Wednesday, October 12, 2011

The Shalit (Real) Deal

After more than five years in captivity in Gaza, an agreement has been finalized between Israel and Hamas to release abducted soldier Gilad Shalit in exchange for 1,000 Palestinian prisoners. I'm very glad the end of Shalit's captivity is about to come within a week. I can't say I'm excited about the price, though. One thousand Palestinians is astronomical. It isn't clear yet who exactly the prisoners are going to be, and which ones will be allowed to return to the West Bank. There was some good news about some of the people who won't be released, like terrorist masterminds Marwan Barghouti and Ahmed Sa'adat.

Another troubling aspect of this deal is the release of Palestinian citizens of Israel. If this is indeed part of the agreement, as the Israeli media has reported, then it is a very dangerous precedent. Not only should the Hamas not be able to be seen as the representative of Israeli citizens, no foreign organization or state should have such a role. Terrorists with Israeli citizenship should not be the subject of negotiations.

Having said all that, I can't help but have a stupid smirk when thinking about Gilat Shalit's imminent release and the big smiles on Noam and Aviva Shalit's faces yesterday.

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