Sunday, June 29, 2008

Freeing Garbage for IDF soldiers

Amid the backdrop of a terrible human tragedy, the Israeli cabinet approved Sunday the prisoner exchange deal with Hizbullah, which will facilitate the return of IDF captives Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Despite all the announcements to the families of Regev and Goldwasser, Israel's intelligence community changed it's mind over the past few weeks and their assessment is that the 2 missing IDF soldiers are dead.

In return for the 2 [dead?] soldiers, among those Israel will be releasing is the notorious Samir Kuntar. In an incredible show of personal dignity, Smadar Haran, the widow of Danny Haran (murdered by Kuntar) wrote to Israel's Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter stating she had no objections to Kuntar's release. The letter was read at today's cabinet meeting.
"The despicable, vile murderer Samir Kuntar isn’t, nor has he ever been, my private prisoner. Kuntar is a prisoner of the State, which sentenced him to five terms if life imprisonment for his vicious crimes," she wrote.

"His fate must be decided now, according to Israel's best defensive needs and moral interests, which should serve the people of Israel, now and in the future.

"I ask that my own personal pain not be taken into account when you deliberate, despite its significance and implications. I cannot overlook the pain and suffering of the Goldwasser and Regev families, or the moral debt I have to all those who have worked for my safety.
To get an idea of what sort of human garbage we are talking about, this is what Smadar Haran wrote in the Washington Post in May 2003. It is must reading to appreciate her current position.
Abu Abbas, the former head of a Palestinian terrorist group who was captured in Iraq on April 15, is infamous for masterminding the 1985 hijacking of the Italian cruise ship Achille Lauro. But there are probably few who remember why Abbas's terrorists held the ship and its 400-plus passengers hostage for two days. It was to gain the release of a Lebanese terrorist named Samir Kuntar, who is locked up in an Israeli prison for life. Kuntar's name is all but unknown to the world. But I know it well. Because almost a quarter of a century ago, Kuntar murdered my family.

It was a murder of unimaginable cruelty, crueler even than the murder of Leon Klinghoffer, the American tourist who was shot on the Achille Lauro and dumped overboard in his wheelchair. Kuntar's mission against my family, which never made world headlines, was also masterminded by Abu Abbas. And my wish now is that this terrorist leader should be prosecuted in the United States, so that the world may know of all his terrorist acts, not the least of which is what he did to my family on April 22, 1979.

It had been a peaceful Sabbath day. My husband, Danny, and I had picnicked with our little girls, Einat, 4, and Yael, 2, on the beach not far from our home in Nahariya, a city on the northern coast of Israel, about six miles south of the Lebanese border. Around midnight, we were asleep in our apartment when four terrorists, sent by Abu Abbas from Lebanon, landed in a rubber boat on the beach two blocks away. Gunfire and exploding grenades awakened us as the terrorists burst into our building. They had already killed a police officer. As they charged up to the floor above ours, I opened the door to our apartment. In the moment before the hall light went off, they turned and saw me. As they moved on, our neighbor from the upper floor came running down the stairs. I grabbed her and pushed her inside our apartment and slammed the door.

Outside, we could hear the men storming about. Desperately, we sought to hide. Danny helped our neighbor climb into a crawl space above our bedroom; I went in behind her with Yael in my arms. Then Danny grabbed Einat and was dashing out the front door to take refuge in an underground shelter when the terrorists came crashing into our flat. They held Danny and Einat while they searched for me and Yael, knowing there were more people in the apartment. I will never forget the joy and the hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades. I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As I lay there, I remembered my mother telling me how she had hidden from the Nazis during the Holocaust. "This is just like what happened to my mother," I thought.

As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then he smashed my little girl's skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar.

By the time we were rescued from the crawl space, hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.
And what do I think?

1. The State of Israel gave up thousands of terrorists over the past 15 years to support the Oslo process which has brought nothing but the deaths of thousands of Israeli civilians and soldiers. Rockets continue to pound Southern Israel from Gaza, and terror continues unabated from the West Bank. And in return for giving away thousands of Palestinian terrorists and criminals, we have received exactly nothing. If we are able to tangibly receive captured IDF soldiers (living or dead) by exchanging them for Palestinian terrorists and criminals, then we have a moral responsibility do so. If we "sacraficed" so much for the failed promises of Oslo, then the least we do is get our soldiers back.

2. IDF soldiers grow more cynical daily as they see corrupt leaders of the likes of Ehud Olmert zig-zag on every decision possible. Ensuring the return of Goldwasser and Regev will send a signal to IDF soldiers that despire the corrupt leadership, the country is still willing to "pay the price" for their release. We will not leave them behind, as we have done so often for the past 2 decades.

We owe it to our soldiers -- we ask them to fight for us. The least we can do is bring them home.


Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael טובה הארץ מאד מאד

24 comments:

Ye'he Sh'mey Raba Mevorach said...

Unlike my friend A Soldier's Mother, I do not yet have a son in the army. I'm uncomfortable offering an opinion. On the one hand I see the point of bringing home our boys at any price, on the other hand I wonder if such an exchange makes our soldiers feel safer ("they'll always bring me home") or more frightened ("now they see that capturing soldiers pays").

I would not want to be in the shoes of the decision makers on this one.

Jack said...

Kuntar makes me bloodthirsty. I hope that he gets his just reward soon.

Rafi G said...

interesting perspective (#1).

yitz said...

Except #1 forgot one more thought that every soldier will now have: "If they capture me, they'll probably kill me immediately, since my dead body will bring them the same price as my being alive!"
UGH :((

Josh said...

Mr.Muqata you are almost always right on the mark.
However you are way off this time.
1)We are dealing here with dead bodies-not live soldiers.You are therefor stating dead bodies take precedence over ,,we know for sure live Jewih children ,civilians and soldiers will certainly in the future be killed by these terrorists.
2)Aren't there limits-would you give back Yerushalayim for live soldiers?Halacha puts limits on pidyon shevuim.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Shalom Josh -

I had this argument with Lurker tonight on my way home from work, and would like to convince you otherwise.

If we lived in a vacuum, then I would agree with you 100%.

Yet the morality of the governments of Israel has dwindled over the past 15 years since the start of Oslo. Israel has freed thousands of terrorists and criminals proving that "crime pays." And what did Israel receive in exchange? Nothing.

Israel released 2 primary bargaining chips, Mustafa Dirani and Shekh Obeid (who were supposed to be used to get information about Ron Arad). Why were they released? To procure the freedom of a drug dealer - Col. Tennenbaum.

I am willing to bet that Samir Kuntar would eventually be released as part of a "terrorists for peace" good-will gesture to the Palestinians, in exchange for exactly, NOTHING.

Therefore, why is giving away a terrorist in exhange for the bodies of 2 soldiers such a terrible thing? The upshot is at least we're getting "something" in exchange -- instead of the gaurantees of nothing for "good will" gestures. Plus, from a halachik standpoint, Karnit Goldwasser will positively lose her status of "aguna" and be allowed to remarry. Don't those 2 points count for something?

2) Regarding Halacha. The government of Israel is not basing it's release on halacha -- however Shas did ask R' Ovadia and I understand the issue of Karnit being an aguna was significant.

Yes, there are limits, but Israel has already give away terrorists like Kuntar, negotiated with terrorists like Kuntar, and they have even been released and come back to kill us again.

We might as well get something for Kuntar.

JoeSettler said...

We've been discussing this here.

Josh said...

The Rov of Tzahal would have pronounced them dead withou the bodies and therefor no aguna issue..Further the govenment knew all this long ago.WHY WAIT FO THIS DEAL NOW?Why ask the Rov now.All the data has been there for a long ime.It was even reported tat the Rov was upset about receiving the data so late .I do not trust shas at all.All they are interested is in their'kitsbaos',just like the Chareidim.
No concern for klal yisroel or the state of Israel.This is the issue in general.I feel for the parents but the future of the state takes prcedence.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

The Rov of Tzahal would have pronounced them dead withou the bodies and therefor no aguna issue...

There was an IDF soldier present today at the demonstration outside of the PM's office, who had been officially listed as dead by the IDF and the IDF rabbinate in the Yom Kippur war when he was captured by the Egyptians. Nevertheless, he was clearly "alive" today.

Further the govenment knew all this long ago.WHY WAIT FO THIS DEAL NOW?Why ask the Rov now.All the data has been there for a long ime.It was even reported tat the Rov was upset about receiving the data so late.

You raise an extremely important point now. The fact that Olmert decided NOW to say the soldiers are dead, and he was against the deal now is extremely worrisome. Since we can't trust his judgement anymore than that of Shas - how do we really know whats in the best interest of Israel?

If Kuntar would not be released in the future, I would totally adopt your position, except unfortunately, past PMs guarantee future poor performance.

I will state that I'm not sure the same blanket statement should be given regarding Gilad Shalit. In the case of Regev/Goldwasser its Kuntar, 4 Hizbolla soldiers and a few unimportant Palestinians.

With Gilad Shalit, they are talking about hundreds.

Where do we draw the line? I do tend to be more sympathetic to Karnit Goldwasser because of her aguna status.

The Murder of Jewish Toddlers! What Hezbollah is ALL ABOUT!!!! said...

The Murder of Jewish Toddlers!
What HEZBOLLAH is "ALL ABOUT!" http://www.israelnationalnews.com/Articles/Article.aspx/7487 On July 12, 2006 Lebanese Hezbollah militants crossed the border with Israel in an operation dubbed "Operation Truthful Promise," which was aimed at nabbing Israeli soldiers in exchange for Lebanese prisoners. Hezbollah succeeded in the operation and successfully took hostage two Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. During the operation, eight Israeli soldiers were killed. This ignited the sequence of events which led to the Israel/Lebanon summer war. The story goes further back than July of 2006. It really began in April 1979! On Sabbath day, April 22, 1979, Danny and Smadar Haran met up with a monster named Samir Kuntar. Danny and Smadar were a loving Israeli couple. They had everything they could ever hope for... love, marriage and two precious daughters, Einat, 4 and Yael, 2. That day Smadar was home anticipating Danny's return from work and preparing for the Sabbath. She had just picked up their two toddlers from day care. Danny, on the other hand, was looking forward to nothing more than getting home and spending time with his wife and his two young daughters.
Traditionally, the Sabbath is the most special day of the week, the day the family gets to spend time together and celebrate their bond to Judaism. It was especially important for Danny who, as a young father, had to work extra hard in order to provide for his wife and young children. Little did Smadar know that this would be the last Sabbath she would celebrate with her family because of a man named Samir Kuntar. Around midnight the nightmare began! (Samir Kuntar; also spelled: Sameer Kuntar, Kantar, Qantar, Kintar, Quntar, Qintar, Cantar)
What's the deal with Samir Kuntar? Since April 22, 1979 Samir Kuntar has been incarcerated in an Israeli prison. Samir Kuntar, a Druze from the Lebanese mountain village of Aabey , who currently holds the dubious distinction of being the longest held Lebanese prisoner in Israeli jails. Kuntar is currently ONE of THREE Lebanese prisoners still serving time in Israeli jails. Kuntar was convicted and sentenced to a 542 years prison sentence by the state of Israel . Israel even almost tried to pass a bill to have him executed! What did he do? What was his crime? The crime Kuntar committed was one of the most sickest, heinous, barbaric crime ever committed on Israeli soil. The crime took place on April 22, 1979 when Kuntar led a group of 3 other terrorists, all members of Abu Abbas PLF (Palestinian Liberation Front), infiltrated the Israeli coastal city of Naharya and broke into the Haran family apartment and took Danny Haran and his 4 year old daughter Einat Haran hostage. When Kuntar and his gang broke into the apartment, the wife, Smadar Haran and her 2 year old daughter Yael, were also present in the apartment. Smadar managed to find a crawl space into which she, her younger daughter, 2 year old Yael, and a neighbor all hid. To prevent Yael from crying and giving away their hiding place, Smadar covered the child's mouth with her hand.
Kuntar and his group took Danny and little Einat down to the beach. At the beach Kuntar shot Danny in the back. Danny survived the gun shot but moments later was drowned personally by Kuntar. All this was witnessed by the young daughter. Kuntar forced her to watch her father's murder so that [in Kuntar's words] "his death would be the last sight she would ever see." Kuntar then laid the little toddler down on a rock and smashed her head with the butt of his rifle. She didn’t die right away, so Kuntar beat her with his rifle repeatedly, over and over again (all this done, while she was screaming and crying), to ensure that she was dead. Meanwhile in the apartment, Smadar's attempt to muffle her daughter's whimpering proved fatal. Yael was accidentally suffocated and died within the hiding space. And on July 12, 2006, the ONLY reason why Ehud Goldawasser and Eldad Regev were kidnapped by Hezbollah, was to force Israel to release/surrender Samir Kuntar. Now the dilemma is, should Israel release Samir Kuntar in order to gain the release of Goldwasser and Regev? Unfortunately Kuntar might be freed in the next couple of days in exchange for these two soldiers, or their caskets, since there hasn’t been even one sign of life since their kidnapping on July 12th. For those who didn’t know, Samir Kuntar was the only reason that’s been holding back the release of Goldwasser and Regev, for almost a year and a half.
[Image of Einat Haran]
[Image of Yael Haran]
According to Smadar Haran, her last memories of Danny and Einat, that day, were when they were being led away at gun point by Kuntar. She could hear from her closet space Danny telling Einat, "Don't be scared, my baby, it will be alright" and Einat replied to him in her little voice, "Dad, where is Mommy? I want Mommy." Smadar's last memory of her 2-year-old daughter, Yael, was when her little daughter was taken to the apartment hiding space. Right before Yael had her mouth covered by her mother, she asked her mother "Where is my little pacifier." There was no time to search for the pacifier. Minutes later Smadar covered Yael's mouth to keep her from revealing the hiding space. Smadar soon felt her daughter's tiny tongue licks and lip sucking on the palm of her hand. She didn't know what to make of it at first but hours later was told by doctors and paramedics that the reason Yael was licking her palm while she covered her mouth was because she was gasping for air. A Sad Gruesome Reality After drowning Danny in the sea in front of little Einat, Kuntar, the brave Lebanese freedom fighter, then turned his attention towards the frightened little 4-year old. He took his rifle and then swung it across the little toddler's head, knocking her to the ground. As little Einat was knocked to the ground, she was screaming and crying hysterically "mommy daddy help me," while thrashing her little legs around in the sand. But unfortunately Einat was alone, and no one was there to save her. Kuntar then dragged the little toddler a couple of feet to the closest rock he could find, this was while she was begging him not to hurt her. Kuntar, then laid her head down on a rock, with the intention of crushing it with the butt of his rifle. Einat, instinctively covered her head with her little arms, Kuntar struggled with the little toddler until he finally managed to clear her arms out of the way so that he could aim for her head. Once her arms were out of the way, Kuntar proceeded on beating her on the head over and over with the butt of his rifle, and repeatedly stomping on her little body as hard as he could as well, until blood rushed out of her ears and mouth, and her little cries faded away as she was knocked into unconsciousness. Then, to ensure she was dead, Kuntar continued on beating her over the head, as hard as he could, several more times until her skull was crushed and she was dead. The nerve of Hezbollah to honor a child killer like Kuntar. The nerve of Hezbollah to kidnap two Israeli soldiers in order to force Israel to release a child murderer from jail! This is what Hezbollah is all about. The July 12, 2006 abduction was originally named "Operation Freedom Samir Kuntar," by Hezbollah. But days before the kidnapping Hezbollah changed the name of the operation to "Operation Truthful Promise," due to the fact that Nasrallah made a true promise to the family of Samir Kuntar to have him freed from jail. In September 2000, three Israeli soldiers were kidnapped by Hizbollah, along with an Israeli businessman, Elhanan Tennenbaum. Nasrallah immediately demanded Israel release all its Lebanese prisoners INCLUDING Samir Kuntar. In 2004 Israel was holding a TOTAL of 26 Lebanese prisoners. That same year, 23 out of those 26 prisoners were released, in order to secure the release of those 3 IDF (Israeli Defense Force) soldiers as well and Elhanan Tennenbaum. This prisoner exchange also had a second phase, which involved Hezbollah providing solid evidence on the fate of Ron Arad (the Israeli pilot who went missing in Lebanon in 1986) and in exchange, Israel would release the 24th Lebanese prisoner, Samir Kuntar! Hezbollah failed to deliver the information on Arad, and the deal was off. In 2006, when Goldwasser and Regev were kidnapped Israel was out of bargain chips, its only choice in order to gain information on the fate of these two soldiers is the release Samir Kuntar. Who even knows if Goldwasser and Regev are alive! Let’s not forget, the four years prior to the "infamous Israel-Hezbollah prisoner exchange of 2004," Israel had no idea on the fate of their soldiers until the day of the exchange. Only on the day of the exchange Israel found out, they would receive 3 caskets instead of 3 soldiers.
It is beyond sickening, a man who beat to death a little toddler is celebrated for his glorious deed. Kuntar has been dubbed by some parts of the Arab world as the "Dean of World Prisoners." Who would imagine? Hezbollah crossing the border into Israel, killing four Israeli soldiers and kidnapping 2 more, going through all this trouble, JUST to free a child killer!
There is another point worth mentioning. Hezbollah has never claimed that Kuntar was innocent or that he may have been framed. They only demand his release as if he were being held unlawfully and that Israel had no right to imprison him. Kuntar is probably the most hated person by the Israeli public. He is known as the "killer of Nahrya" instead of "terrorist of Nahrya." And to think that this person is being released under the context of threat, extortion, and blackmail! If it wasn’t for kidnapping of soldiers, Kuntar would have continued to serve out his sentence.
Israel has an extensive history of releasing prisoner with blood on their hands, it has been done in the past and most expect that, it would happen again. This time with Kuntar. It is important to keep in mind that prisoners who are in Israeli jails are serving time for something. Israel is not a "gangster" or "lawless" state that imprisons people based solely on a whim. Every prisoner was charged, stood trail, convicted and properly sentenced. They were not kidnapped simply because they were Arabs. Hence, there is no justification in comparing the kidnapped Israeli soldiers to Samir Kuntar. There is a fine line between a humanitarian release of prisoners or releasing prisoners for the sake of peace AND knuckling under to unadulterated extortion. There is also a huge difference between someone with hatred in his head and he who has blood on his hands! Nobody expects that someone like Kuntar who is released will become Lovers of Israel! But someone and others like Kuntar who have committed murder or collaborated in the planning of that murder should be considered an unacceptable risk. It goes beyond forgiving terrorism. It becomes an abetting in any future terrorism carried out by those released. Israel will viewed as a weak state that can be brought to its knees by extortion. If Israel was to release Kuntar it would be the biggest thing they ever surrendered! The Sinai Peninsula, Israel gave back under negotiations, the West Bank and Gaza Israel also gave back under negotiations of the Oslo Accords. In 1985 during the famous "Ahmed Jibril Exchange" Israel released 1200 prisoners for the release of 3 IDF soldiers, some of those prisoners who were released had blood on their hands including Kozo Okamoto who killed 22 Israelis. BUT even all those 1200 prisoners put together, cannot compare to the savage murderous act committed by Samir Kuntar. Israel also currently holds 10,000 Palestinian prisoners, some of which have been incarcerated for conspiring, carrying out, and masterminding murderous terrorist attacks (suicide bombings, shootings, etc…), which targeted Jewish civilians in Israel. BUT even all those 10,000 prisoners put together cannot compare to Kuntar.
Kuntar could have shot little Einat or blown her up, but instead he took his loaded gun and just bludgeoned her on the head repeatedly for several minutes until she was dead! Lets not also forget, the fact, that several minutes prior to murdering Einat, Kuntar drowned her father in front of her, and forced her to watch.
Anyone, who reads this article and does not shed a tear, is not a human being. What kind of country is this to release a child murderer from jail under the context of threat and extortion? If we release Kuntar, we know what message it sends to Hezbollah and other terror groups like Hamas, etc… But what obscene messages does it send to the families of those Israeli murdered, especially Smadar Haran whose daughter was beaten to death by a man who hates Jews. What Kuntar did was not only a terrorist act but should also be considered a criminal act. And what demoralizing message does it send to the Israeli troops and security services who risked their lives in order to capture and arrest the terrorists? There is no doubt that Goldwasser and Regev need to be unconditionally released from Lebanon, Syria, Iran or from wherever they are now being held. Olmert's "good will gesture" has disaster written all over it. Appeasement didn't work with Hitler and it will not work with Hezbollah. "Negotiations" will not work either for over what exactly is there to negotiate? How far will Israel go to assure its own disappearance? There will be nothing positive coming out of the release of Kuntar. There is no worst context of releasing prisoners than under the context of threat. But today October 15, 2007 there is chatter within Israel to drop the demand for Ron Arad for the exchange of Kuntar.
The Official Website of Samir Kuntar
http://SamirKuntar.net Israel moots Kuntar prisoner swap
(AL-JAZEERA 9/17/2006)
http://english.aljazeera.net/News/Archive/Archive?ArchiveID=35918 Free the monster Samir Kuntar
(Haaretz article 09/04/2006)
http://www.haaretz.com/hasen/spages/758531.html Plot to free terrorist (Kuntar) may have led to fight
(Washington Times 8/8/2006)
http://www.washtimes.com/world/20060807-111009-8857r.htm Nasrallah says no deal without Samir
(9/12/2006 BBC article "Nasrallah Demands Militant Free")
http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/middle_east/5340364.stm "Hizballah Wants Israel to Free Child-Killer"
(Cybercast News Service, 7/18/2006)
http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewForeignBureaus.asp?Page=/ForeignBureaus/archive/200607/INT20060718b.html More than 25 years later, militant still atop Hezbollah's list for swap
(Seattle Times 8/16/2006)
http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/nationworld/2003168928_lebswap02.html?syndication=rss Why Hezbollah Attacked Israel
(Mens News Daily 8/09/2006)
http://mensnewsdaily.com/2006/08/09/why-hezbollah-attacked-israel Samir Kuntar to be released very soon
The Jerusalem Post 1/6/2007
http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?cid=1167467671390&pagename=JPost/JPArticle/ShowFullVideo of an interview with Smadar Haran on CBC
(RealPlayer required)
http://www.cbc.ca/MRL/clips/rm-lo/milewski-kuntar060914.rm

Ben-Yehudah said...

B"H

What will this deal do to deter future kidnappings.

Nothing.

The Yishmaelim don't care about Jewish lives. But if they see it's a waste of their time to kidnap them, then they will be less likely to bother. It's as simple as that.

Then we can focus on all of the other ways they'd like to destroy us instead.

Oh, whoops. I almost forgot. We have a government which has similar ideas about Jewish lives.

Jewish blood is cheap.

yitz said...

Jameel, Perhaps you've been reading Ha'aretz & ynet too much. Go back to reading Arutz 7, here.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yitz: There's nothing new in the A7 report...in fact, I said 2 years ago we lost the war for similar reasons. You can't claim now that giving away Kuntar disqualifies the sacrifices of the soldiers, because begging for a ceasefire 2 years ago was the same exact thing! Why should we have stopped the war THEN when we didnt accomplish any of the war's stated objectives?

shlomo said...

Last time (with Tannenbaum) we gave away 400 prisoners for one drug dealer.

This time, it's about 20 prisoners for 2 soldiers.

If I were in the cabinet I would have voted against. But in numerical terms, we can adopt this

Yes the 2 soldiers are probably dead. But the point is that nobody on our side knows that for sure. Let's be clear, this is not a deal to get bodies, this is a deal to end a hostage situation in which two families have to live with not knowing whether their family member is dead or alive or whether they will ever see them again.

At the same time, I hope the IDF finds a way to "re-kidnap" Kuntar shortly after he is freed, in the case that Regev and Goldwasser are in fact dead. (And especially if it is revealed that they died recently.) Kuntar will not take the security measures that Nasrallah for example does, so finding him should be easy.

Anonymous said...

"And in return for giving away thousands of Palestinian terrorists and criminals, we have received exactly nothing."

True, but irrelevant because two wrongs don't make a right.

yitz said...

Jameel: Why should we have stopped the war THEN when we didnt accomplish any of the war's stated objectives?
Agreed, but as Anon just above me wrote, 2 wrongs don't make a right. What happened to cold logical thinking? Why are we so swayed by the admittedly tragic situation of 2 families, but not concerned about the future safety of countless Israelis, soldiers AND civilians??? I just don't get it!!!

Josh said...

If the two solldiers are dead then we should return Kuntar also dead.
No one is also talking about that we are returning also palestinians to Nasrallah.Are we making him the next Saladin?

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Re: "2 wrongs don't make a right."

Yes, but if we dont release him now and get Goldwasser and Regev in exchange, then in all likelihood, Kuntar will be released anyway...for nothing (one of those goodwill, terrorists for peace gestures).

Shouldnt we get something for the monster, instead of nothing?

yitz said...

Jameel, You sound like an adviser to Olmert's wonderful regime. Nasrallah has defeated you already:
http://lazerbrody.typepad.com/lazer_beams/2008/07/emuna-news-oped-rewarding-kidnappers.html

Lion of Zion said...

jameel,

kuntar has been held for almost 3 decades. he is a symbol of the basest terrorism. every israeli knows and loathes him.

he is not one of those nameless/faceless palestinian prisoners who israelis don't recognize and are willing to release (what's one more terrorist on the streets?)

do you really think israel would just release kuntar as a goodwill gesture?

(yeah, yeah, i know the answer. anything is possible with corrupt israeli politicians.)

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

LoZ: Israel's politicians have a almost perfect track record for releasing terrorists in exchange for nothing. Yes, I believe Israel would release Kuntar as a goodwill measure.

Since I have so much confidence in Israel's politicians to do the wrong thing, we may as well get our soldiers back. The IDF Chief of Staff is in favor of the swap because of the importance of strengthening the troops that Israel will do whatever it can to bring them home again.

Since Oslo started, Israel has a miserable track record for caring for its soldiers.

Gabi Ashkenazi is trying to change that.

yitz said...

Somebody oughta tell Ashkenazi that he is ENDANGERING the soldiers, for anyone captured in the future will probably be killed, as it doesn't change the "price" the enemy will demand!

yitz said...

"The principal justification offered for the release of Samir Kuntar, an unrepentant murderer of four Israeli citizens, who has vowed to return to the battle against Israel as soon as he is released, is that IDF morale depends on soldiers knowing that everything will be done to bring them back if captured.

But it is far from clear how relevant that consideration is with respect to the return of dead bodies. At least one petition of reservists called upon the government not to offer anything in return for the bodies of any of the signatories. Moreover, it is hard to believe IDF morale will be improved by a negotiating strategy that will have the inevitable effect of removing all incentives for the proper treatment of Israeli POWs.

Worse, by treating the bodies of Israeli soldiers as valuable bargaining chips, the Israeli government has removed one of the primary incentives for captors of IDF soldiers to keep them alive. Not exactly a major morale booster."

More here.

Jameel @ The Muqata said...

Yitz: Standing orders in the IDF are to avoid getting captured at all costs.

We should kill terrorists, not release them in bargains.

You are thinking in Western Morality terms. We are not dealing with groups that really care about POWs, but what is best for their own self-interests.

We should never rely (or assume) that our POWs will be treated with even a bare minimum of care.

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