More Reflections on The Prisoner Release

Jul 03, 2008 Published under Israel, Lebanon, Middle East

In contrast to my blog entry criticizing the negotiations Israel carried out with Hezbollah to release the bodies of two slain Israeli soldiers in exchange for releasing several terrorists, here are some alternative perspectives from friends I respect:

From an Israeli jurist who asked to remain anonymous:

The problem you raise has no one answer.

Israel did the same transaction before.

Every soldier who goes to take part in war activities has to know that the Israeli government will do the utmost efforts to save him from prison or bring his body back to Israel. For a soldier it is a big relief to have this information.

One can say as you argue that the enemy will not hesitate to kill prisoners of war and yet get in exchange live terrorists. to this terrible dilemma I have no answer.

please remember that Jews in the Golla paid money to release Jews from prison, There is a lot of writing how much to pay in order to release. there were Jews in prison who refused to be liberated saying you are members of poor community or that if the Jewish people will release them this will cause in the future more blackmail.

From Jake Hayman, a British social entrepreneur and OneVoice London executive member:

I understand that it may not be politically the wisest thing to do in the short term, but I think it is noble beyond belief, to an extent that makes Israel actually come out looking stronger.

Hizbullah can ask how Israel can possibly defend itself when even the bodies of the dead mean so much to it, but they will also be lost as to how they can hope to defeat a place so magnaminous. Its about operating a higher moral standard that makes you ostensibly more vulnerable but shows a unity and strength that no one else can even come close to.

I’m not sure i can really articulate it, but I’d like to think I’d do the same and think it may be the best thing in the long run although it obviously sets a scary precedent in the short run and if they can’t live up to the standards they set now it causes a problem, but they set these standards a long time ago and have stuck by them since.

A third, more jaded view:

Nobody can stand to condemn this.  It would be political suicide.  Widows cannot get remarried under Jewish law if their fallen husbands’ bodies are not recuperated.  No one will dare deny them this, even for sound strategic reasons.

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  1. Adi Balderman said:

    well..there is no explenation in my opinion. it was a mistake to say they are dead- i think, but only because i am thinking of the “incentive” of hammas to keep shalit alive…

    it is a hard agreement, but i support it 100%, simply because very easily tomorrow it can be my brother, cousin or my friend. and Nasrahlla has the ability to allways show himself as a hero, regardless of what we do.

    it is more important for Israelis not to loose faith in what we grew up on- that the state will do everything to get us back. what kind of army or state will we have if soldiers and their families will loose that belief?

    my uncle was “disapeard” for nearly 2 years before his body was found and my mother and grandfather say it’s worst than the death.

    so i guess our decision is simply from the heart.

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