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Gilad Shalit to Be Released
October 11, 2011 2:39 PM   Subscribe

After five years, it appears that Gilad Shalit may be going home...

Gilad Shalit is an Israeli soldier who was abducted by Hamas five years ago and has been held captive in the Gaza Strip ever since. There have been many efforts to release him until now, but if reports from the BBC and Al Jazeera are to be believed, the Israeli government has finally agreed to the demands of Hamas for 1,000 prisoners to be released in exchange. It seems Hamas themselves may be giving ground, as previously they had refused even such a generous offer as that.
posted by dougrayrankin (66 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
I really hope this one works out for him.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 2:42 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


How does a 1000:1 prisoner exchange do anything besides make Israelis less safe?
posted by modernserf at 2:51 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


The nice thing about trading 1,000 Palestinians for one Israeli soldier is that both sides probably think they got the better end of the deal.
posted by 2bucksplus at 2:51 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


A prisoner exchange. No one wins, but the captives. Cool.
posted by three blind mice at 2:53 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


How does a 1000:1 prisoner exchange do anything besides make Israelis less safe?

Depends on why the 1000 were in prison in the first place.
posted by dismas at 2:54 PM on October 11, 2011 [15 favorites]


Israel's Channel 2 TV reported that both sides had shown greater flexibility in recent talks.

That is the good news in this.
posted by SLC Mom at 2:56 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Depends on why the 1000 were in prison in the first place.

Doesn't this give Israel the perverse incentive of arbitrarily imprisoning innocent Palestinians, solely to use them as bargaining chips?
posted by modernserf at 2:56 PM on October 11, 2011


How does a 1000:1 prisoner exchange do anything besides make Israelis less safe?

Because now 1,000 Palestinian families and one Israeli family can be reunited and move on?
posted by furtive at 2:58 PM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Doesn't this give Israel the perverse incentive of arbitrarily imprisoning innocent Palestinians, solely to use them as bargaining chips?

Israel already does hold some Palestinian prisoners without charge, but framing the point this way is a bit odd considering the incentive for Hamas to kidnap Israelis for no other reason than that they're Israeli.

That said I'm not sure the developments of the last 5 years since Gilad Shalit was kidnapped have made this outcome any kind of "incentive" for either side.
posted by Hoopo at 3:02 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


From the BBC article:

There are about 5,000 Palestinians held by Israel - some of whom have been convicted of serious crimes, but others are being held without charge.


You spend the time to select 1027 prisoners (27 are women) who are being held on minor, or no charges. It's a good gesture towards the issue of peace, it makes for a lot less Israel will spend to keep those folks locked up, and it heals a huge, gaping hole in Israel's heart and soul. It's a true mitzvah.

Seems like a great deal to me, but I'm just some moron on the Internet.
posted by dbiedny at 3:02 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


modernserf: " Doesn't this give Israel the perverse incentive of arbitrarily imprisoning innocent Palestinians, solely to use them as bargaining chips?"

According to the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics, there are over 7,000 prisoners (2010) in Israeli jails, of them 264 under administrative detention.

Also, Gilad Shalit was apparently captured and imprisoned solely for use as a bargaining chip.
posted by zarq at 3:04 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


As tactics of warfare go, capturing opposing soldiers for use as hostages is one of the more humane.
posted by LogicalDash at 3:09 PM on October 11, 2011 [3 favorites]


LogicalDash: "As tactics of warfare go, capturing opposing soldiers for use as hostages is one of the more humane."

Depends on how they're treated. If he was tortured for 5 years, then no, it isn't.
posted by zarq at 3:12 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Depends on how they're treated. If he was tortured for 5 years, then no, it isn't.

And if he grew three feet during his captivity, he can play pro basketball when he gets home.
posted by facetious at 3:20 PM on October 11, 2011 [5 favorites]


Also, Gilad Shalit was apparently captured and imprisoned solely for use as a bargaining chip.

That's sort of the point - this resolution seems like its going to perpetuate this cycle: it means that terrorists will continue to have an incentive to kidnap random people, and Israel will continue to have an incentive to jail huge amounts of innocent or harmless Palestinians. These thousand prisoners are going home now, but the conditions of their release seem like they'll lead to another thousand families being broken up.

Furthermore, the sheer magnitude of this seems to suggest that Israel considers one Israeli Jew to be a thousand times more "valuable" than a Palestinian. If, for example, a white American was kidnapped by the Black Panthers or a radical American Indian group, and he was exchanged for a thousand political prisoners of their respective race, wouldn't that mostly just prove that the government is really only interested in the rights of white people?

I'm not suggesting that this is a bad thing because Israel is freeing a bunch of political prisoners, or that Shalit will be going home. Both of those scenarios on their own are unambiguously good. But if the situation that allows those people to be free then causes even more people to be imprisoned, I don't see how this can be a net good.
posted by modernserf at 3:26 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


So what are the names of the thousand Palestinians that were held hostage?
posted by empath at 3:33 PM on October 11, 2011 [11 favorites]


Doesn't this give Israel the perverse incentive of arbitrarily imprisoning innocent Palestinians, solely to use them as bargaining chips?

Yes.

As tactics of warfare go, capturing opposing soldiers for use as hostages is one of the more humane.

It's worth noting that while killing Shalit in battle would not have been a violation of the laws of war, holding him without access from the Red Cross most certainly is.

Furthermore, the sheer magnitude of this seems to suggest that Israel considers one Israeli Jew to be a thousand times more "valuable" than a Palestinian.

It seems to suggest that Israel regards the lives of its citizens as more valuable than its ability to exact retribution on 1000 Palestinians for whatever crimes they're in prison for. It's a country that keeps faith with its soldiers, that they won't be abandoned even at a staggeringly high price.
posted by Dasein at 3:35 PM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]


it means that terrorists will continue to have an incentive to kidnap random people

Gilad Shalit was military, so it's not completely random. And as Dasein's link shows, this was not the most desirable outcome for Hamas given that hawks in Israel used the kidnapping as a rallying cry and it has motivated a number of military actions in the last 5 years that adversely affected Palestinians.

I think perhaps we need to be less concerned with any messages that might be sent. The "We Don't Negotiate With Terrorists" line has pretty much always been BS to some degree and most nations do even while loudly proclaiming otherwise. It's a rhetorical point, not a real policy.
posted by Hoopo at 3:46 PM on October 11, 2011


So what are the names of the thousand Palestinians that were held hostage?

I don't think that word means what you think it means.
posted by andoatnp at 3:49 PM on October 11, 2011 [7 favorites]


The 1000:1 ratio seems oddly fitting - it certainly seems like the Israeli policy so far has demonstrated that it would willingly sacrifice the lives of a thousand Palestinians to safeguard the life of one Israeli, because to them the life of one Israeli is a thousand times more valuable than the life of one Palestinian.

The ongoing conflict in that area of the world depresses me to no end.
posted by xdvesper at 3:54 PM on October 11, 2011 [4 favorites]




Nothing good usually comes from getting into a debate involving Israel, but reading these comments provoked me. I'd say the price was set primarily by the Palestinians in this case. Israel has always wanted their man back; it was up to the Palestinians to demand and Israel accept. Whatever the other issues, I'm happy to see families reunited.
posted by etaoin at 4:09 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


the price was set primarily by the Palestinians in this case

You mean Hamas
posted by Hoopo at 4:10 PM on October 11, 2011


Some people say Hamas is the ruling government of Palestinian Gaza.
posted by rosswald at 4:11 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's because it is.
posted by Dasein at 4:16 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just hope he is alive and this isn't over a corpse.
posted by humanfont at 4:52 PM on October 11, 2011 [1 favorite]


Talking does what blood cannot
posted by Ironmouth at 6:24 PM on October 11, 2011



the price was set primarily by the Palestinians in this case
--
You mean Hamas
posted by Hoopo at 7:10 PM on October 11 [+] [!]


? It's an irrelevant distinction under the circumstances, in this conversation, I think. Hamas governs the Palestinian people of Gaza. I'm missing the reason why you'd want to separate a political party from the people it governs, whether we like it or not.
posted by etaoin at 8:16 PM on October 11, 2011


as long as israel is willing to fight a five-year war over a single soldier, the fighting will never end.
posted by miyabo at 8:17 PM on October 11, 2011


I'm missing the reason why you'd want to separate a political party from the people it governs, whether we like it or not.

Because I don't think it's fair to equate the actions of Hamas with Palestinians generally. Hamas is more than a political party and has militant factions that operate independently of any political leadership, and ties to even more terrorist and militant groups. I'm not certain that the abduction of Gilad Shalit was even sanctioned by the political wing of Hamas, and I've heard at various times Hamas leadership didn't even know his location. The Palestinian people have it bad enough, they are already too often conflated with militant groups and their terrible leaders.

That was my thinking with that comment. I gather this was not your thinking while making yours, so sorry for the derail.
posted by Hoopo at 8:55 PM on October 11, 2011 [2 favorites]


humanfont: I just hope he is alive and this isn't over a corpse.
Whatever the merits of the exchange, for this especially I earnestly pray--and also for the health of the 1,027 Palestinians to be released.
posted by skbw at 9:05 PM on October 11, 2011


I REALLY hope this happens.

But I can also see Israel releasing a few hundred prisoners, then getting Shalit back...and then not releasing the rest of the promised prisoners...for years. Maybe forever.

But yeah, I'm happy that both sides reached an agreement and both sides are happy about it. The only people who don't seem to be happy are people who would rather see their side keep the person/people they already have.

So I don't really give a shit about what people who oppose this have to say. They seem to be inspired by a desire to hurt the other side rather than get their own back.

And thats fucked up.
posted by hal_c_on at 11:11 PM on October 11, 2011


Some interesting facts on the massive lopsidedness in this whole thing.
posted by disillusioned at 11:39 PM on October 11, 2011


I don't know that I would support freeing murderers and terrorists for the freedom of one innocent person, but I hope that Gilad Shalit is OK.
posted by knoyers at 12:11 AM on October 12, 2011


Empath wrote: So what are the names of the thousand Palestinians that were held hostage?

Well, one of them is apparently Ahlam Tamimi.
posted by Joe in Australia at 1:13 AM on October 12, 2011 [3 favorites]


I had given up any hope that he was even still alive, since Hamas knows they could barter with his corpse. Is there actual proof he is still alive? I thought the Red Cross had called for proof back in June and none was offered?
posted by autoclavicle at 2:31 AM on October 12, 2011


I get from reading this that holding one POW means you're a terrorist. But holding thousands of them, they were clearly asking for it?
posted by Threeway Handshake at 6:00 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder how this doesn't send a clear message to Hamas that further extortion will be rewarded.
posted by shivohum at 6:27 AM on October 12, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think part of the idea is that the world has changed somewhat. A daring cross-border kidnapping/capture is less likely when Abbas is sitting with Ashton in a European cafe or pushing his case at the UN.

Also Syria's and Iran's roles as patrons have shifted somewhat.

Its not perfect reasoning, but that's some of what I have read.
posted by rosswald at 6:44 AM on October 12, 2011


You spend the time to select 1027 prisoners (27 are women) who are being held on minor, or no charges. It's a good gesture towards the issue of peace, it makes for a lot less Israel will spend to keep those folks locked up, and it heals a huge, gaping hole in Israel's heart and soul. It's a true mitzvah.

Actually according to the BBC, which I am streaming at work, a big hold up in the deal, which was three years in the making was who Israel would release. Hamas wanted some people who even disinterested third parties have agreed were some very,very, bad people, who helped to mastermind some pretty bad terrorist attacks. If it were random 1,000 or so Palestinians that Hamas wanted the deal would've been sealed long ago. Newshour streams so you can listen if you want to. The most recent podcast has the story.
posted by xetere at 8:00 AM on October 12, 2011


I'm failing to see how a 1000:1 prisoner exchange means Israel values the life of one Israeli more than 1000 Palestinians. I'm happy to stipulate a long list of bads on Israel's side-but this specific idea seems like an awesome slogan pulled out of nowhere.
The hostage exchange is Hamas' plan. They offered up the number.
Also, if Israel said , no, we're trading one for one-this would be an improvement to the current 1000 1? It just doesn't make any sense.
posted by atomicstone at 8:39 AM on October 12, 2011 [6 favorites]


How does a 1000:1 prisoner exchange do anything besides make Israelis less safe?

modernserf, you win the prize for the most monstrous devaluation of human life in this thread.

Since I'm an atheist, I can take some comfort in knowing God will not have mercy on your soul. I suppose.
posted by IAmBroom at 9:18 AM on October 12, 2011 [1 favorite]


modernserf: "Furthermore, the sheer magnitude of this seems to suggest that Israel considers one Israeli Jew to be a thousand times more "valuable" than a Palestinian. "

One doesn't necessarily follow from the other, and I do not believe the situation is as simple as you are suggesting.

Israel has always followed a foreign/military policy that one Israeli hostage is worth going to war over.
In 2004, the Lebanon-based Hizbullah won the release of several dozen of its militants held by Israel in exchange for one Israeli citizen, Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was lured to Lebanon as part of a drug deal gone awry. The exchange also included the remains of three Israeli soldiers. Israeli experts of prisoner exchanges also point to the Jibril Deal of 1985, in which Israeli won the release of three of its soldiers in return for setting free more than 1,100 Palestinian and other prisoners.
Hamas set the parameters for this exchange. They named the number. Worth noting from the link that Hamas had originally demanded in 2006 that all Palestinian women and minors imprisoned by Israel be released, a demand which Israel rejected at the time, because they did not want to negotiate with Hamas terrorists. Times and attitudes have changed.

It's worth noting as well that Shalit's plight had gotten a lot of publicity in Israel and abroad. Shalit's parents kept up a relentless campaign for his release. They established a website and facebook page, and turned his status as a hostage into a bit of a rallying cry. I'm told that many cars in Israel have Free Shalit bumper stickers. They kept a metaphorical candle burning, and made sure he was not forgotten -- which in turn translated into political pressure in Israel, and it was framed as an injustice that Israeli leaders (and their opponents) would reference to maintain or gain support from their followers.
posted by zarq at 10:27 AM on October 12, 2011 [4 favorites]


In 2004, the Lebanon-based Hizbullah won the release of several dozen of its militants held by Israel in exchange for one Israeli citizen, Elhanan Tannenbaum, who was lured to Lebanon as part of a drug deal gone awry.

I don't want to derail this thread, but from Zarq's latest post. RE: Elhanan Tannenbaum; He was "lured to Lebanon?" I mean given the antipathy between Israel and Lebanon, even if he travelled on a fake passport which I imagine he had to, don't you think he'd stick out a bit in downtown Beirut? What with the Yisra'eli accent and everything? Seems either profoundly stupid - "Yeah I'm from Tel Aviv, but you know I can really score so I'll just pop on up to Beirut, no worries, its just business between Moustapha and me, he's my best bud!" - or some real-life spy drama we know nothing about.
posted by xetere at 6:43 PM on October 12, 2011


Capturing an Israeli spy is generally considered quite a coup. Not sure why Lebanon would keep that a secret if it were the case.
posted by rosswald at 7:26 PM on October 12, 2011


It's worth noting as well that Shalit's plight had gotten a lot of publicity in Israel and abroad. Shalit's parents kept up a relentless campaign for his release. There was also a plan for a Shalit quilt to be made and shared among synagogues around the country, along the lines of the AIDS quilt. One of the temples near me was involved in it though I don't know how far the plan got.
posted by etaoin at 7:45 PM on October 12, 2011


Capturing an Israeli spy is generally considered quite a coup. Not sure why Lebanon would keep that a secret if it were the case.

But they didn't keep it a secret, did they? I think Hezbollah pretty much trotted him out as a bargaining chip as soon as they got him. Anyway I need to read up on that particular bit of history, but don't want to derail the Shalit thread.
posted by xetere at 8:19 PM on October 12, 2011


Theres a lot in this thread that makes my blood boil, so I'm going to try to avoid picking fights, but the way people here are quick to label all Palestinian prisoners as terrorists is appalling and embarrassing.

1 soldier was captured between two warring states. Thousands of civilians are being illegally imprisoned by an occupying force. These are not equivalent situations.

Its funny [it really isn't] how some people are so quick to label the capture of military personnel as a kidnapping, because ICRC access was denied, but countless other violations of the Geneva Convention and circumvention of basic human rights are acceptable, you know, 'cause its a warzone out there.
posted by xqwzts at 2:15 AM on October 13, 2011


xqwzts: "Theres a lot in this thread that makes my blood boil, so I'm going to try to avoid picking fights, but the way people here are quick to label all Palestinian prisoners as terrorists is appalling and embarrassing."

Please re-read the thread more carefully. No one here has done this.

If you're looking to grind an axe, you might want to choose to do so in a thread where people are actually doing what you're accusing them of.
posted by zarq at 7:16 AM on October 13, 2011 [5 favorites]


Additional links, all from Haaretz:

Hamas begins identifying prisoners to be released as part of Shalit deal. Prominent on list is Yehia Sanwar, one of Shalit's abductors, the brother of whom is considered to be one of the founders of Hamas' military wing. Hamas: Shalit deal would have failed had we insisted on top Palestinian prisoners. Gaza-ruling militant group coming under fire for failing to release Fatah bigwig Marwan Barghouti; Gaza official: Hamas withholds final list fearing public backlash.

Palestinian militants set to release video documenting Shalit's Gaza captivity. Spokesman for Strip-based Salah al-Din Brigades, which participated in Shalit's 2006 abduction, says recording will prove the IDF soldier was treated fairly.

xqwzts: " Its funny [it really isn't] how some people are so quick to label the capture of military personnel as a kidnapping, because ICRC access was denied, but countless other violations of the Geneva Convention and circumvention of basic human rights are acceptable, you know, 'cause its a warzone out there."

It has become the accepted term because that's how the IDF initially framed it and has continued to do so. International media picked up on its use and has propagated it. This was touched on above, in this thread, and both critics and supporters inside and outside of Israel have written about the choice of term at length. Here's an editorial by Uri Avnery from 2009: Shalit wasn't kidnapped.

I'm not a political expert, but as far as I can see there are several problems for both the Palestinians and Hamas inherent to officially considering Shalit a POW rather than a hostage. The first is that if he were to be officially considered a prisoner of war and his capture were by definition an act of war then that could literally escalate the nature of the conflict into an all-out shooting war. Which would not remain contained, and would undeniably be very, very bad for both sides. Israel then might use the change in conflict status as an excuse to carpet bomb Gaza. (Not that it has stopped them from bombing in the past but let's face it, the current situation while not ideal in any way at least has some limits.)

On the other hand, if Shalit's considered a prisoner of war, then Israel could be placed in a position where they would need to recognize Hamas as the defacto government ruling Gaza and open official negotiations. If Hamas wanted to negotiate, then they would then have to recognize Israel. Which could be good for both sides. Or not, depending. Hamas has given nothing more than lip service to the idea of recognizing Israel. We can see from Wikileaks that when Israel came to the negotiating table they were unwilling to give even the slightest concession in exchange for peace. If push came to shove and both Israel and Hamas were asked to take actions that weren't merely symbolic gestures, would they do so? Would their people agree to them? Impossible to say.

Referring to him as a POW shifts the situation in unknown and frightening ways. We should be careful what we wish for.
posted by zarq at 8:03 AM on October 13, 2011


Well, complications about official designations of the conflict and the people involved aside, I think Israel and Hamas can easily be seen as warring states and Shalit could be considered a POW of that conflict, just in a practical sense.
posted by empath at 8:22 AM on October 13, 2011


Completely agree.
posted by zarq at 8:29 AM on October 13, 2011


Gilad Shalit swap: Israel names Palestinian prisoners
Key initial releases

Nasser Iteima: Helped bomb Netanya hotel in 2002 - 30 people killed
Walid Anjes: Helped bomb Moment cafe in Jerusalem in 2002 - 11 people killed
Yehia Sanwar: A founder of Hamas militant wing. Serving multiple life sentences
Jihad Yaghmour: Took part in execution of Israeli solder Nachson Waxman in 1994
Mohammed al-Sharatha: A leader of the elite Hamas 101 unit. Multiple life terms
Nael Barguti: Arrested in April 1978 and convicted of role in death of Israeli soldier
Rawhi al-Mushtaha: Senior Hamas leader. Multiple life sentences
Amna Muna: Serving life for luring Israeli teenager to his [death?]
Prisoner List (PDF)
posted by Joe in Australia at 5:53 AM on October 16, 2011


Joe in Australia: "Key initial releases"

Thanks, Joe. Here's more, from Ha'aretz:
Who are the Palestinian prisoners set for release in Shalit deal? New details reveal prisoners include terrorists involved in planning and carrying out attacks at checkpoints, restaurants and army bases.

The list released by Israel Prison Service on Sunday night comprising the names of the Palestinian prisoners set to be released in exchange for abducted soldier Gilad Shalit shed new light on the identities of those included in the swap.

The list includes a number of prisoners involved in masterminding and carrying out terrorist attacks against Israelis, including more than 280 Palestinians serving life-sentences.

More than 100 are hardcore militants, serving multiple life-sentences for high-casualty suicide bombings - one life-sentence for each fatality in the attacks they were convicted of helping to plan and implement.

Among the prisoners included for release are Nasser Yataima, who was sentenced to 29 life sentences for the 2002 bombing of a Netanya hotel on Passover; Yussuf Dhib Hamed Abu Aadi, who was convicted of stabbing IDF soldier Nir Kahana at the Qalandiya checkpoint in 2005 and was sentenced to life in prison; and Nahid Abd al-Rauf al-Fakhuri, who recruited suicide bombers in Hebron and was sentenced to 22 years in jail.

Other prisoners set for release include:

Ayad Musa Salem Abayat – Convicted of being part of a group that killed IDF soldiers Lt. David-Hen Cohen and Sgt. Shlomo Adshina, and assisting the group that murdered Dvora Friedman in March 2003. He was sentenced to three life sentences.

Kamal Abd al-Rahrnan Arif Awd – Convicted of placing a bomb in Netanya in 2001. The bomb was discovered by security forces before it exploded. He also took part in several unsuccessful shootings.Sentenced to 19 years in prison.

Ashraf Khalid Husain Hanani – Arrested in 2006 in Jerusalem's Old City carrying an explosive. The military court sentenced him to 28 years in prison. The judges wrote in their verdict against Hanani that "this is not a passive person who was being played by whoever sent him, but a person who demonstrated great will to carry out the attack, who took part in the preparations, who offered the location of the attack and the route, and who was caught carrying the explosive belt on his way… to murder as many as possible."

Lui Muhammad Ahmed Awda – A Tanzim member who tried to organize a suicide attack in Jerusalem in 2003. The suicide bomber was shot and killed by Border Patrol officers. Awda was sentenced to 28 years in prison.

Ibrahim Muhammad Yunus Dar Musa - Took part in the attacks in Zrifin army base and the Hillel coffee shop in Jerusalem in 2003 by distributing to the media tapes of the suicide bombers. Sentenced to 17 years for having prior knowledge of the attack.

Amjad Ahmad Muhammad Abu Arqub – Recruited the man who carried out the attack in Carmei Tzur, in which two civilians and a female soldiers were killed. Sentenced to 25 years in prison.

Samir Faisal Sawafita – Active in Hamas operations in the northern West Bank. Hid an explosive belt, and drove two suicide bombers who failed their mission. Was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Ramzi Ibrahim Muhammad al-Ak – Convicted over links to firing toward the Jerusalem neighborhood of Gilo, placing explosive devices, as well as bringing together a suicide bomber and a terror squad in a bombing which resulted in the death of two people. Was sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Kabel Sami Mustafa Sha'abl – Aided a suicide bombing in the entrance to the West Bank city of Ariel in October 2002, which resulted in the death of 3 people. Was sentenced to 25 years in prison.
Fine upstanding citizens, all.

I'm curious to see how this affects Israeli public opinion.

Also:

Gilad Shalit to return to Israel within hours after High Court rejects bereaved families' petitions. High Court of Justice's rejection of 4 separate petitions against the prisoner swap agreement between Israel and Hamas effectively removes the last obstacle en route to the IDF soldier's release.
posted by zarq at 5:55 PM on October 17, 2011


One more link, also from Ha'aretz:

Peres: Shalit's life outweighs price of released Palestinian terrorists. "Speaking to representatives of Terror Victims Association, President says empathizes with the bereaved families, saying that all of Israel shared their pain."

miyabo: "as long as israel is willing to fight a five-year war over a single soldier, the fighting will never end."

I kept meaning to mention this: one of the reasons for this mentality is Israel has mandatory military service. People can and do opt out of conscription for a variety of reasons, but those who serve still are required to by law. The state no doubt feels a stronger obligation to its soldiers when they must serve than if they were an all-volunteer military.
posted by zarq at 6:09 PM on October 17, 2011


Live blog: Schalit arriving in Israel

miyabo: "as long as israel is willing to fight a five-year war over a single soldier, the fighting will never end."

I don't think Israel fought any wars over Gilad Schalit. Israel is at war with Hamas because Hamas constantly attacks Israel through terrorist attacks and missiles aimed at Israel's civilian population. Surely you know about this. Peace simply isn't something that can be conjured up out of thin air.
posted by Joe in Australia at 2:30 AM on October 18, 2011


Joe in Australia: "I don't think Israel fought any wars over Gilad Schalit. "

They refused to consider a long term truce until Shalit was freed. The reasons for the conflict are obvious, yes. But just as clearly, Shalit's imprisonment played a part in its perpetuation.
posted by zarq at 1:21 PM on October 18, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really? You think "We won't make the ceasefire permanent while you're holding one of our kidnapped citizens incommunicado" is equivalent to saying that Israel fought a war over it? And surely it doesn't make any sense to substitute your rephrasing into Miyabo's position, "as long as israel is willing to fight a five-year war over a single soldier, the fighting will never end": the point about a ceasefire of any sort is that the fighting has ended, at least for a while.
posted by Joe in Australia at 4:51 PM on October 18, 2011


Joe in Australia: "Really? You think "We won't make the ceasefire permanent while you're holding one of our kidnapped citizens incommunicado" is equivalent to saying that Israel fought a war over it?

No. I didn't say that, did I?

And surely it doesn't make any sense to substitute your rephrasing into Miyabo's position, "as long as israel is willing to fight a five-year war over a single soldier, the fighting will never end": the point about a ceasefire of any sort is that the fighting has ended, at least for a while."

We'll see. I have my doubts that this is going to last. Historical precedent.
posted by zarq at 7:01 PM on October 18, 2011


You're unduly cynical. In the past four thousand years there have been entire decades when the region was not at war.
posted by Joe in Australia at 9:26 PM on October 18, 2011


Israelis 'shocked' at Egypt TV Schalit interview

Well, now I've seen something worse than the standard western media. Here we have someone who has been illegally imprisoned for five years, who has not yet rejoined his family or been seen by doctors. He's being interviewed while one of his masked kidnappers stands behind him. And the interviewer asks the prisoner "What has the experience brought you? Has it made you stronger?"
posted by Joe in Australia at 11:46 PM on October 18, 2011


Joe in Australia: "You're unduly cynical."

I wish it were different.

"Freed would-be suicide bomber tells kids to be like her:
A would-be Palestinian suicide bomber freed by Israel in the prisoner swap for soldier Gilad Schalit told cheering schoolchildren in the Gaza Strip the day after her release on Wednesday she hoped they would follow her example.

"I hope you will walk the same path we took and God willing, we will see some of you as martyrs," Wafa al-Biss told dozens of children who came to her home in the northern Gaza Strip."
She had been a member of the Al Aqsa Martyrs Brigade, an offshoot of Arafat's / Abbas' Fatah.
posted by zarq at 12:18 PM on October 19, 2011


Joe in Australia: "Well, now I've seen something worse than the standard western media. "

The article says, (and this makes sense) that the interview was intended to show that Egyptian mediation helped free Shalit and the Palestinian prisoners. So it was intended to be a nationalistic rallying cry.
posted by zarq at 12:29 PM on October 19, 2011


Or, zarq, this was intended to remind the Palestinian people that Hamas achieved this release of prisoners, and Fatah didn't, so VOTE HAMAS!!!

BTW, ironically Fatah supports peaceful change as one of its party planks.
posted by IAmBroom at 12:54 PM on October 19, 2011


True. That makes sense.

Perhaps we're looking at this all wrong. According to a new book detailing the history of Jerusalem by a British historian, "...the past 60 years have been one of the most peaceful periods in Jerusalem’s history."
posted by zarq at 1:05 PM on October 19, 2011 [1 favorite]




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