Thursday, July 17, 2008

While Israel Mourns, Palestinians And Lebanese Celebrate: Regev, Goldwasser and Kuntar And The Dangerous Precedent of Prisoner Swaps

Something is drastically wrong with the following picture.

The lifeless bodies of 2 kidnapped Israeli soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, unceremoniously traded for 5, very much alive, PLF terrorists, one of whom mercilessly murdered an innocent 4 year old child.

In 1979, Samir Kuntar, a Lebanese teen and member of Abu Abbas's Palestinian Liberation Front (PLF), stormed an apartment building with fellow terrorists in search of Israelis to kill, and made off with Danny Haran and his 4 year old daughter Einat. Shooting and then drowning Danny in the ocean, in front of his little one so it would be the last thing she remembered, Kuntar then proceeded to beat and smash Einat's head against a rock with the butt of his rifle until she was dead. The mother Smadar, her 2 year old daughter Yael and a neighbour were able to hide, but in an effort to keep the terrorists from discovering their hiding place, Smadar inadvertently smothered her child to death. In prison for life, for the murders of Einat, Danny and several others, unrepentant Kuntar now has his freedom, and has even vowed to return to jihad upon his release, which no doubt he will. In a letter to Hezbollah head, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, Kuntar wrote

"My dear and respectable master and commander, Peace be with you and with our shahids (martyrs). I give you my promise and oath that my only place will be in the fighting front soaked with the sweat of your giving and with the blood of the shahids, the dearest people, and that I will continue your way until we reach a full victory. I send my best wishes and promise of renewed loyalty to you, sir, and to all the Jihad fighters."
And while Israel mourns their 2 fallen heroes, the Palestinians, Hezbollah (which brokered the deal) and others celebrate and salute the 5 living and some 200 dead terrorists as heroes and martyrs. Palestinian Fatah leader, Mahmoud Abbas, sent congratulations and blessings to Kuntar and his family. The Palestinian Authority media has also been awash with praise and congratulatory messages for Kuntar et al and their families.

Excuse me while I wretch.

Regev and Goldwasser were alive when captured in 2006; one would expect, in a civilized world, that they would still be alive, but what should we expect from a people who glorify death more than life and who would love nothing more than to have that region devoid of all Israelis. So while Hezbollah murdered the 2 captured soldiers (so much for the rules of engagement and the Geneva Convention), Kuntar was allowed to marry, although he eventually divorced the woman, and received a degree in social and political science.

Excuse me while I wretch.

And, although I mourn with the families of Goldwasser and Regev, what has this exchange accomplished other than the ability to bury their sons with dignity and respect, if the bodies are even theirs? Sadly, nothing! It simply proves to the Arab world that all they have to do is capture some Israeli soldiers (and civilians next?), and they will have the leverage to broker the release of even more terrorists from Israeli prisons. And it seems to matter not whether the soldiers are alive or dead, so they have nothing to lose if they kill them.

So, now we have 5 more terrorists back on the streets, ready, willing and able to carry on their jihad. This has set a dangerous precedent, that Israel might never recover from.

Rest in peace Eldad and Ehud.


Troika said...

The strange thing is that this swap was welcomed by most of the Israeli public and its government.

The only real objectors were the heads of the two main intelligence agencies, who rightly feared the return of convicted terrorists to the streets.

What happened to not negotiating with terrorists?

I can only assume that there are things going on behind the scenes that we are unaware of.

The mind-boggling thing is that Gilad Shalit, the Israeli corporal who was abducted by Hamas in Gaza in June 2006, has not been released as part of this deal.

As for the Geneva Conventions, they don't seem to hold much sway for any countries nowadays, especially when it comes to the war on terror, with many countries (including the west) breaking them every day.

Z said...

The Geneva Conventions only seem to apply to US these days, Troika. Nobody else. WE are the bad guys if we stray from them, say our Harvard educated liberal lawyers.

This whole thing in Israel showed the Arab world that one only has to kill to be rewarded. Anybody who wouldn't listen to the best intelligence people in the world (Isreal's) was WRONG. I think probably those two poor dead Israeli soldiers would agree with us, don't you?

Pat Jenkins said...

he doesn't look too friendly, your pic of the "kind" terrorist incog... it is a misguided belief you can protect yourself by trying to win the favor of your enemy. i hope israel doesn't continue to repeat again and again, which they seem to be, this idea!!!

Renegade Eye said...

It is a lesser evil, than repeating the 2006 Lebanese War.

Incognito said...

TROIKA: I think it's foolish to negotiate with terrorists, and who knows why it is happening these days.

And the intelligence agencies should rightly fear that. Many of those released from Guantanamo immediately picked up from where they left off. Changing that mindset is not easy.

As for Gilad, Hamas will want its own terms, and from what I've read, they have tabled the negotiations for now, since this most recent deal with Hezbollah. Why not, they have the upper hand. And who knows if he is still even alive.

And perhaps one has to deal with terrorists on their level, although i have never seen a western country behead and drag the dead bodies of hostages around the streets, with the population celebrating the deaths.

Incognito said...

Z: And it does only apply to us, though it shouldn't given the massively unequal playing ground.

I think the problem is that Israel is listening to the court of public/world opinion and feel compelled to act in a PC way, which will never work when dealing with the animals the terrorists are.

Incognito said...

PAT J: No.. he does look like evil personified.. and he's had 29 years, plus an education to hone his hatred. He will be out with a vengeance. That has always been our problem, thinking we can win over our enemies, and fighting PC wars, which Israel has started to do. A rabid dog will not become your pet, it will turn and bite you when it can.

RENEGADE EYE: It might be a lesser evil, for now, but in the long term it's going to have turned out to be a disastrous decision. I hope I'm wrong.

Nikki said...

I suppose if I were the family I would want my child, but on the other hand thugs getting released...I don't think so. Its too messed up to even think about. :)N

danny wright said...

When I first heard about this I didn't believe it. This is insane.

WomanHonorThyself said...

You know how I feel bout this hun..sigh..I wrote another post..took me 6 hours!

Incognito said...

NIKKI: I do understand their desire to have the bodies back, and I'm sure they were hoping for them to still be alive, but terrorists being released is not worth it.

DANNY: It is insane, and it's just going to get worse. sadly.

WOMAN: Yeah, i do, darlin. will head on over there soon.

Karen said...

Like Danny, I couldn't believe it either. It made my stomach hurt. Such a sad story. I saw a photo in the paper of the Israeli soldier's widow hugging Olmert. She breaks my heart.

Z said...

karen, were I his widow, I'd be kicking Olmert.
I wonder what her poor dead husband would have thought of this?

Incognito said...

KAREN: I look at most of the stories in the paper and it makes my stomach hurt. Why did they have to kill them?!!

Z: I wonder too, Z.. but perhaps they still harboured some hope that their guys were still alive.