The tears of joy today will turn into the tears of sorrow tomorrow.
The debate which has been raging in Israel over the years since Gilad’s abduction has not ended with this deal.
The problem never was the need for him to be freed.
The problem was always the price.
Understandably, for his family no price was too high. But what of the national interest?
The Israeli Leadership has fought with this dilemma since the first kidnapping in 1970.
With all the declarations of principle and bluster, the fact is that there is no occasion that the demands of the terrorists have not been met.
Of course, with face saving declarations that the outcome was a victory for both sides.
This case is no exception. So far, the published explanations of “why now” do not seem logical. The final deal is basically the deal that was demanded soon after Gilad’s capture.
I am not alone in suspecting that all is not what it appears on the surface.
When Prime Ministers find the accumulation of problems overwhelming, they often seek the “grand gesture”.
The classic example was Ariel Sharon and the withdrawal from Gaza. The list of Netanyahu‘s problems starts with trying to satisfy the world’s demands over negotiations with Abbas. Then comes the “social justice” debacle, the doctor’s strike, the threatened “Day of Action” for agency workers, and the relationship with Turkey, Egypt and America. And the list goes on.
What better time to agree to the terms for the release of Gilad Shalit? The ensuing euphoria will buy him at least 2 to 3 weeks respite.
As the old dictum states: “a week is a long time in politics”.
How long the honeymoon lasts may depend on the response of those whose loved ones were murdered by some of the terrorists being freed.
There is talk of High Court action. Given the political complexion of the court, and past precedent, they will not interfere, so this will come to nothing.
For some reason, the media have not yet focused on the plight of the real victims here.
Those who suffered bereavement, and those who will suffer in the future, these are the victims.
There is a popular quotation that “he who saves a single life is as if he saved the whole world.”
This will now need modifying to”he who saves a single life, at the expense of other lives, is as if he destroyed the whole world.”
Everyone understands the principle of leaving no soldier behind.
My personal problem is that I have a daughter in the Air Force. Her bus to the base was already shot at. And, today, because of this prisoner exchange, I cannot escape the feeling that she, and all her colleagues are that little bit less safe.
A Hamas official said today that the kidnapping attempts will not stop. In the light of the perceived success of the policy, they will be stepped up.
Barring a last minute hitch, Gilad will be back with his family next week.
And then the rest of us will try to control our fears, and wait in trepidation for the next demonstration of Hamas power. Am I wrong to be afraid? let me know what YOU feel.
Andyboy- Telling it as it is!
Headline and quote from article in today’s Jerusalem Post
Israel – which will release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for kidnapped tank gunner Gilad Schalit – agreed not to target any of the prisoners once they have been freed.
- Gilad Shalit release is a triumph for Hamas (blogs.telegraph.co.uk)
- Gilad Shalit swap is an important first step between Hamas and Israel (guardian.co.uk)