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Gilad Shalit must be released at any cost
By Gideon Levy
Tags: Gideon Levy, Gilad Shalit
It is not difficult to understand the agonizing decision facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers. It would be very hard to accept a negative decision on their part. Gilad Shalit must be freed at any cost, all the more so because the actual cost is lower than the one bandied about by those who oppose the release.
We're dealing with the release of hundreds of Palestinians, about one-tenth of the Palestinians in prison. Some of them are political prisoners for all intents and purposes; some are women and youths.
The most murderous of them have, for the most part, already served long sentences. The overwhelming majority of them will not return to terrorist activity; rather they will want to spend the remainder of their life in freedom. Advertisement
Yes, there will be more and more terrorists in the future, with or without the hundreds of released prisoners, if the occupation and abuse of the Palestinian people continues. This is the real infrastructure of terror, and it does not depend on those who will be released in the deal.
One generation of Palestinians after another will fight in its own way for its liberty and breed more and more terrorists. The only really effective way to reduce terror, if not to prevent it altogether, is to stop its operating engine - the occupation.
Whether Mohamed, Ahmad and Marwan are released or not, whether they are exiled are not, the extent of danger expected from our neighbors will continue to depend on the entire Palestinian nation's liberty, not on the freedom of nearly 1,000 people.
Of all the arguments against releasing them, the most fallacious one is the "loss of deterrence." Even after implementing the deal the Palestinians will do everything they can to capture more soldiers. Israel has taught them, after all, that this is the only way to get their imprisoned brethren freed.
Just as Israels' tough stance in the Ron Arad affair failed to prevent the capture of additional soldiers, so Israeli stubbornness in the Shalit affair will fail to prevent abductions. If Israel was not holding 10,000 prisoners, some of whom are serving disproportionate sentences and have no hope of ever getting out but by violent means, the Palestinians' motivation for capturing more soldiers would diminish.
Whether Israel decides to sign the deal or not, it will not change anything except the personal fate of Gilad Shalit and the Palestinian prisoners. This is the only issue on the agenda, not Israel's security or its sovereignty.
The dilemma is razor sharp - do we or do we not want to see Shalit home; alive or dead, to be or not to be, that is the only question. This is why the government must decide in favor of the deal.
It's difficult to demand that the Israelis occupied with Shalit's captivity show consideration for the Palestinians' feelings as well. But they should do so, or at least try.
Hundreds of prisoners have been locked up for years in dire conditions, some - those from Gaza - have been imprisoned for years with no family visits, not a phone call home.
And not all of them have blood on their hands. At least the possibility of their release should have raised compassion in our hearts as well, as groundless and shrill as this may sound to the obtuse Israeli ear.
It is no coincidence that only the Palestinian prisoners' families have expressed hope for Shalit's release, beside the hope for their own sons' release. How distressing that we hear no similar sentiment from anyone on our side, not even the Shalit family.
But Shalit and the Palestinian prisoners are not alone. Seven million Israelis and three and a half million Palestinians have been imprisoned for 42 years in a dark cave due to the curse of occupation. Had the turbulent Israeli temper, so impressively mobilized in the campaign to free Shalit, been recruited in a similar way for the struggle to end the occupation and free both Palestinians and Israelis from its yoke, things would already be different.
In view of the huge (and appropriate) sensitivity and concern demonstrated by Israeli society for one man's life and liberty, it's time to think of applying similar sensitivity, determination, involvement and caring in regard to the fate of 10 million Israelis and Palestinians. True, they see the light of day, but their future is cloaked in darkness.

Comments

  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Interesting... Haven't heard about this. Thanks for posting it.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    there are some that could claim that giving in to Palestine would be like a bit of appeasement.

    there is an old saying:
    if the foes of Israel lay down their arms there would be peace, if Israel lay down their arms there would be no Israel.

    im not 100% on all of that but i feel that the goals here are not (should not be) to throw one side under the bus, but to find a way to stop all BS on both sides.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    kuzi16:
    there are some that could claim that giving in to Palestine would be like a bit of appeasement.

    there is an old saying:
    if the foes of Israel lay down their arms there would be peace, if Israel lay down their arms there would be no Israel.

    im not 100% on all of that but i feel that the goals here are not (should not be) to throw one side under the bus, but to find a way to stop all BS on both sides.
    It's a very, very sticky quagmire that's for sure. I do think that Palestine gets the short end of the stick when it comes to the US. The US is much more pro Israel. I personally feel that both should grow up, but then again, the United States really has no ground to say anything. But we preech anyway.
  • kuzi16kuzi16 Posts: 14,616 ✭✭✭✭
    phobicsquirrel:
    kuzi16:
    there are some that could claim that giving in to Palestine would be like a bit of appeasement.

    there is an old saying:
    if the foes of Israel lay down their arms there would be peace, if Israel lay down their arms there would be no Israel.

    im not 100% on all of that but i feel that the goals here are not (should not be) to throw one side under the bus, but to find a way to stop all BS on both sides.
    It's a very, very sticky quagmire that's for sure. I do think that Palestine gets the short end of the stick when it comes to the US. The US is much more pro Israel. I personally feel that both should grow up, but then again, the United States really has no ground to say anything. But we preech anyway.
    thats actually a very good point. the US has entangled a bit (way) too much in the world.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    kuzi16:
    phobicsquirrel:
    kuzi16:
    there are some that could claim that giving in to Palestine would be like a bit of appeasement.

    there is an old saying:
    if the foes of Israel lay down their arms there would be peace, if Israel lay down their arms there would be no Israel.

    im not 100% on all of that but i feel that the goals here are not (should not be) to throw one side under the bus, but to find a way to stop all BS on both sides.
    It's a very, very sticky quagmire that's for sure. I do think that Palestine gets the short end of the stick when it comes to the US. The US is much more pro Israel. I personally feel that both should grow up, but then again, the United States really has no ground to say anything. But we preech anyway.
    thats actually a very good point. the US has entangled a bit (way) too much in the world.
    we agree on something!!! hot damn!
  • denniskingdennisking Posts: 3,703 ✭✭✭
    I used to think that the most ignorant thing to say about this conflict is "We should bomb there butts back into the stone age" but as time goes on, I start to feel more this way. I don't like war or violence and would never want women or children to get hurt but at the same time, when are they going to figure things out. We trash talk America in this country far too much and hopefully we realize that we have it really good. Mexico hasn't tried to take back California by force.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    dennisking:
    I used to think that the most ignorant thing to say about this conflict is "We should bomb there butts back into the stone age" but as time goes on, I start to feel more this way. I don't like war or violence and would never want women or children to get hurt but at the same time, when are they going to figure things out. We trash talk America in this country far too much and hopefully we realize that we have it really good. Mexico hasn't tried to take back California by force.
    I honestly think it is helpful when reading or discussing (with friends) to remove all refference to one sides identity with a label such as Palestinian or Israeli.
    If you are only talking about people "A" and people "B" then any automatic prejudices are removed and you can look at the issue as an isolated event which can more easily be resolved.
    As soon as those old labels get applied the discussion and resolutions get skewed, or impossible to find. IMO
  • denniskingdennisking Posts: 3,703 ✭✭✭
    laker1963:
    dennisking:
    I used to think that the most ignorant thing to say about this conflict is "We should bomb there butts back into the stone age" but as time goes on, I start to feel more this way. I don't like war or violence and would never want women or children to get hurt but at the same time, when are they going to figure things out. We trash talk America in this country far too much and hopefully we realize that we have it really good. Mexico hasn't tried to take back California by force.
    I honestly think it is helpful when reading or discussing (with friends) to remove all refference to one sides identity with a label such as Palestinian or Israeli.
    If you are only talking about people "A" and people "B" then any automatic prejudices are removed and you can look at the issue as an isolated event which can more easily be resolved.
    As soon as those old labels get applied the discussion and resolutions get skewed, or impossible to find. IMO
    it is easier to form an opinion when there is a description involved, this is true. i personally find both sides foolish and quick tempered and I don't have a lot of patience for that
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    dennisking:
    I used to think that the most ignorant thing to say about this conflict is "We should bomb there butts back into the stone age" but as time goes on, I start to feel more this way. I don't like war or violence and would never want women or children to get hurt but at the same time, when are they going to figure things out. We trash talk America in this country far too much and hopefully we realize that we have it really good. Mexico hasn't tried to take back California by force.
    I too am tired of all these conflicts. I had my stint at war and I didn't like it one bit. I think that if most people who make these conflicts had to have their A%% in the line of fire they would reconsider, then again some people don't want to live... That's why I really feel that a WAR tax needs to be put in this country, then maybe there would be enough pressure to stop it!!!!!
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,806 ✭✭✭
    I agree with part or all of all comments made here----however, I feel that until we as a country stop being tied to the hip with Isreal and their protection and preservation this will never be resolved. No other country (maybe the Saudi's) do we turn a blind eye to and support no matter what. While I may not agree, I can understand many countries reasons for their hatred of Isreal.
  • denniskingdennisking Posts: 3,703 ✭✭✭
    Vulchor:
    I agree with part or all of all comments made here----however, I feel that until we as a country stop being tied to the hip with Isreal and their protection and preservation this will never be resolved. No other country (maybe the Saudi's) do we turn a blind eye to and support no matter what. While I may not agree, I can understand many countries reasons for their hatred of Isreal.
    to understand the present you must accept the past. our country was a predominately christian nation for many years and christians feel that israel is god's chosen people. if you are christian, what side would you like to be on, god's or the other side. it's helpful in understanding the rationale with all this. I personally am a Christian and could care less if Israel or Palestine blow themselves off the face of the earth
  • VulchorVulchor FloridaPosts: 4,806 ✭✭✭
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    phobicsquirrel:
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
    Actually, I can think of 2 major religions that do speak of killing people. One directly and one indirectly. The first of the two being Islam. I am not a religious person, but I have been studying Islam a bit as of late just to get a better understanding of things globally. I have not read the Koran, but plan to someday soon. I think it would interesting... I would also like to learn arabic. Not like I want to convert, but could be helpful for my career in the future if I go in the direction I want to go.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    PuroFreak:
    phobicsquirrel:
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
    Actually, I can think of 2 major religions that do speak of killing people. One directly and one indirectly. The first of the two being Islam. I am not a religious person, but I have been studying Islam a bit as of late just to get a better understanding of things globally. I have not read the Koran, but plan to someday soon. I think it would interesting... I would also like to learn arabic. Not like I want to convert, but could be helpful for my career in the future if I go in the direction I want to go.

    Puro I was not aware of any religions promoting the killing of others. Can you elaborate on your statement a little for us?
    What about "an eye for an eye" does that count?
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    laker1963:
    PuroFreak:
    phobicsquirrel:
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
    Actually, I can think of 2 major religions that do speak of killing people. One directly and one indirectly. The first of the two being Islam. I am not a religious person, but I have been studying Islam a bit as of late just to get a better understanding of things globally. I have not read the Koran, but plan to someday soon. I think it would interesting... I would also like to learn arabic. Not like I want to convert, but could be helpful for my career in the future if I go in the direction I want to go.

    Puro I was not aware of any religions promoting the killing of others. Can you elaborate on your statement a little for us?
    What about "an eye for an eye" does that count?
    Yes, eye for and eye would be the indirect reference I was speaking of. In the Koran though it speaks of spilling the blood of (infadels) Those are not the exact words, but it is something to that effect. It does in fact call for killings though.
  • ejenne87ejenne87 Posts: 1,925
    PuroFreak:
    laker1963:
    PuroFreak:
    phobicsquirrel:
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
    Actually, I can think of 2 major religions that do speak of killing people. One directly and one indirectly. The first of the two being Islam. I am not a religious person, but I have been studying Islam a bit as of late just to get a better understanding of things globally. I have not read the Koran, but plan to someday soon. I think it would interesting... I would also like to learn arabic. Not like I want to convert, but could be helpful for my career in the future if I go in the direction I want to go.

    Puro I was not aware of any religions promoting the killing of others. Can you elaborate on your statement a little for us?
    What about "an eye for an eye" does that count?
    Yes, eye for and eye would be the indirect reference I was speaking of. In the Koran though it speaks of spilling the blood of (infadels) Those are not the exact words, but it is something to that effect. It does in fact call for killings though.
    It only calls for those killings under the same circumstances as in the Bible. I have not read either of them but I have discussed this issue at length with a very intelligent man that has read them both several times. He tells me that the books are VERY similar and the justification for killing is close to the exact same in both books.
  • laker1963laker1963 Posts: 5,046
    ejenne87:
    PuroFreak:
    laker1963:
    PuroFreak:
    phobicsquirrel:
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
    Actually, I can think of 2 major religions that do speak of killing people. One directly and one indirectly. The first of the two being Islam. I am not a religious person, but I have been studying Islam a bit as of late just to get a better understanding of things globally. I have not read the Koran, but plan to someday soon. I think it would interesting... I would also like to learn arabic. Not like I want to convert, but could be helpful for my career in the future if I go in the direction I want to go.

    Puro I was not aware of any religions promoting the killing of others. Can you elaborate on your statement a little for us?
    What about "an eye for an eye" does that count?
    Yes, eye for and eye would be the indirect reference I was speaking of. In the Koran though it speaks of spilling the blood of (infadels) Those are not the exact words, but it is something to that effect. It does in fact call for killings though.
    It only calls for those killings under the same circumstances as in the Bible. I have not read either of them but I have discussed this issue at length with a very intelligent man that has read them both several times. He tells me that the books are VERY similar and the justification for killing is close to the exact same in both books.
    Yeah, I, suspected that they were more alike then not. The Koran may instruct in the killing of "infadels", but I bet it is qualified or the reasons for this being acceptable are laid out quite clearly.
    Religion sucks. It is the number one cause of wars, now, in the past, and I'm betting it will continue into the future.
    History shows us that we are not the "Brightest crayons in the box" when it comes to learning from history.
  • denniskingdennisking Posts: 3,703 ✭✭✭
    Those that do not learn their history are doomed to repeat it.
  • phobicsquirrelphobicsquirrel Posts: 7,349
    dennisking:
    Those that do not learn their history are doomed to repeat it.
    I'm wondering when humans will really understand that, or at least the govt body....
  • PuroFreakPuroFreak Posts: 4,132
    laker1963:
    ejenne87:
    PuroFreak:
    laker1963:
    PuroFreak:
    phobicsquirrel:
    Vulchor:
    I agree Dennis, and am actually pretty aware of the history there....I have a masters in History (not that that makes me an expert), but still find the situation incomprehensible. I am a Catholic or an atheist depending on the day, and understand religion to a point-----just not to the point many people do is a fair way to put it.
    religion is an evil, evil word. more people have died from that word or term than anything else. killing over religion shows how pathetic and manipulated humans are. though I don't claim to be an expert on all religions or mine for that matter but where does it say kill others? okay maybe some do.... but the major ones.. Faith is the key here.
    Actually, I can think of 2 major religions that do speak of killing people. One directly and one indirectly. The first of the two being Islam. I am not a religious person, but I have been studying Islam a bit as of late just to get a better understanding of things globally. I have not read the Koran, but plan to someday soon. I think it would interesting... I would also like to learn arabic. Not like I want to convert, but could be helpful for my career in the future if I go in the direction I want to go.

    Puro I was not aware of any religions promoting the killing of others. Can you elaborate on your statement a little for us?
    What about "an eye for an eye" does that count?
    Yes, eye for and eye would be the indirect reference I was speaking of. In the Koran though it speaks of spilling the blood of (infadels) Those are not the exact words, but it is something to that effect. It does in fact call for killings though.
    It only calls for those killings under the same circumstances as in the Bible. I have not read either of them but I have discussed this issue at length with a very intelligent man that has read them both several times. He tells me that the books are VERY similar and the justification for killing is close to the exact same in both books.
    Yeah, I, suspected that they were more alike then not. The Koran may instruct in the killing of "infadels", but I bet it is qualified or the reasons for this being acceptable are laid out quite clearly.
    Religion sucks. It is the number one cause of wars, now, in the past, and I'm betting it will continue into the future.
    History shows us that we are not the "Brightest crayons in the box" when it comes to learning from history.
    Yes, that statement is correct, the Koran and the Bible are very similar, but the Koran does go much farther in detailing it. A quote from the Koran says:

    "Slay them wherever ye catch them" another says
    "fight and slay the pagans wherever ye find them, and seize them, and beleaguer them, and lie in wait for them in every stratagem of war."

    These are both speaking of self defense, they are just used as an excuse for "jihad" against anyone who is not a Muslim by extremists. The same thing has been done by Christians.
  • KriegKrieg Posts: 5,092 ✭✭✭
    I tried reading the post, but I kept losing my place
  • gmill880gmill880 Posts: 5,947
    Krieg:
    I tried reading the post, but I kept losing my place

    Infadel :)
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