Sunday, November 29, 2009

998 For One: Sources Indicate Israel To Free 998 Palestinians For Shalit

If there was ever a lopsided deal, this is it. Once again, Israel is likely to release hundreds of Palestinian terrorists, including many who have Israeli blood on their hands to get a solitary Israeli released from terrorist custody. Sources indicate Israel is looking to trade 998 Palestinians for Gilad Shalit.

Expect Hamas to crow about their success. Expect Hamas to use this as a propaganda victory.

Note too that Palestinians are more than willing to value the lives of hundreds of their fellow Palestinians for the life of a single Israeli. They're also more than likely to carry out further attacks so that they could capture Israelis for yet another lopsided trade down the road.

From the Israeli government's perspective, they may carry out a trade akin to the one that secured the release of a video showing that Shalit was alive. They were willing to trade more than a hundred Palestinians, including those who carried out terror attacks against Israel, if they were nearing the end of their prison sentences. Israeli officials and the Netanyahu government may make a similar calculus that releasing those prisoners is not going to adversely affect Israel's long term deterrence factor, but as we've repeatedly seen from the Palestinians, any concession by Israel is taken as a Palestinian victory and further reinforces Palestinian visions of eliminating Israel once and for all.

Not only that, but Israel is looking to release the Palestinians in two phases, which doubles the amount of opportunities for Hamas to use this as a propaganda victory.

So, while securing Shalit's release is a paramount concern, it should not come at the expense of Israel's national security and ability to thwart Hamas.

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