Alarming News

June 30, 2008

Something for nothing

Israel has agreed to swap a murderous cretin for the return of two of its soldiers who are likely dead. Eric Trager at Commentary calls it a significant setback for the Jewish state and writes:

After all, in exchange for two captured soldiers who are likely dead, Israel has agreed to release Samir Kuntar, a notorious member of the Palestine Liberation Front who crushed a 4 year-old girl’s head on beach rocks after killing her young father in 1979. As Kuntar has long been among Hezbollah’s most coveted bargaining chips in previous prisoner swap negotiations, Israel is paying a high price for the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev in releasing him.

Here’s what I don’t get: Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev were captured in July of 2006. Wikipedia notes “On 6 December 2006, a previously classified report released by Israel stated that the two soldiers were critically wounded during the abduction.” I don’t mean to get gruesome on y’all but what, exactly, is Israel getting for releasing this thug? Bodies? What bodies? Are we expected to believe that the bodies of these soldiers were somehow preserved for nearly 2 years? Or that the hair and bone that may remain after all this time is being kept somewhere? This just seems preposterous. Where is the Israel the world thinks is so badass? I’d like to see it.

Posted by Karol at 01:14 PM |
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A Very Israeli Decision

Posted by: Gerard at June 30, 2008 at 1:51 pm

I get exchanging prisoners for bodies, I do. I don’t think it’s a great idea but at least I understand. I’m just wondering, again in a gruesome sort of way, what the families of these boys will get. I don’t believe they’ll get anything, myself. How were they able to keep the bodies intact for 2 years? And if they didn’t preserve them somehow, which c’mon they didn’t, are we even to believe that they let the bodies decompose somewhere where they could then locate them again? It’s not realistic.

Posted by: Karol at June 30, 2008 at 1:57 pm

1. This is why it is a bad idea to keep people like this Samir alive. If he killed this girl and her father then Israel should have executed him for it.
2 The Israel can always kill Samir later and I hope that is what they have in mind. I really fail to see why they are perfectly willing to take out one of the bad guys in a clandestine assassianation sort of way but are unwilling to execute a convicted murderer. But, if that is Israels way then so be it.

Posted by: jones at June 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm

The parents will get the solace of knowing what happened to their sons. As horrible as it is to lose one of your children being plagued by the uncertainty of what befell them is even worse I would imagine. Just ask all of the 9/11 widows and widowers, parents, children, siblings and friends who have no idea where the person they loved is.
I think a more important question is what Israel gets out of this.
More kidnappings?
More dead soldiers-possibly including Gilad Shalit?
Less credibility among its allies and enemies?
I agree with one of the people who replied to that article. Israel is being ruled by emotion, rather than reason.

Posted by: Gerard at June 30, 2008 at 2:45 pm

FWIW, I would be shocked if the Hezbots actually kept Regev and Goldwasser in captivity-assuming they were captured alive-within Lebanon itself. They probably handed him over to the Pasderan, or some other arm of the Iranian/Syrian security apparatus, like Ron Arad.

Posted by: Gerard at June 30, 2008 at 3:09 pm

jones, you’re absolutely right that Samir should have been executed. That’s why Israel should trade his body for the two Israelis’ bodies.

Posted by: Perry Eidelbus at June 30, 2008 at 4:58 pm

I sometimes feel like I’m watching a slow motion national suicide. I mean, seriously–would Golda Meir have made this deal? Moshe Dayan? Ben Gurion? In all three cases, I think not. Indeed, I see the first as telling Hezbollah they can give back the bodies or leaders’ dwellings will start mysteriously exploding.
This will have negative ramifications for Israel. As long as everyone in the region believed they were 10 feet tall and insufferable, no one was willing to take their chances. Now that they continue to display an unwillingness to crack the necessary heads, I think they will embolden their enemies.
Yes, it’s terrible for the parents to not know, but that’s an affair of the heart whereas giving Hezbollah what they want is an affair of state. The latter must be conducted with cold pragmatism, not sentimentalism.

Posted by: James at June 30, 2008 at 10:10 pm

Sadly the terrorists know the Biblical commandment to ransom prisoners and the cultural and religious desire to bury the dead properly.
I say return Kuntar with an explosive straped to him. If the two Israeli soldiers are dead, so is Kuntar.

Posted by: RonL at June 30, 2008 at 11:30 pm

As to what Golda would have done, according to one of Israel’s on-the-street experts (cab drivers), the only person who would have known what to do would have been Yitzhak Rabin. Just thought I’d share.
But the mood here is definitely sad, what with all the bulldozer “rampages” and last week’s “return.” (Which I wrote about here.)

Posted by: Esther at July 23, 2008 at 10:24 am
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