Thursday, July 06, 2006

Paying for Gilad's Release?

"I know that releasing prisoners was up for discussion as a gesture before the incident, so there's no reason it shouldn't be up for discussion after the incident, as well, for the sake of releasing a soldier who was sent to the battlefront by the state."
"At the end of the day, it will be necessary to pay a price for Gilad's release. I don't understand why the government is delaying negotiating for him"

The above quotes (via JPost) are from Noam Shalit, father of Gilad, who is still being held captive by terrorists.

The above quotes also show why parents and family, often the most emotionally involved, should not be making these decisions. And luckily, in this case, are not. Who is Noam Shalit to decide how many prisoners his son is worth?

Prior prisoner releases may have resulted in Gilad's capture. Hamas knew that Israel would negotiate, or at least thought they did. Who is Noam Shalit to decide that those injured and killed by the released terrorists are worth Gilad's life? Will Noam Shalit show up at the hospital or at a funeral, telling a mother that it was worth her daughter being killed by a released terrorist so that his son will live?

Additionally, Shalit doesn't seem to understand that not negotiating is a negotiating tactic. Hamas wanted 1,000 prisoners for information on Gilad. No one has been released, yet we've heard that Gilad was treated by a doctor. The Jerusalem Post is reporting that Hamas now demands the release of 130 terrorists. That's a large step down from 1,000. They might even release him if Israel agrees to a gradual *plan* for prisoner releases.

I know the Shalit family is under a lot of pressure, and my prayers are with them and Gilad. Noam obviously wants his son released, and anyone should be able to understand the great strides he'll take to secure that outcome. We all want Gilad released and returned. But at the end of the day, it may be necessary *not* to pay a price for Gilad's release.