The Solomonic decision of whether or not to release scores of bloodthirsty terrorists in exchange for Gilad Shalit is a heart-wrenching trial for all of us. Simply to consider each side causes pain for those who have lost loved ones at the hands of the murderous and unrepentant terrorists we so meticulously hold in Israeli jails.
Yet every one of us with a son, knowing that Shalit has been held for three long years, wants to do all we can to release him.
Unfortunately, Israel has set a very bad example over the past 30 years. Rather than the daring rescue attempts that go so far back, most prominently in Entebbe, we have been releasing terrorists like spiders set outside by a kindhearted homeowner. It is now our protocol, even if what we receive in return are empty coffins. There is a blanket of weakness that has fallen over Israel. We are no longer daring, risking bold moves that no other nation would attempt. Those acts of sheer chutzpah and courage that have in the past intimidated our enemies exist no more. We have emboldened them to do the same thing time and again, which is holding hostages for “exchange.”
We all have seen these exchanges – cheering, healthy-looking terrorists, screaming obscenities as, well-dressed and fed, they are led to buses to do it all over again. We may end up again with a coffin.
Our image as brave warriors has been replaced by the Israeli image of meek traders in an inequitable market of human flesh.