Thursday, October 13, 2011

1 For 1000: The Israel-Hamas Prisoner Swap

Israel will be getting their soldier Sgt. Gilad Shalit back, but the cost for his release is approximately 1000 Palestinian prisoners. This is very dangerous for Israel and a massive propaganda victory for a Hamas group that has been reeling amid allegations of corruption and Mahmoud Abbas bid at the United Nations for Palestinian statehood.

Although I’m thrilled that Mr. Shalit will be able to return to his family, Israel has basically illustrated that if Hamas holds an Israeli soldier long enough, the Israeli government will bend to public will, and pay a disproportionate price to retrieve him.

Furthermore, Hamas is widely viewed as corrupt among the rank and file Palestinian. Doing this showers Hamas with legitimacy, similar types of actions brought Hamas to power in 2006, as they were the only ones seen as capable of fighting the Israelis.

Even further, the numbers game just doesn’t add up. I realize one enters the very dangerous debate of just how much is a human life worth, but would you sacrifice 1,000 soldiers to save one human life, if this were a military example. Its’ ready made propaganda for Hamas: A thousand Arab souls are equal to one infidel soldier, they’ll say,  in case, they’d be right.

 Just a bad deal all around. Sounds to me like Netanyahu was more concerned about poll numbers and elections than securing the Israeli state.

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