of hours. There will be many things written about the deal, both for and against. Barry Rubin and the head of the Shin Bet both think that Israel will be able to handle the murderers being freed in the deal. Benjamin Netanyahu obviously thinks this is the best deal he can make. And as I am not an Israeli, I don’t get to vote on whether or not this is a good deal.
I will say this, though: If it were my brother who had been held captive these five-plus years, I would want him released, even at the risk of letting the murderers among the 1,027 convicts kill again. Oh, I understand the concept of blackmail. I get that Hamas is going to try to kidnap more soldiers to get more prisoners freed. But there’s a good point being made about that: Hamas will not stop trying to kidnap and murder Israelis whether or not Israel frees the prisoners in exchange for Gilad. So why not free them and bring him home?
The world response is typically asinine.
“We have always called for his unconditional release,” Hague said. “We are pleased that this long overdue development is finally taking place. Mr. Schalit’s long captivity has been painful for his family and I hope that he will be reunited with them as soon as possible. The UK supports all such efforts to build confidence and trust between all parties.”
Psst… Mr. Brillaint U.K. Foreign Minister… an exchange of over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners for Gilad is not an unconditional release, and you are obviously unable to form a coherent sentence when discussing two disparate issues.
Catherine Ashton is singing the praises of the Egyptian and German negotiators. Really? People who took five years to conclude a deal? That’s a good negotiation? No wonder the EU is falling apart.
And lastly, click this link at Ha’aretz. It’s hard to argue with the happiness in these photos. Of course, it will be extremely easy to argue with them if the released murderers kill again. But one can always hope that they do try, and get killed by the security forces instead.
The debate is going to rage over the Jewish principle of ransoming our captives. For centuries, non-Jews have known that Jews will do almost anything to get back our own when they are held hostage because they are Jews. In modern times, it’s mostly done via the state of Israel. And it will keep being done, even if Israel creates a death penalty for convicted terrorists (with which I agree wholeheartedly).
But when all is said and done, Gilad Shalit is heading home. Soon. May he live a long, healthy, and happy life after the horrors he has endured these past 1,934 days.