Schalit Deal Makes Mockery of International Law
Yet it appears that Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will exchange
Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. Any such
exchange, however humane to Schalit and his family, would imperil
thousands of other Israelis........
The writer, an Italian journalist with Il Foglio, writes a weekly column for Arutz Sheva. He is the author of the book "A New Shoah", that researched the personal stories of Israel's terror victims, published by Encounter. His writing has appeared in publications, such as the Wall Street Journal, Frontpage and Commentary.
has been written about the Israeli commitment not to leave its soldiers
behind in the field (be they alive or dead), about the fact that no
other country in the world would trade one soldier for a thousand of
terrorists, about the excruciating torture that Gilad Shalit’s parents
have endured over five years and about the need of relief of the Israeli
The Shalit affair is the psycological drama of the Jewish tiny nation under siege.
true that once Shalit comes home the Hamas in Gaza will have lost their
most valuable human shield of all, but no security reason could have
really justified such a deal.
said, Israeli leaders weren’t able to sustain the hard stare of Noam
and Aviva Shalit, that is the mirror image of the youthful face of Ron
Arad, the love and the nightmare of the Jewish State with his emaciated
and dying body.
Shalit's mode is not political, it is a moral one.
will make the impossible exchange and it is understandable that a
country, so little and abandoned to itself, is deeply united around the
value of life.
since this is a psycological drama, let’s be honest: Israel is
betraying the families who lost relatives under terrorism. Shalit's
family won, the state and the thousands of families destroyed by hatred
joy of the murderers and their well advertised victory signs certainly
renew the pain and agony. As Ross Douthat recently wrote in the New York Times, “most Americans support the death penalty because they want to believe that our justice system is just,
and not merely a mechanism for quarantining the dangerous in order to
keep the law-abiding safe. The case for executing murderers is a case
for proportionality in punishment: for sentences that fit the crime, and
penalties that close the circle”.
Now Israel is crossing all the red lines.
week the Israeli bereaved families will see the butchers of their own
relatives walking out from prison after spending few years in jail.
dedicated five years to tracking down and interviewing Israeli
witnesses to terrorist atrocities — including people who survived
attacks and family members of those who did not.
am probably the only person in the world who spent more time on the
biographies of the Israeli victims as on the horrible details of their
end and the desperation of their families.
bereaved parents I know are supporting the deal and many others are
radically against it. I know that no one is more familiar with the pain
the Shalit family is experiencing than families whose child’s life was
destroyed by a suicide bomber.
bereaved parents know what it is to awake every morning and face
another day without that precious child and they share with the Shalits
the same yearning to touch and speak to him again.
only concession to families of the victims will be the publication – a
mere 48 hours prior to the release – of the names of the prisoners being
set free. That’s all. It’s the end of the deal for them.
Israeli government is saying to these families: “We are sorry, the
social pressure was too high, the Arab spring gave us a chance for a
deal, this is a political game”.
week, when most of the Israelis will share Shalits’ joy and concern
about the mental health of their son, let’s hope that many others will
remember the aftermath of the suicide attacks: the victims arranged near
the carcass of the bus, the bodies placed in black bags, the Polaroid
photos, the remains of a stroller, the scattered gray matter on the
windows nearby, the Nazi number tattooed on the burned arms, the acrid
odor of burned flesh and hair, the teeth and the DNA by which the
victims were identified, the little pieces of jewelry that were
everything a mother found at the morgue, the school notebooks, the
military berets, the tennis shoes, the kippot of every color and the
week someone should lay a flower near the thousands of plaques bearing
the names of innocent Jews displayed along streets, schools, synagogues,
cafes, restaurants, markets, parks and gardens.
the war for survival, Israel’s economy is booming, democracy is solid,
immigration is growing and demography is thriving.
the State of Israel betrayed its victims. It's a process that began
when Yitzhak Rabin called Ofra Felix, a wonderful Israeli girl killed by
the terrorists in 1995, "a victim of the peace process".
The Talmud says that in Israel, the dead protect the living. Today it's less true.
The question everybody has to answer is: why?