Monday, June 2, 2008

Trading with Terrorists

Government leaders make hard choices every day. From budgetary issues affecting taxation and the cost of living, to geo-political affecting security at home, to "hot-button" issues such as gay marriage. In the Middle East where Israel finds itself, there is no bigger hot-button issue than prisoner exchanges.

Israel's prisons are rightfully full of Palestinians and other Arabs who have committed crimes against Israelis ranging from throwing stones to riot to murder. Over the years, Israel has released hundreds of Palestinians and others from prison as part of "prisoner swaps" that were never one-to-one affairs but more like 100 Arabs for 1 Israeli, or political gifts to Arafat or Abu Mazen that would increase their credibility on the Palestinian street. From a stated policy of never negotiating with terrorists, Israel has in the past and will do so in the future.

The New York Sun runs an article by Benny Avni Hezbollah's Prisoner Swap Gambit Tests Israel that highlights Israel's decision to release a terrorist in exchange for soldiers' remains and as a possible step in releasing either the soldiers, or their remains, whose kidnapping was the spark that launched the 2006 Lebanon War.

As the father of a terror victim, I know the day is coming, not soon I hope, when my daughter's killers will be on the way out the door of their prison cells. I hope that the price paid by the other side is high enough to warrant it.

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