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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Another deadly mistake?

In Sunday's Boston Globe, Jeff Jacoby gets it right on the potential 'terrorists for Gilad' trade.
But to knowingly risk the lives of civilians in order to protect soldiers is to turn the social contract inside out. The state’s first duty to its citizens is to protect their lives and liberties; that is what justifies the creation of a military in the first place. Releasing hundreds of terrorists may mean that Shalit comes home safely, but it almost certainly condemns other Israeli citizens to death. The plight of Shalit and his family is heartbreaking and tragic. Yet it cannot be right to win his freedom by risking the lives of the civilians he, like every soldier, is sworn to protect.

In 1976, Israeli troops rescued Jewish hostages being held in Uganda’s Entebbe airport, a spectacular feat that electrified the world. Jonathan Netanyahu, the mission commander (and brother of Israel’s current prime minister), died in that operation. He made the supreme sacrifice in the service of his nation, as soldiers so often have. Before the Israelis agree to a reckless deal with Hamas, perhaps they should reflect on Entebbe, and ask themselves: What would Jonathan do?
Indeed. Read the whole thing.


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