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Samir Kuntar, who intentionally murdered a 4 year old Israeli girl, is traded for two coffins and a “fraudulent” report on Ron Arad

Notch a victory for Nasrallah who masterfully negotiated two dead men for Israel’s best asset to get Ron Arad back. He’s also proven his abilities at psychological warfare once again.

Notch a severe loss and mishandling of the situation to the Olmert government and coalition who proceeded with the lousy deal even after all the Israeli intelligence services maintained the Hizbullah report on Arad was a sham.

And yet, there is something so patently obvious about the differences between the ethical values of the two sides on this trade, that at least Israel can walk away with a moral victory. It’s not much comfort, but it’s important. Israel can also tell its soldiers and their families that they will be cared for if they should fall prisoner in Arab hands.

By the way, Hamas’s price for the release of Gilad Shalit has just gone way up. After all, he’s alive. Israel’s government cannot, in good faith, tell his family or the Israeli public that a living soldier isn’t worth much more than two dead ones. They also will be hard-pressed to make the argument that they can’t release terrorists with “blood on their hands” in exchange for him when they’ve released Kuntar for the dead Goldwasser and Regev.

45 Comments

  1. Yoni C.

    7/16/2008 at 2:23 am

    This is utter bullshit, but we need to look past it. Israel needs to get Shalit back, by whatever means necessary. Olmert has already pledged to release soldiers as a good will gesture to the PA, why not release a few more and get Shalit.

    the talkbacks on Haaretz and JPost are quite horrendous, as they should be, but Israel is still the homeland to the Jewish people, and also our guarantee that Jews will never be put into camps or slaughtered like animals again.

    Israel will survive and continue to flourish, Long live Israel!

  2. Tom Morrissey

    7/16/2008 at 4:24 am

    Israel gains a “moral victory”? You’ve got to be kidding. It’s hard to say what’s worse about this, its sheer political folly or its moral squalor. How would you feel if you were a friend or family member of Shalit’s? Or a relative of the two innocents brutally murdered by this thug? Kill an Israeli child, survive your capture, and you, too, may eventually return to a here’s welcome.

    We can look forward to a robust market in hostage-taking and trading.

    Simply astonishing.

  3. Pingback: Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev (זיכרונו לברכה) « The New Centrist

  4. Ephraim

    7/16/2008 at 12:36 pm

    I am very much digging on your “Catholic Values” Tom. You guys can obviously teach us a thing or two.

    “Moral victory” my ass. This is like the moral victory of the coward against the bully in 1st grade. The coward gets a bloody nose and the reputation for being everybody’s bitch; the bully gets fear, respect, and the everybody’s lunch money.

    “Moral victories” like that only work when you have Mommy to pester the principal so much that he finally gets sick of it and expels the bully or sends him to Juvie. Who’s gonna be Israel’s Mommy here, Middle?

    Face it. Israel bent over, grabbed its ankles, and Nasrallah went in without the KY. There’s no other way to spin this.

  5. Tom Morrissey

    7/16/2008 at 12:40 pm

    I don’t know about Catholic values, Ephraim, but when it comes to springing hostages, I’ll take President Uribe’s approach over PM Olmert’s any time.

  6. Ephraim

    7/16/2008 at 12:44 pm

    Yeah.

    The thing is, Israel used to be famous for doing stuff like that.

    I wonder what happened.

    Oh, right.

    Olmert.

  7. Tom Morrissey

    7/16/2008 at 1:33 pm

    As quoted by Caroline Glick:

    “Exalting at her liberation by the Colombian military last week, former hostage Ingrid Betancourt exclaimed, ‘This is a miracle, a miracle! We have an amazing military. I think only the Israelis can possibly pull off something like this.'”

    That was then….

  8. Mariam

    7/16/2008 at 3:21 pm

    Shaloom all
    Ephraim u were wondering what happenned, dont blame Olmeret the poor man he has enough on his shoulders. I will tell you what is happening, and what will happen the story is there wasnt a country called Israel , this country built itself up according to religious reasons and emphasized on establishing a jew homeland so god knows who returns (u tell me) u people killed thousands deprived millions from homes, school ,education ,food and a happy childhood so you guys can live the high life and step all over everyone else and now ur asking wat happened to Israel ?What comes around goes around and as our honest leader (nassrallah), bow ur heads, affirmed that Israel has been around for 60 yrs but wont be around for another sixty years .Thats whats happening and the worst is on its way so hold on actually start stacking ur underground shelters with food and medicine and watever u guys need 4 a long powerful war because if u understand arabic understand this carefully WALLA ZAMAN EL HAZEEM.from now and on its fireworks on this side of the border and unhappiness on ur side and all my respects 2 the DEAD soliders parents how stupid of u thinking or hoping that they were still alive LOOL! and they say jews are smart ya allah.YA ALLAH YA ALLAH EHFATH LANA NASSRALLAH!!!!!
    And themiddle this is for you dont take it too hard atleast one of you jews is worth thousands of alive arabs there has to be an advantage somewher?! lol and from now and on you guys will learn alot of new morals
    take care, one of a million enemies that u guys have on the other side of the border till the next war………………………..

  9. Tom Morrissey

    7/16/2008 at 3:30 pm

    Well, Miriam, speaking as a Christian and an American, thanks for reminding me who the good guys are.

  10. Gabriel

    7/16/2008 at 3:33 pm

    Mariam, wonder wat u’ll be doing when Israel decides that all lines have been crossed and actually nukes ur sorry faced cedar tree country? …….. My guess u’ll be giving nasrallah a b*#*job …… Anyone know the arabic translation for that??????

  11. Gabriel

    7/16/2008 at 3:36 pm

    Blog viewers (all who are not publicly celebrating this unfortunate day) apologies for my language ………

  12. Ben-David

    7/16/2008 at 3:59 pm

    With all due respect, we Jews don’t need to learn from Christians about the moral – or expedient – conduct of such situations.

    Ransom of individuals or entire communities was a feature of almost every location in the diaspora.

    The Halacha is clear – there are limits to what must be done to save a hostage. Families and other involved parties cannot be allowed to pay any price, because it invites further kidnapping and extortion.

  13. Ephraim

    7/16/2008 at 4:07 pm

    Ransoming live people is one thing.

    Letting mad dog killers go free in exchange for corpses is another.

    Of course, the operative phrase here is Ransom of individuals or entire communities was a feature of almost every location in the diaspora.

    I thought the whole point was that Israel isn’t the galut.

  14. themiddle

    7/16/2008 at 4:23 pm

    Oh please, we can learn plenty from Christians, and Muslims, and Buddhists and even atheists.

    First of all, to Mariam, if you’re not a troll, you prove my point. And if you’re a fan of men who murder little girls by crushing their heads against a rock, then you have little to say about morals. You might want to start redeeming yourself by granting those Lebanese Palestinians, most of whom were born in your country, some basic civil rights.

    Second, Tom, stop pushing us to the extremes. The Middle is a good place to hang out, always. This deal failed because the two IDF soldiers are dead. However, if even one was alive, then the question of releasing him becomes much more complex. Israel is a conscription army with reserve duty provided by many who are post army. The soldiers are viewed as the children of the country and then as older reservists, they are in fact the fathers, husbands, workers and citizens of the country. They are providing their service to the state and to its ideals, but it is a personal sacrifice. As a result, when one is killed or kidnapped, the pain to the family and the community is felt quite deeply. Abandoning kidnapped soldiers or POWs is simply impossible from a moral standpoint, not to mention heavily disapproved of by rabbis.

    The mistake here was that Hizbullah refused to provide any info about the condition of Goldwasser and Regev, and it was incumbent upon Olmert and Co. to figure this out before making any deal. That they went ahead with a prisoner exchange without clearing this information first is their biggest mistake. The second is that even when they knew that the Arad report was faulty, probably intentionally, they still went ahead with the deal.

    Ephraim, if you kill their prisoners, they will kill their prisoners.

  15. Ephraim

    7/16/2008 at 4:46 pm

    You haven’t been listening, Middle. Don’t bother to capture them, kill them in battle.

    If Israel had the death penalty for terrorists, as it should, we wouldn’t have this problem.

  16. Tom Morrissey

    7/16/2008 at 6:16 pm

    Now, Middle. No one is proposing “abandoning” these poor soldiers. I’ll take your word for it that for reasons of demographics and moral conviction, the soldiers’ return was especially important. In fact, no one abandons their killed and captured soldiers. No one this side of Stalin, anyway. Certainly Hezbollah showed its own sensitivities today, recovering not two but scores of bodies.

    Do you want to frame the debate as, approving the deal versus “abandoning” the soldiers? Doesn’t sound very moderate to me.

    And what of Corporal Shalit? Or the very real prospect that more ‘hostage’-taking, not less, will flow from this deal?

    Here’s another question for you. You’ve voiced concern as Hamas and Hezbollah edge closer to “legitimacy” as full-fledged participants in peace talks. After today, how’s Israel to argue that Hamas should be ignored as a terrorist organization? How will it stand up to President Obama’s urgings that Hamas be given a place at the table?

  17. grandmuffti

    7/16/2008 at 6:29 pm

    Wait a minute, Muffti agrees that this trade was worse in a way because the dude had ‘blood on his hands’. But as he was trying to sa, in a different post, Israel has traded the living for the dead before. So while that may be a bad policy, it’s a continuing one and not a new one.

    As we agreed, the novel aspect was Kuntar’s being a tried and convicted murderer. so can we get straight on exactly what precedent is being set and what we expect from it and why olmert is doing someting different than his predecesors?

  18. Mariam

    7/17/2008 at 5:27 am

    to you all i aint christian i am a muslim shia lebanese girl my idol is sayed hassan nasserallah , my blood is hezbollah and if i have 2 i will even sacrifice myself and family and all i own for hezbollah, and to the person who asked wat i will be doing during the upcoming nuclear war i will tell u from now i will be laughing at the end cuz israel will be doomed and we will finally say farwell to it u guys dont know wat iran has and wat hezbollah owes other than god with them can someone tell me why in the last war your soliders who survived in the battlefield had to be taken to mental institutions they werent lying that trees were shooting at them and ghosts so til the next time my fellow enemies shaloom

  19. Mariam

    7/17/2008 at 7:15 am

    one more thing you all how could i forget. This morning i woke up on a call from ur stupid government listen wat those idiots came up with that if i support hezbollah israel condemns it how stupid i swear u guys wen u elect dont elect moroons wat a disgrace they could have spent that money on something else lool really olmeret is outta his mind

  20. Tom Morrissey

    7/17/2008 at 7:38 am

    Only Muffti can possibly have an answer for this. Muffti or an appropriate clinician.

  21. grandmuffti

    7/17/2008 at 11:06 am

    Muffti’s answer would be ‘Mariam, there’s a lot to talk about here. Why don’t we get in the hot tub and try to make another bodily exchange like our leaders did recently but with more equity?’

    However, in this case, he doesn’t think Mariam is of age. And so he’ll agree to disagree.

  22. Mariam

    7/17/2008 at 1:40 pm

    so in the end you guys came up im young oh comeon for god sake u can do better than that GRANDMA tom maybe if u came up with a possible answer you guys wouldnt have looked so bad anywayz ive got a party to attend to in the occassion of another of our victories bye bye

  23. Grand Muffti

    7/17/2008 at 2:13 pm

    Well, partly Mariam, is that you are epxressing a sentiment we all seem to feel: Olmert, Bad. The trade? Bad idea.

    See, we’re not that different after all!

  24. Tom Morrissey

    7/17/2008 at 2:22 pm

    Lemme google Arabic lyrics for Kumbaya…

  25. Ephraim

    7/17/2008 at 2:27 pm

    Don’t they have Ritalin in Lebanon?

  26. Tom Morrissey

    7/17/2008 at 2:58 pm

    And to think, it’s one of the more advanced among Arab countries.

  27. Mariam

    7/18/2008 at 5:30 am

    what the hell is ritalin let me know because if i dont have it here u can send me sum lol

  28. ck

    7/18/2008 at 6:28 am

    Oh Mariam… a few more “victories” like the last one and there won’t be much left of Lebanon to celebrate. I don’t know, if I were you I wouldn’t be so proud. Your brave freedom fighters aren’t really very good soldiers.

  29. Pingback: Principle vs. Love and Devotion in Israel’s Prisoner Exchange

  30. Mariam

    7/18/2008 at 1:14 pm

    Dear Mr Ck

    if our freedom fighters werent so good thats why we won the last war right even that fonograd report thing admitted it and keep in mind that we dont hve war planes thats why your soldiers lasted one day only in our south and escaped could take it any more you want proof go to bint_jbeil.org and c ur soldiers burnt faces torn bodies and the impact of the battle . I am a proud Lebanese Hezbollah supporter and even if i die i will die with dignity that no i didnt bow my head to you jews and gave up my land my rights just because Isreal owes some kinda power and ck tough luck u werent me in the end u have a government that lies to u a prime minister that is always in the middle of some kinda scam so I AM PROUD WILL STAY PROUD AND DIE PROUD LONG LIVE HEZBOLLAH AND LONG LIVE OUR HOLY SACRED LEADER SAYED HASSAN NASSERALLAH

  31. Ephraim

    7/18/2008 at 2:37 pm

    Well, Mariam, I hope that Israel will help you and your Fearless Leader achieve your dreams of martyrdom soon, and in our days, and let us say Amen.

    In the meantime, you might want to try decaf

    Oh, yeah: do chicks get the 72 virgins too?

    .

  32. froylein

    7/18/2008 at 2:41 pm

    Ephraim, I heard Nasrallah choked on a BLT. 🙂

  33. Ephraim

    7/18/2008 at 2:44 pm

    Oh, really?

    I heard he choked on a dog’s dick.

    Either way, it’s all good.

  34. froylein

    7/18/2008 at 2:49 pm

    Suppose that’s as good as it gets hot dog-wise in Lebanon.

  35. Ephraim

    7/18/2008 at 2:54 pm

    Well, actually, froylein, the dick was still attached to the dog at the time.

  36. froylein

    7/18/2008 at 2:57 pm

    Must have been Nasrallah’s birthday then as over here there’s a popular cake at children’s birthdays called “Kalter Hund” (= cold dog).

  37. themiddle

    7/18/2008 at 3:32 pm

    Remember Mariam, hubris goes before defeat.

    In the meantime, go suck a candy in honor of the murderer of a 4 year old girl whom you admire so much.

  38. Mariam

    7/21/2008 at 6:25 am

    you guys dont know what to say or actually have nothing good 2 say so keep ur stupid childish comments to urselves and wat the fuck is the story with the 72 virgins? go get ur info rechecked ephriam and if the cost to destroy Israel completely is our martyrdom let us all say amen !!! and themiddle i have a better way of celebtrating the freedom of our brave ex prisoners i dont need ur stupid advice loser

  39. froylein

    7/21/2008 at 7:36 am

    What a potty-mouthed individual…

    BTW, the Quran also says that “book religions” are full of integrity, which means that if you destroy Israel, you’ll go to hell. Now, you might want to start arguing with Mohammed’s reasoning behind that sentiment and how he later made the transition from someone who was thirsting for getting accepted by Jewish rabbis of his time to a Jew-hating individual, but if you wanted to do this, you’d have to accept that the Quran was man-written.

  40. Tom Morrissey

    7/21/2008 at 10:29 am

    Mariam’s certainly the expert on ‘having nothing good 2 say.’

  41. froylein

    7/21/2008 at 11:02 am

    Heh, well said, Tom; I’ll email ya later today..

  42. Ephraim

    7/21/2008 at 1:00 pm

    Mariam, my fellow agents in the Mossad told me that Nasrallah definitely did choke to death on a dog’s dick while giving the dog a blow job and that the man pretending to be Nasrallah now is a Zionist agent (his real name in Sheldon Cohen and he was originally an orthodontist from Long Island).

    You might want to tell your friends that they have been the victims of a sinister Zionazi plot and that if they are good jihadis they will kill the false Nasrallah at the first opportunity.

    I just thought I would let you know.

  43. Mariam

    7/21/2008 at 2:17 pm

    ha ha ha haaaa u guys are smart and funny i gotta give it 2 u jews im gonna b smarter and stop wasting my time on u idiots my points were made clear and rubbed in ur faces by the way did i mention i am 20 yrs old so ur all old bags full of garbage anywayz ephriam dear salute those brave mossad agents of yours really i admire their work no kidding i swear anywayz it was good gettin 2 know u guys no bad feelings none takjen trust me and i know u will miss me on this site bye bye how do u say that in hebrew?
    kosher lol!!

  44. PlanetaJob

    8/6/2008 at 10:05 am

    Da, mne nravitsa.

  45. PlanetaJob

    8/6/2008 at 10:05 am

    Полезно.

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