April 19, 2007

The Anti-Soldier

The prisoner exchange for Gilad Schalit is on-off, on-off.

One has to suspect that Olmert is carefully planning the timing of any exchange to coincide with the publication of any damning conclusions by the Winograd commission. As the politicians say: ‘a good day to bury bad news’.

The idea of releasing 1,000 terrorists is utterly reprehensible. Unless of course you happen to be the parent of the kidnapped soldier. And none of us can imagine what it must be like in that position.

But just think of it. Israel extensively trains and sends soldiers like Gilad Schalit into battle to defend the citizens of Israel. Whilst it is by no means certain that Schalit would have saved a single Jewish life in his whole term of army service, it is an absolute certainty that his exchange for 1,000 terrorists will result in at least one recidivist terror attack on some bus, restaurant or other soft target in Israel within the next 12 months. Most likely a lot more.

This is based on research by the terror victims association Almagor that 30 recent terror incidents were perpetrated or planned by prisoners earlier released by Israel.

And even if we are lucky enough to suffer no recidivist killings by those who are released, at the very least, such one-sided exchanges are bound to embolden new terror recruits to more audacious attacks knowing that, if caught, they will never serve a full term of imprisonment and may even enjoy the liberal privileges of Marwan Barghouti who is having a whale of a time in jail.

All of which leads to the inescapable conclusion that, in the context of such a prisoner exchange, Gilad Schalit becomes the exact opposite of a soldier in the Israeli army. Instead of defending the citizens of Israel, his release by such an irrational exchange actually imperils our people. Imagine an IDF soldier turning his gun on his own people!

Compare this with the heroism of Golani trooper Roi Klein who threw himself on a grenade to save members of his unit from certain death.

Olmert does not have the right to create an anti-soldier.

And Gilad does not deserve to be discredited in that way.

Nor to have on his conscience the next batch of recidivist terror victims.

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