Thursday, October 01, 2009

The "Tape for Prisoners" Deal

The Israeli government has agreed to release twenty female Palestinian prisoners, aged 15 to 42, in exchange for a recent one-minute video recording of Sgt. Gilad Shalit, proving he's alive and showing what his physical and mental health status is, more or less. Hopefully, this is the first stage before a deal with Hamas where Shalit himself is exchanged for prisoners, and not just a recording of him.

I have mixed feelings about releasing prisoners for a tape. On the one hand, I believe Palestinian prisoners should be exchanged for live Israeli prisoners, and not just for a sign of life. If these 20 prisoners are counted as a down payment for the release of Shalit, then this will be less of a negative precedent.

There is also a question of how dangerous these prisoners are. Remember, women can be as dangerous as men. What they have done to land them in prison worries me less than what they might still do. In fact, some of those who have only attempted to murder Israelis may want to try again more than those who have already killed people. Unfortunately, I am unable to make such assessments on my own.

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