The Spectacle Blog

Israel’s Bad Deal

By on 6.30.08 | 10:43AM

The Israeli government has agreed to release a brutal Hezbollah killer for the dead bodies of the two IDF soldiers that were kidnapped in 2006, providing the inciting incident for the Lebanon War. In one sense, this demonstrates the emphasis the Israelis place on the sanctity of human life, or in this case, the honor of the dead. But whatever the emotional reasons are for negotiating the swap, it's a deal that puts more Israeli lives at risk. Already, Hamas leader Mahmoud Zahar has declared that the deal with Hezbollah will raise the price (in terms of Hamas terrorist prisoners) it will demand from Israel for the evidently living Gilad Schalit. In the future, this will encourage terrorist groups from kidnapping Israeli soldiers, and give them less reason to keep them alive. It's another example of the incompetence of the Olmert government.

Over at Contentions, Eric Trager wonders whether Olmert is the worst politician ever, and Emanuele Ottolenghi notes that if the captured Israeli soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are in fact dead, it raises a number of "troublesome questions," including:

When did the government know that the two soldiers were in all likelihood dead? Was it immediately after Hezbollah's incursion into Israeli territory, on July 12, 2006? If so, the government launched a military campaign of 33 days, that cost the lives of over 130 Israelis, in order to rescue the dead bodies of two. Some explaining is in order, if that is the case.
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