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Monday, July 05, 2010

Shalit is a captive because Israel is willing to pay any price

General (Res.) Elazar Stern told Arutz Sheva on Sunday that kidnapped IDF corporal Gilad Shalit is still a captive - and may have been kidnapped in the first place - because the 'Palestinians' know that Israel is willing to pay any price for Shalit's release.
“If in previous years we didn't get hysterical in the face of pressure from mothers – and I'll avoid saying anything more harsh than that – then Gilad would be with us today. Either he never would have been kidnapped, or he would have been freed already,” Stern said.

Those who are marching this week for Shalit are playing into the hands of people with an agenda, he said. “Most of those who are marching with the Shalit family are doing so because they identify with the family's pain,” he said. “The problem is that the organizers of the march create the impression that it's not about empathizing with the family's pain, but rather, about calling on the government to pay 'any price.'”

Supporters of Shalit's release “at any price” may argue that Israel's willingness to pay dearly for its soldiers' freedom is a good thing, but “I don't buy the explanation that we're different from other nations [in this regard],” he said. “The opposite, in fact – we could learn from the strength other nations demonstrate, both those that refuse to negotiate with terrorists and those that refuse to pay a price like that demanded of us or that which we are willing to pay.”

Stern voiced his agreement with Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who warned that releasing “arch-terrorists” responsible for many murders would lead to increased terrorism. “With all the pain of the last four years [of Shalit's captivity]... The Shalit family has hope... and on the other hand we have what the prime minister said, what we know, that the light will be permanently extinguished in dozens of homes [if arch-terrorists are released].”
I agree.

Once upon a time, Israel was known as a country that did not negotiate with terrorists. The four planes hijacked to Dawson's Field in Jordan in September 1970 (an El Al plane went into a dive and the hijackers were caught), the 1972 Sabena hijacking, and the 1976 rescue in Entebbe (with video - Hat Tip: The Other McCain via Twitter) were all emblematic of Israel's refusal to deal with terrorists, and how it went and rescued hostages instead. While there were some casualties in those operations, for the most part, there were very few.

But in the last 25 years things have changed. In the Ahmed Jibril deal, we released over 1,100 terrorists for three captured soldiers. In the scandalous Tanenbaum deal in 2004 (he was presented as an IDF officer about to crack because he could no longer walk - in fact he was a two-bit drug dealer who was kidnapped when he went to Dubai to close a drug deal), we traded over 400 terrorists for Tanenbaum and three dead bodies of IDF soldiers who had been kidnapped in 2000. And in 2008, we traded arch terrorist Samir al-Kuntar (who was at least going to Lebanon and not to Judea or Samaria) and some lesser lights for what turned out to be the mutilated bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev HY"D - and we didn't know for sure whether they were alive or dead until two black boxes were brought to the border.

The IDF keeps promising that it will stop making these lopsided deals, and then it continues to push them, as it has done with Shalit.

If God forbid terrorists are released, will the Shalit family go door to door apologizing to their future victims' families and explaining why Gilad's blood is redder than that of those tens (or hundreds) of potential victims? Don't bet on it.


At 6:27 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

I couldn't agree more strongly. It's dreadful that they should ever make such trades. Have they never heard of the lesson of Danegeld?

I want to make a rather off-the-wall connection here to something here in America. It doesn't have to do with trading murderers but with releasing them. I know that Mike Huckabee is a strong supporter of Israel. I don't know if you're aware that his career has recently taken a hit when it has come out that as governor he had a habit of releasing heinous criminals (murderers, rapists, etc.) because he was incredibly naive and would be convinced by someone who was ostensibly a Christian minister that these men had "gotten a raw deal" or something to that effect. The prosecutors would beg him not to release them, but he would. In one case his office was involved in a completely illicit situation whereby they directly pressured the parole board to grant the possibility of parole to one man who was then able to be released. That isn't supposed to happen. The parole boards aren't supposed to be acting at the behest of the governor of the state but merely to be considering public safety. Subsequently more than one of these violent criminals murdered and raped again; most recently (which brought all this to national attention), one of them simply walked into a coffee shop and gunned down several police officers. Huckabee, so far from apologizing to the victims and their families, had the gall to play the race card in defense of his actions, arguing that the criminal who gunned down the cops had been given a longer sentence in the first place because of his race. However, not only was this a disgusting response on Huckabee's part, but not all the murderers Huckabee released to kill again were even racial minorities. He's just incredibly naive and relates this naivete (expressly) to his Christianity. Please understand that I am a very conservative Christian myself. I bring up this connection only to show that being a sucker is, in Huckabee's mind, a matter of principle and therefore not something he's going to give up. Just thought I should make that problem with Huckabee known to Israeli dual citizens in case the word hadn't gotten over there yet.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Broomer said...

Agreed with Lydia McGrew.

Huckabee is not a valid choice. Any Dems candidate will win handily over him.

At 8:12 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

Carl - the problem is Israel is not executing terrorists. I would bet Hamas would not have kidnapped Shalit if their comrades in Israeli prisons had been hanged. I am in favor of the death penalty: it saves lives AND it is mandated by the Torah. If the Shalit family and their supporters were truly interested in freeing their son, they would be calling on the Israeli government to execute the terrorists until Shalit is freed. This is the only way to secure his freedom.

At 10:44 PM, Blogger SabaShimon said...

Precisely why I along with other reservists signed a letter years ago to the PM stating very explicitly that we recognized the inherent risks involved with putting on the uniform, and that should any of us fall captive, under no circumstances were terrorists to be released in our name.
My family has also been instructed that under those circumstances they are forbidden to make public pleas for my release.....and they have reluctantly agreed.

At 11:51 PM, Blogger Lydia McGrew said...

NormanF is the first Israeli I have seen saying this. (I probably don't get out enough, though.) It's crazy not to have the dp in Israel. If these terrorists were, as we say in the States, already pushing up daisies, there could be no question of releasing them.


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