Close your eyes, breathe in deeply, now exhale slowly… That was easy, wasn’t it? Not for everyone…
The painful history of soldiers who have fallen into the hands of terror organizations did not begin with Gilad Shalit. The list of soldiers kidnapped by terrorists is long and merciless: Ron Arad; Givati fighters Rachamim Alshich and Yosef Fink; the soldiers kidnapped from Har Dov – Omar Suweid, Benny Avraham and Adi Avitan; Nissim Toledano; Ilan Sa’adon; Avi Sassportas; Yaron Chai; Nachshon Wachsman; Aryeh Frankental; Ehud Goldwasser; and Eldad Regev. With the exception of Wachsman, Israel entered into extended negotiations to bring these soldiers home. But not one of them came back alive. Israel is currently employing the same method on behalf of Gilad Shalit.
Until the reprehensible Jibril deal of 1985, the last time that soldiers returned alive from terrorist captivity, Israel’s policy regarding captives had been completely different. The first option was military action. Sometimes that action failed – as was the case with the hostage children of Avivim. Sometimes military action succeeded – as in Entebbe. Generally, no negotiations were conducted. And if there were negotiations, the price paid for the release of prisoners was reasonable – as prescribed by Jewish law. Israel paid for dead bodies with dead bodies.
We can certainly claim that the Jibril deal and the wholesale release of terrorists that ensued was the main catalyst for the first Arab intifada that began a short time afterward. The number of Israeli citizens either directly killed by the newly released murderers or indirectly killed by the murderous momentum created by that release is frighteningly disproportionate to the number of soldiers that came home as a result of the deal.
Paradoxically, in the 24 years that have passed since Israel decided to pay “any price” to save its captive soldiers, it has not brought one soldier home alive. But it has brought about the cruel deaths of almost 2,000 Israeli citizens – men, women and children.
“Any price” means all the terrorists imprisoned in Israel. It does not mean military action because, after all, war is negative. So “any price” is not any price at all. I am not sure that the protesters for Gilad Shalit would be willing to bomb Gaza and deal with all the international condemnations and boycotts that we would have to face until Hamas would release him. Israel isn’t even willing to cut off the electricity in Gaza to bring Shalit home. “Any price” is really a euphemism for any pacifist-type action that will appease the extreme left while affording media-star status to the politicians who pay it.
If we take the facts of the past 24 years into account, we can safely say that whoever demands to free Shalit “at any price” is actually sentencing him to death. I hope that I am wrong, but the real meaning of “any price” is that there is no price. The terrorists understand that time is on their side. The crueler they are, the more they conceal information. And even if they, God forbid, murder their captive and bargain for his body – the price that they will exact from Israel will only rise.
Furthermore, due to the fact that the price Israel is willing to pay for Shalit does not include war and the fact that the continued incarceration of terrorists (in luxury conditions in Israeli prisons) does not bother the enemy very much, the optimal choice as far as they are concerned is to perpetuate the current status quo. After all, the situation whereby Israel is daily humiliated and demeaned will end when Shalit is released. So why release him?
Since the first Lebanon war, the Left has fitted Israel with rose-colored glasses that see war as illegitimate and shameful – no matter what. From then on, preserving the lives of Israel’s soldiers has become the supreme value. It was the Jibril deal that caused the enemy to realize that they don’t have to return captive soldiers alive. From the time that Israel declared that its main goal is to “return its soldiers home alive and well,” no captive has returned.
Something else happened 24 years ago. Israel betrayed and abandoned its agent, Jonathan Pollard, to American captivity. There is an intrinsic symmetry between Israel’s full cooperation with Pollard’s captors and our inability to bring other captives home. Israel is one body, whether in Israel or in the Diaspora. When the betrayal virus attacks one organ, it quickly spreads throughout the body.
Jonathan Pollard saved us from a nuclear Iraq because we are Jews. But we have abandoned him because we prefer to see ourselves as Israelis and to see him as an American traitor. As soon as we turned our backs on our Jewish identity, we lost the ability to remain loyal to our Israeli identity as well.
About the Author: Moshe Feiglin is the former Deputy Speaker of the Knesset. He is the founder of Manhigut Yehudit and Zo Artzeinu and the author of two books: "Where There Are No Men" and "War of Dreams." Feiglin served in the IDF as an officer in Combat Engineering and is a veteran of the Lebanon War. He lives in Ginot Shomron with his family.
If you don't see your comment after publishing it, refresh the page.
Comments are closed.
“Yesha” and Binyamin Regional Council leaders said the attack “is not the path of Jews in Judea and Samaria.”
The occasion? The rarely performed mitzvah of pidyon peter chamor: Redemption of a firstborn donkey.
American leftists have a pathological self-inflicted blindness to the dangers of political Islam
Hard to remember when Jewish youth were so hostile to their heritage as they are on campuses today.
Names of the enablers of Iran’s Nuclear weapons will be added next to Hitler’s on the list of infamy
By most accounts, the one person with the political muscle to swing enough Democratic votes to override a veto is Sen. Schumer.
The next day, in a speech in New York to the Council on Foreign Relations, Mr. Kerry substantially upped the ante.
In Israel, the judiciary has established itself as superior to ALL other branches of the government.
The Fifteenth Day of the month of Av became a day of national rejoicing. The moment that had seemed hopeless became the moment of Redemption.
I think the melodies in our religious services have a haunting sound to them that just permeates your guts and gets into your soul. If you have any musical inclination, I think they inspire you to compose.
Cavalier analogies to the Holocaust are unacceptable, but Huckabee’s analogy was very appropriate.
Pollard was a Jewish-head-on-a-pike for all American Jews to see and to learn the explicit lesson.
Bibi failed the moment he transferred Israel’s Iran problem to the international arena.
Eventually there will be worldwide Greece-style bank closures; Israel will be less hurt -it’s not EU
Israelis, get used to the fact soon we’ll have to live in the shadow of a nuclear Iran and Hizballah
Oslo dictated that the ONLY value for which Israel could still fight is the value of self defense.
What is the best and most protective “Iron Dome”? The justice of our cause that, “This is our Land!”
Israel’s education budget is larger than for defense; higher % than that of almost all OECD nations
Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/indepth/columns/why-isnt-gilad-shalit-home/2009/07/15/
Scan this QR code to visit this page online: