Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Israel's prisoner exchange with Hezbollah

Why is it that whenever these kinds of prisoner exchanges happen, it seems as though Israel ends up giving the enemy hundreds of prisoners and/or bodies in exchange for two or three of its own? In this case, Israel had to give up five live prisoners, including a convicted murderer, who will be given a hero's welcome in Lebanon, along with hundreds of bodies, in exchange for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers captured by Hezbollah in 2006. That doesn't sound like a fair trade to me. It sounds like something that Hezbollah will be able to use as anti-Israel propaganda for years to come, and that will weaken Israel's position and credibility in the broader Arab world.

Israel is also working on a prisoner exchange with Hamas in which Israel will give up "hundreds" of Hamas prisoners in return for one Israeli soldier. And while I'd love to see Gilad Shalit come home to his family, I don't think it's worth the price of releasing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners who will not have to pay for whatever crime they committed.

I just don't get it.