Nix the prisoner exchange

Ted Belman

It seems like a prisoner exchange for Shalit is approaching. JPOST reports

    a list of Palestinian security prisoners – which includes some with “blood on their hands” – was received just before Pessah, and that Israel was currently reviewing the names.

    But sources close to Hamas and Fatah told the Post the list includes at least 1,400 prisoners belonging to all Palestinian factions.

It is time to repeat some of our posts

Prisoners “without blood on theirs hands” murder Israelis when released

Should Barghouti be released? NO

Large prisoner exchange in the works for Shalit

DEBKA reports

So Abbas and Haniyeh used the media to turn their loss of face against Israel.

“The ball is in Israel’s court”, said Palestinian information minister Ahmed Barghouti Sunday. “Israel must respond immediately to the demand to release 1,000 in order to free Gilead Shalit.”

Here is where the distortion comes in. DEBKAfile repeats that there is no way either Abbas or Haniyeh can produce the Israeli soldier – even if Israel accepts the entire list. Not only does the Hamas prime minister have no influence with the kidnappers holding Shalit, but the rift between his faction and the Islamist group’s military wing, to which some of the abductors belong, is widening. This wing is in opposition to the Haniyeh government and hardly inclined to do him the favor of letting the Israeli soldier go, whatever Israel’s response may be.

Furthermore, Hamas’s co-abductors, the Population Resistance Front and Al Qaeda-Falastin, who are jointly guarding Shalit, have not signed off onto the list handed to Egypt.

There is a further complication: Al Qaeda-Falastin links Shalit with the BBC correspondent Alan Johnston, whom they kidnapped almost four weeks ago in Gaza, and for whom they are demanding a ransom of several million dollars.

April 8, 2007 | 10 Comments »

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6 Comments / 10 Comments

  1. Bill, I think the answer to the first question you raise answers all other questions.
    You ask,

    Is the price too high for Cpl. Shalit?

    The answer to that is No, the price is not too high for Shalit, it is too high for all those who will follow Shalit.

    What we are talking about here is perpetuating terror and kidnappings and creating many more victims for every one we save.

    It should be understood that if you cannot free a hostage by reason or by force then you cannot free him without repercussions which lead to other tragedies.

  2. Why nix the prisoner exchange?

    Is the price too high for Cpl. Shalit?

    Should the price be one for one?

    If the price is acceptable, is it that the circumstances to pay that price are unacceptable?

    Should there be any price to be paid as demanded by radical Palestinian terrorists?

    Will freeing radical Palestinian prisoners in return for one IDF soldier, Cpl. Shalit set just another precedent that encourages more hostile, aggressive and bolder attacks by Palestinian radicals on Israel for the sole purpose of capturing Israelis, be they military or civilians and hold Israel up for ransom?

    Should Israel sacrifice Cpl. Shalit to a higher principal as to Israel’s right to take whatever steps are necessary to force the Palestinians to return Cpl. Shalit unharmed to Israel without paying any price whatsoever to the Palestinians?

    Should Israel spend a lot more time, money and energy building her case that Palestinian society, though not as yet having an official state with defined borders, nonetheless are governed by a body that performs enough functions of a state that the Palestinian government must be treated as a state and the Palestinian peoples being part of that state when it comes to Palestinians attacking Israel, be they part of the government, under the control of the government or a dissident radical faction that refuses to be accountable to the Palestinian government and which the Palestinian government refuses to make them accountable?

    Does it not seem right that by treating any and all attacks by the Palestinians against Israel, from obviously planned, orchestrated and supported suicide bombings to attacks such as the one that resulted in Cpl. Shalit’s capture as an act of war by all the Palestinians and for Israel to react as needed to so defeat the Palestinians that while the dream of destroying Israel may not be killed, the will in each and every Palestinian to see that dream a reality is utterly destroyed?

    There must be a purpose to nixing a prisoner exchange and for Israel that purpose had better be in keeping with its best present and future interests.

    Whether that exchange takes place or not, very serious questions arise and the answers to those questions will have a material and important bearing on Israel’s present and Israel’s future.

  3. Unfortunately, Michael, it is the US government that presses Israel to make gestures such as such a big release of prisoners as a “confidence building measure”.

  4. Instead of inflicting repeated blows on the Arabs until they release Cpl. Shalit, whom they abducted in flagrant violation of international law, PM Olmert seems to be considering to reward the PLO and Hamas handsomely. This will undoubtedly encourage them to repeat the same tactic. To discourage our enemies from using these tactics, the US should use all its substantial political influence to dissuade Israel from making such unreasonable concessions to our enemies. This is not just an Arab-Israeli matter as it will have severe repercussions worldwide in our war against radical Islam.

  5. But even if they can get Shalit, will gaining Shalit by releasing the prisoners result in a net gain or net loss of lives? How many days before either a released terrorist kills an Israeli or before the Palestinians emboldened by the success of kidnapping diplomacy strikes again?

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