Free Schalit, but change the Script

June 24th, 2011

Free Schalit, but change the Script

The fifth year of Gilad Schalit’s captivity has ended, yielding nothing except for periodic unfounded reports expressing optimism about supposed progress in the negotiations.


Negotiations remain where they ran aground in December 2009, with an unbridgeable gap between Israel’s maximum offer and Hamas’ minimal demand.


Earlier this week, the International Red Cross urged Hamas to provide proof that Schalit is still alive, a request which the Islamist group quickly dismissed.


umanitarian law to be in contact with their 24-year-old son, held incommunicado since his capture on June 25, 2006.


There is overwhelming public support in Israel for making painful concessions to Hamas in exchange for Schalit’s freedom.”Verdana”,”sans-serif”;color:#353434″”>

The circumstances are not dissimilar to that of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser in 2006 – a cross-border incursion and kidnapping, conducted by Hezbollah in the north.

In November 2008 Syrian President Bashar Assad awarded Samir Kuntar the country`s highest medal of honor.  He had just been released together with hundreds of terrorists, in exchange for the DNA of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

Why was Kuntar viewed by Hezbollah as such a trophy?

 In a 1979 attack on the Mediterranean village of Nahariya, Kuntar had forced four-year-old Einat Haran witness her father being shot and then drowned before he crushed her head with rocks.

Yet the terrorists were able to inflict enormous humiliation of the Jewish State by demonstrating that Israel would always be willing to release serial killers, irrespective of the heinous nature of the crime.

 In similar vein, one of the terrorists on the exchange list for Schalit drove his taxi into a bus-stop, killing seven and injuring twenty two Israelis.

The teenagers who recently slaughtered the Fogel family in Itamar will undoubtedly be placed on the next scheduled list of “prisoner exchanges”.

By 2004, 180 Israelis had already been killed by convicted murderers released in these “goodwill gestures”.

Such an “adverse outcome” can only occur when the victim feels so diminished and helpless that he is induced into a lose-lose negotiating template imposed by the adversary.

Israel has allowed itself to re-enact the classic repetition-compulsion characteristic of many abuse-victims – but at the national level, and at the jeopardy of the country`s national security.

Schalit has become the symbol of Israel`s self-image, where compromise projects weakness, invites future violence, and leads to further losses, diplomatic reversals, and then further concessions.

Changing this dynamic will require a dramatic reversal in policy – one in which Israel reclaims control over the security of her citizens under any conditions of threat and adversity.

In reality, Hamas, like Hezbollah, has demonstrated that unconditional moral support by European governments, combined with an anemic Israeli Persona, provide the perfect ingredients to violate all rules, without facing any consequence.

Any change of tactic by Israel to reverse its image of being totally “helpless”, remains impossible as long as Ehud Barak serves as Minister of Defense.

As long as he controls National Defense Policy,  the outcome of any future conflict will be the predictable re-enactment of  font-family:”Verdana”,”sans-serif”;color:#353434″”>Israel’s recent gaffs, such as Turkey`s  flotilla breach of 10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:”Verdana”,”sans-serif”;color:#353434″”> the Gaza 10.0pt;line-height:115%;font-family:”Verdana”,”sans-serif”;color:#353434″”>maritime blockade, and  Israel`s defeat  by Hezbollah in Lebanon.

Given the passion and determination of these terrorist entities, more is at stake than meets the eye.

Barak has proven time and time again that victory is never an option.

If Israel actually wants to survive, they need once again to think “out of the box”, even if it means showing a little chutzpah. 

Where are the days of bold and autonomous thinking?

Remember Entebbe?”

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