Good news: Gilad Shalit to be released after five years … in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners

posted at 9:37 pm on October 11, 2011 by Allahpundit

Is there any strategic argument for doing this? Israel’s followed through on these insanely lopsided prisoner swaps before, but the supporting rationales never seem to get much more compelling than “we can’t leave a man to rot in a jihadi dungeon” and/or “it’s a small country so every missing soldier is a lost family member.” (Given how small it is, every potential terrorist released is proportionally that much more dangerous, no?) Sympathy is wonderful, but sympathy doesn’t usually compel states to take enormous security risks. So to repeat: What’s the strategic angle here? What does Israel gain by securing the return of one citizen and in the process putting many, many others in danger?

Note well: We’re not talking about releasing common criminals either.

According to the agreement framework presented by Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, the deal Netanyahu brought before the cabinet included, at first, the release of 450 Palestinian prisoners, including 280 with life sentences

According to the deal, 131 Gaza residents will be released back to the coastal Strip, many of whom are reportedly top Hamas operatives. Another 203 prisoners will be expelled from the West Bank, 40 of whom will be deported overseas and the rest to Gaza.

In addition, 6 Israeli Arab prisoners who have been serving for many years will also be released to their homes. The deal also specifies the release of 27 female inmates: terrorists Ahlam Tamimi and Amna Muna will be deported, with the rest of the female inmates are expected to be released to their homes.

The scene in Gaza tonight after the deal was announced is just what you’d expect: “An hour after the news began circulating in Gaza, Palestinians had begun pouring onto the streets of the city center to celebrate. Young men piled into cars and trucks to drive up and down the streets, Palestinian flags and Hamas banners, honking their horns and shouting victory slogans.” That’s also what happened in Lebanon after child-killer Samir Kuntar was released as part of Israel’s last unfathomable prisoner swap. Terrorists going free is always cause for a party in Gaza and southern Lebanon. Anyway, I can think of two reasons why Israel might have been willing to pull the trigger on this deal, horribly imbalanced though it was. One: Egypt brokered it. After last month’s embassy attack and the sectarian madness between Muslims and Christians this week in Cairo, Israel may figure that building goodwill with the Egyptian army is more valuable to their security interests at this point than keeping Hamas degenerates behind bars. Two: Handing Hamas a propaganda victory over the Zionist enemy might be Israel’s way of punishing Abbas and the Palestinian Authority — Hamas’s rivals — for their statehood bid at the UN. That would be an extremely risky play, but maybe Netanyahu thinks Hamas is sufficiently discredited and isolated in Gaza at this point to give them an ephemeral boost if it means Abbas being less aggressive about a Palestinian state. Beyond that, I’m stumped. What am I missing here?

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Once Shalit is in safety, light them all on fire from the air.

Good Lt on October 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Beyond that, I’m stumped. What am I missing here?

The unbearable pressure of La Clinton’s State Department?

SouthernGent on October 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Before they are released, pipe knockout gas in their cells one by one, implant a microchip, put em back in their cells and they’ll think they just have a pimple or scratch.
OK, a better idea would be an ass bomb but that is problematic in many ways.

arnold ziffel on October 11, 2011 at 9:41 PM

Maybe they’ve all been implanted with subcutaneous GPS trackers, to make them easy to find after they’re taken back by the jihadis? Because that’s the only way this makes sense.

Number 2 on October 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Sounds about right. One Israeli is worth at least 1,000 Pali scumbags. I hope they don’t bother to de-louse them before they send them home.

novaculus on October 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Yep. One Isreali is worth about 1000 Palestinians. Fair trade.

Scrappy on October 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

And therein lies the value of certain persons

Exchange rate:

1 Israeli = 1000 Palestinians

Hey Abbas..how does it feel to be worth 1/1000 of an Israeli?

BobMbx on October 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Good news? Hardly. One for 1,000? Sad.

God bless Israel but the way they get in their own way is shocking.

Gob on October 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Once Shalit is in safety, light them all on fire from the air.

Good Lt on October 11, 2011 at 9:40 PM

Here’s your [giggle] cell phone.

BobMbx on October 11, 2011 at 9:44 PM

Very happy for the Shalits! His release is long overdue.

Christien on October 11, 2011 at 9:48 PM

Allah,

Unfortunately this isn’t the first time Israel has traded Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped soldiers/civilians.

Lance Murdock on October 11, 2011 at 9:50 PM

What you are missing, AP, is the solidarity of the Jewish people. To people who engage in suicide bombing, individuals are expendable in the pursuit of political goals. To Jews, no individual is insignificant. Is it a bad strategic decision? Of course. But for Israelis, it isn’t about strategy. It’s about a countryman.

Athanasius on October 11, 2011 at 9:50 PM

And how long before the next Shalit is captured and ransomed for the same amount? Hope he is safe, but this policy seems dangerous.

koolbrease on October 11, 2011 at 9:50 PM

Maybe they are now unsuspecting suicide bombers…

ericdijon on October 11, 2011 at 9:51 PM

Look at this way. When the released prisoners attack Israel they become dead former prisoners and are no longer a drain on Israel’s penal system.

NotCoach on October 11, 2011 at 9:52 PM

1 Jew is worth 1000 Palestinians.

aunursa on October 11, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Why Israel doesn’t simply summarily execute these animals is beyond my comprehension.

Rebar on October 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM

Hey Abbas..how does it feel to be worth 1/1000 of an Israeli?

BobMbx on October 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

Apparently them joos are worth something. :)

arnold ziffel on October 11, 2011 at 9:55 PM

The problem negotiating with terrorists…

is it encourages more terrorist activity.

Sorry, this is shortsighted and counterproductive.

marybel on October 11, 2011 at 9:56 PM

Make it 10,000.

Just more trouble for Hamas to control.

Ultimately, Islam is the root of this malignancy toward all other people and all faiths, and it must be reformed or rescinded.

profitsbeard on October 11, 2011 at 9:58 PM

incidentally, sorry to ask a really dopey question…

Is there any guarantee that Gilad is alive?

marybel on October 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

That’s about the worth ratio. Maybe a good bit higher.

/worthless jordyptian dogs

rayra on October 11, 2011 at 10:01 PM

They’ve done this plenty of time of times before, so they must be more aware of the consequences than us armchair observers.

One hopes that the psychological advantage that every Pali soldier views his opponent as a thousand times more valuable as himself is worth it, perhaps because slows down their recruitment.

pedestrian on October 11, 2011 at 10:02 PM

Athanasius on October 11, 2011 at 9:50 PM

These are hardcore terrorists. And they hate the Joooooooos. 1000 POS will harm, kill and hurt many, many Jews.

I know the media gave it no attention but I remember what these POS’ did to the Fogel family…5 and one was a newborn. Marybel is correct.

Gob on October 11, 2011 at 10:03 PM

Maybe each of these “heroes” of the Palestinian people have been “marked” for later tracking and…????
Micro radio transmitters?
Radio isotopes injected in their bodies?
VD?
heh.

Just getting my tinfoil hat warmed up!
:D

Yeah, I don’t get what Israel’s doing either.

Still.
Go Jews!

mt

Mistahtibbs on October 11, 2011 at 10:06 PM

marybel on October 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

We’ll find out soon.

Israel had already released 20 of these human pieces of crap for just a videotape of GS in the past.

Gob on October 11, 2011 at 10:06 PM

So mathematically, 1 Arab = 1 MilliJew. Do I have that right?

Russ on October 11, 2011 at 10:07 PM

Man, that’s a heavy load for Gilad to bear, knowing that some of his countrymen will likely die at the hands of one or more of those 1,000 released to secure his freedom. God be with him and with Israel.

Christien on October 11, 2011 at 10:07 PM

1 Jew is worth 1000 Palestinians.

aunursa on October 11, 2011 at 9:53 PM

Next time there is collateral damage from an Israeli response to a terror attack, or a US attack in Afghanistan, let’s remember that muslims are only worth 1/1,000th of one of us, to the muslims.

slickwillie2001 on October 11, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Something’s up – hopefully.

OldEnglish on October 11, 2011 at 10:08 PM

Let the new wave of violence begin.

NeoKong on October 11, 2011 at 10:15 PM

Beyond that, I’m stumped. What am I missing here?

It is difficult for a sane man to understand madness.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 11, 2011 at 10:20 PM

What are you talking about? Arabs are peaceful.
– Ron Paul

angryed on October 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM

Reasons for the release:

1) the whole country was vocal and united about bringing him home… regardless of the known dangers, which everyone is familiar with. every city, town and village in Israel has graffiti of Gilad. he’s been a national icon for years now

2) the pain of releasing known murderers, who might still kill again is overwritten by the axiom “it is better to release 1000 guilty men than condemn 1 innocent man to death”, and this death is not such an unlikely thing given Ron Arad’s fate (google him)

3) according to Netanyahu, and i haven’t decided yet if i believe him, the window for getting any deal is getting smaller, so now was the best time to make it, given the instability in the middle east

4) the cynics might say that it was a “safe political move” for Netanyahu to make given point #1 above

5) this is a little tricky but still valid – if these animals go back to plotting or committing murder then a missile will send them to Allah instead of Israeli tax-payer funded jail with 3 daily meals.

this deal stinks but in Israel all the hypotheticals are real and at the end of it all you gotta do what you can. can’t really be absolutist with this. none of Israel’s security agencies could find and save Shalit, and given his icon status no one would risk having him killed in a rescue operation such as this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kidnapping_of_Nachshon_Wachsman

Shalit’s parents like everyone else know the above story so they very successfully and publicly played on the country’s heart strings with much publicity. can’t blame them… i would’ve done the same, as all of you would have.

by the way, re: no negotiating with terrorists, the 3 hikers in Iran were released after $500,000 “bond” was paid for each by a “mysterious donor” (Uncle Sam?). and during the Iran hostage crisis, the US tried to pay ransom to have the hostages released.

also, every single western country whose nationals been kidnapped in the Muslim world in the past 10 years ended up paying. usually with money…

unfortunately there will be more kidnappings in the future, and similar deals will be conducted.

AlexB on October 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM

“An hour after the news began circulating in Gaza, Palestinians had begun pouring onto the streets of the city center to celebrate. Young men piled into cars and trucks to drive up and down the streets, Palestinian flags and Hamas banners, honking their horns and shouting victory slogans.”

They have a lot to celebrate. They won big.

InkyBinkyBarleyBoo on October 11, 2011 at 10:22 PM

So are we ready to empty out Gitmo for this guy?

BallisticBob on October 11, 2011 at 10:23 PM

But for Israelis, it isn’t about strategy. It’s about a countryman.

Jingoism. What is a “countryman” after all, if you have no country because a 1000 terrorists are now set free? If Israel negotiates a deal with terrorists, especially a deal like this, they then deserve the curse they live with. Their philosophy brings it upon themselves.

keep the change on October 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Maybe all the prisoners have been implanted with GPS transmitters which will be followed by JDAM’s shortly?

Zaggs on October 11, 2011 at 10:33 PM

Jingoism. What is a “countryman” after all, if you have no country because a 1000 terrorists are now set free? If Israel negotiates a deal with terrorists, especially a deal like this, they then deserve the curse they live with. Their philosophy brings it upon themselves.

keep the change on October 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Bull****. All of my Israeli soldier friends are ecstatic about this. Know why? Because another 1,000 doesn’t matter. They’ll never defeat us. Israel has always had the disadvantage in the numbers, but they still win.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Good Solid B-Plus on October 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM

What is bull is the philosophy that one soldier’s life is worth more than the number that will be killed by these 1000 released terrorists. What kind of thinking is that? Especially when one considers that this only encourages Hamas to take the next soldier hostage and then release him when the next 1000 terrorists are rounded up. All your “Israel soldier friends” think it’s great because when they get kidnapped, they can rest easy.

keep the change on October 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM

You do for your comrades-in-arms as you would have them do for you.

Knott Buyinit on October 11, 2011 at 10:44 PM

If Israel negotiates a deal with terrorists, especially a deal like this, they then deserve the curse they live with.

keep the change on October 11, 2011 at 10:29 PM

Yes, this will encourage more abductions. Unfortunate, but c’est la vie.

So are we ready to empty out Gitmo for this guy?

BallisticBob on October 11, 2011 at 10:23 PM

I bet almost no one in America even heard of this guy. If he became a national icon, and 8 out of 10 talking heads on TV all demanded a swap for 5.5 years, then maybe America would empty out Gitmo for him.

AlexB on October 11, 2011 at 10:44 PM

If history repeats, those 1000 will merely be operational practice for the mossad.

Lots of “accidents” on the horizon.

Jason Coleman on October 11, 2011 at 10:54 PM

Reason one: Morale and loyalty of the Israeli soldiers.
Reason two: The cross-section of Palestinian prisoners is not terribly removed from the cross-section of the Palestinian populace, so it’s viewed as an insignificant increase in overall risk [not sure I fully buy this, but just sayin'].
Reason three: Probably at least ten of the Thousand are turned. They have been given an income stream if they spy on Hamas, et al. and report back to Mossad. This is why they keep on doing these lopsided prisoner swaps–too many people for Hamas to monitor closely–it’s a gift that keeps on giving!

G. Charles on October 11, 2011 at 10:59 PM

They have implanted them all with GPS devices and told them that they better watch out, they better not pout.

Vince on October 11, 2011 at 11:00 PM

1000 thugs for one good man. I’m glad for him and family but the swap will encourage more hostage taking.

Schadenfreude on October 11, 2011 at 11:15 PM

Let them go with locator devices embedded into their testicles. Catch and release takes on a whole new meaning. ;)

Aardvark on October 11, 2011 at 11:29 PM

You have the percentages backwards one jew is worth one thousandth of a pfakistinian. This validates Hamass’ terror acts and gives them even greater popularity over the pfakistinian authority.

eaglewingz08 on October 11, 2011 at 11:50 PM

Netanyahu talks big but continues to follow the Leftists slavishly.
.
He is leading Israel down a dark path with this unconscionable deal that gives the terrorist loving Shalits a fearsome triumph but places the rest of Israel in danger.

FactsofLife on October 11, 2011 at 11:51 PM

To make sure there are no hard feelings, the Palestinian prisoners should be treated to a nice halal meal before they are released… and for a bit of extra long-lasting flavor, it should be laced with Polonium-210.

Sayan Neviot on October 11, 2011 at 11:55 PM

My biggest fear is that when they release him, it’s going to be in pieces.

Israel has a history of lopsided trades to get soldiers back, even if it’s the remains….

I don’t necessarily agree with this, but anything to get this man out of those animals’ clutches is probably a good thing.

mjk on October 11, 2011 at 11:58 PM

What is bull is the philosophy that one soldier’s life is worth more than the number that will be killed by these 1000 released terrorists. What kind of thinking is that? Especially when one considers that this only encourages Hamas to take the next soldier hostage and then release him when the next 1000 terrorists are rounded up. All your “Israel soldier friends” think it’s great because when they get kidnapped, they can rest easy.

keep the change on October 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Yeah, they work for an army that actually cares about them. Shocker!

These were 1,000 terrorists stupid/ineffective enough to get captured. We’ll get them again, maybe DOA this time. But hey, keep rooting against Israel, it’s what all the cool kids down at OWS are doing. You’d fit right in.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 12, 2011 at 12:25 AM

keep the change on October 11, 2011 at 10:43 PM

Glad you have all the answers. This is a difficult situation with no easy answers. Know that in the western world we place a high premium on life.
When I was in Vietnam the military would do all they could to retrieve shot down air crew. It helps morale and you know if you are in a pickle they would try to rescue you. Subsequently you fight harder.

arnold ziffel on October 12, 2011 at 12:36 AM

Bull****. All of my Israeli soldier friends are ecstatic about this. Know why? Because another 1,000 doesn’t matter. They’ll never defeat us. Israel has always had the disadvantage in the numbers, but they still win.

Good Solid B-Plus on October 11, 2011 at 10:35 PM

Neither our sons, who actively serve in the IDF, nor any of their friends doing likewise, approve of this criminal negligence.
Dozens of murdered Israelis in the past were killed by some of the very same terrorists released in the prior major ransom deals.

It will happen again. I can’t wait to see Shalit’s parents knock on the doors of the houses of the next victims during their week of mourning to offer their condolences.

Israel has become a country hijacked by idiocy.

Regards from Jerusalem.

Shy Guy on October 12, 2011 at 1:01 AM

Israel just wants their guy out of muslim hands. They’re going in, and the way they figure it, they can grab those 1,000 again easy.

ernesto on October 12, 2011 at 1:01 AM

marybel on October 11, 2011 at 10:00 PM

I’m praying he’s still alive.

The last time (that I can recall) that they did a prisoner swap, the Palestinians strung them along until the last second with hope that the 3 soldiers were still alive.

They were returned in coffins.

JadeNYU on October 12, 2011 at 1:07 AM

What you are missing is that adding a thousands more hornets to the nest makes it no less dangerous, and most of them won’t live to old age anyway, so why pay to cage them if it brings an Israeli boy home.

Raghead life is cheap, IMO all Iraq wasn’t worth an American fingernail.

Rea1ityCheck on October 12, 2011 at 1:09 AM

1 Jew is worth 1000 Palestinians.

aunursa on October 11, 2011 at 9:53 PM

My first thought, too.

RachDubya on October 12, 2011 at 1:09 AM

I’m glad the dude is home. However, when one of these savages come back to blow up a bus load of six year old girls, it won’t seen like such a good deal.

Alabama Infidel on October 12, 2011 at 1:41 AM

Idiots.

How many Jewish children will be killed to get back one 25 year old soldier?

TexasJew on October 12, 2011 at 2:37 AM

Drawing and quartering Panetta for this one would be utterly inadequate. He has finally set-up the conditions for World War III.

{O.O}

herself on October 12, 2011 at 3:49 AM

Yep. One Isreali is worth about 1000 Palestinians. Fair trade.

Scrappy on October 11, 2011 at 9:43 PM

My feelings exactly. Bring Gilad home.

MJBrutus on October 12, 2011 at 5:47 AM

What am I missing here?

The released criminals are just one Israeli strike away from joining Bin Laden……no matter where they go. Pity the Gaza decent citizens that live with this.

PappyD61 on October 12, 2011 at 7:06 AM

Im all for bringing this guy home, no doubt. Can they not turn up the heat on whomever is holding them until they relent and give him back though?

It’s a very difficult situation so I hate to second guess, but it does seem like this is just incentive to take the next guy.

Dash on October 12, 2011 at 7:30 AM

Has anyone on our side seen Gilad since his kidnapping? As late as this past June, even the International Red Cross was demanding to see him. Five years is a long time to be held in secret — who knows what may have been done to him?

Michael Medved said on his radio show yesterday that Jews have a religious obligation to ransom captives. If I heard him correctly, that is. And the Arabs apparently know that.

KyMouse on October 12, 2011 at 8:00 AM

I think this goes hand-in-hand with Netanyahu’s recent UN speech: Israel wants peace; Israel is willing to compromise and bargain; and, most importantly, Israel has demonstrated that willingness through actual compromises made over the years.

This is just another in those series of actions, and probably not at much greater risk than Israel already endures by existing (aren’t there thousands more in Gaza who are like the men being released by Israel today?).

novakyu on October 12, 2011 at 8:13 AM

Show me that he’s alive first, then smoke ‘em later.

ProudPalinFan on October 12, 2011 at 8:38 AM

It is counterproductive to give in to terrorist demands… at least that was what Netanyahu’s book was all about.

Terp Mole on October 12, 2011 at 8:52 AM

How much does it cost to house and feed 1000 prisoners? Israel is cutting expenses at the same time.

John Deaux on October 12, 2011 at 9:07 AM

What would be better?

A) If Israel had turned 1% of those 1,000, including some of the top operatives.

B) Or if Hamas no longer trusted any of those 1,000, especially the top operatives.

livefreerdie on October 12, 2011 at 9:11 AM

After the switch tell them they were all fed pork.

Coronagold on October 12, 2011 at 9:37 AM

How many dead Israelis will be the result of this exchange?

SC.Charlie on October 12, 2011 at 9:53 AM

Release them naked with only a buck skin hide to cover them, on the opening day of the deer hunt in Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia or any other state where deer hunting is a big deal.

Problem solved!

The Rock on October 12, 2011 at 2:43 PM

It just shows that the Israelis truly value human life.

CynicalOptimist on October 12, 2011 at 6:52 PM