The Israeli population is being held emotionally to ransom with Gilad Shalit still in captivity in Gaza three and a half years after his kidnapping by Hamas. Some might argue so what, there are thousands of Palestinians in Israeli prisons. But Article Seven of the Hamas Charter contains an explicit reference to killing Jews. There is no such equivalence in Israeli ideology. Palestinian prisoners are safe from torture and death. I gather they are educated and looked after well.
At least Shalit is alive, which contrasts the fate of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. A few weeks ago a video of Shalit was made in which he was holding up a copy of that day’s newspaper. For a year after the 2006 Lebanon War no one knew whether Regev and Goldwasser were alive or dead. At the moment of exchange of prisoners the question was whether they would walk across the Israeli border to freedom or be carried across in coffins. The doors of the van opened and Hezbollah officials pulled out two coffins. One of the prisoners who walked passed those coffins the other way to his freedom in Lebanon was Samir Kuntar, who had smashed to pieces the skull of a four year old Israeli girl against a rock on a beach with his rifle butt. So back to this prisoner exchange. 1000 Palestinian prisoners will go free, many of whom are multiple murderers. Many will easily be persuaded back into more terrorist activity. And how do hundreds of Israeli families cope with the fact that the Palestinians who took their innocent child’s or parent’s life are to be freed too soon for their to have been even the semblance of justice?
The only way to rationalise the release of so many terrorists is this: The sacrifice of their children and parents has allowed for the survival of Gilad Shalit who will soon be freed. Without any bloody murderers to trade, Shalit would also have returned in a box.