I share the unbridled joy of most Israelis, Jews and normal-thinking/feeling humanity at the release of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, held captive since age 19 by monsters in Gaza for more than five years.
My heart aches at the thought of his suffering, the loss of so much of his youth and innocence, what his parents went through. Had he been my son, I would have agreed to trade anything, including myself, for his safe return. I feel that way now, and he is only my son in the universal human sense.
But, I also share the dismay and alarm that his freedom was only made possible with the agreement to release more than 1,000 terrorist murderers.
The Hamas terrorist leadership is saying that this arrangement proves kidnapping, torture and terror works, and that they plan to continue doing it, inviting the freed killers back into the monstrous fold.
Alarming, if not surprising.
And, in a way, it does prove that. It proves some other things, too.
It proves that everyone, including the Palestinians themselves, know that one Jewish life is worth hundreds and hundreds of theirs, something that’s been demonstrated repeatedly.
And, maybe it proves that the humane tactic of jailing captures killers, plotters and other terrorists is less advantageous than just doing away with them on the spot.
How many Jews, Israelis and others have died, been injured or held hostage by terrorists demanding the release of fellow terrorists?
It stands to reason that were there no prisoners, there could be no demanded release.
I realize that dispensing with the perpetrators of terrorism at the time of capture runs counter to Jewish and Western sensibilities, but so does releasing thousands of known murderers with the certain knowledge that at least some of them will try again to kill us.
Does anyone know what percentage of those imprisoned for terrorism and murder are ever rehabilitated? Can a person so mentally poisoned as are many Palestinians, raised as they are from birth with a base and violent hatred of Jews, be cured?
I’ve read about the isolated incidence, but, my bet is, that in the overwhelming majority of cases, it is an incurable and contagious disease.
So, when one is encountered in the act of plotting or carrying out the murder of innocents, why are we compelled to keep them alive to one day try again? It’s not what they do – not that I would advocate using the Palestinian or Islamic mentality as any kind of guide.
But, everything about this relationship is horribly lopsided and clear and clever thinking is required to even the odds.
The Jews are outnumbered a million-to-one, the world’s only Jewish country surrounded by a hundred million homicidal neighbors in more than 20 Arab countries. Despite this, much of the world sees the Jews as the bully, in the face 60 years of historical evidence to the contrary. On top of this, these neighbors teach their children that there is no greater aspiration than to die in the murder of Jews, while the Jews teach their children to aspire to love their neighbor. And even as they attempt to mitigate, in as non-violent ways as possible, like with fences, the danger to their families presented by the homicidal aspirations of the Palestinians, the world takes to the streets in protest.
When the Palestinians get their hands on an Israeli of any age they almost inevitably come up dripping blood, while Israeli hospitals accept Palestinians in need of care. These hospitals have Arab doctors. The universities in Israel have Arab teachers and students. The parliament has Arab members. None of this is reciprocated by Israel’s neighbors.
So, another lopsided exchange of prisoners is not shocking, but neither is it logical or advantageous.
There must be a way to discourage kidnapping for terrorist ransom, and the only way I can think of is to take no prisoners.
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