There are elements in Hamas which will never accept the State of Israel de facto, much less de jure. I suspect that if allowed, they happily would spill Israeli blood. Shmuel, #7, notes that in the past, twenty Israelis were killed by released prisoners. Of course that is twenty too many. But to put things into some kind of perspective, how many Palestinian prisoners have been released to date, and how many terrorist actions did they perform? Will adding another thousand prisoners substantially change the current situation? It seems to me that the longer they remain in jail, a desire for revenge will embed itself more and more solidly into their ideology, minds, and hearts. An important question is whether the potential good will by the release of prisoners will be wasted by seeming to do it only under pressure. Certainly some of the men imprisoned will have discovered that there are better, more effective ways of forcing Israel to consider Palestinian needs. Any literate person will know that the Palestinian cause has attracted international support, and will attract more in the future, by becoming “the Jews” of the Middle-East. All nations, if they are not effectively involved, will root for the weaker side in such an unbalanced conflict as that between Israel and Palestine. We, the victors in battle since 1948, have slowly but steadily become the conquerors. The most moral army in the world may be ours, but the world is not convinced that we are the most ethical of imperialists. As far as I can judge, successive Israeli governments have never considered that acts of perceived good will might be answered in kind by the other side. Nations act out of self interest, that is understood, but the mere perception of good will on the part of our politicians would have greatly increased the chances that the world would look more kindly on our policies. We always seem surly when we compromise, as though the pain caused by our actions to Palestinians was irrelevant and not worth consideration. Perhaps we should release a certain of number of prisoners without regard to Gilad Shalit. Would that not move the heavy pressure of world opinion from our shoulders onto those of his captors? Can we, for once, predicate our actions on thoughtful policies, and not only in reaction to whatever new tactic our enemies conceive in order to confound us?
UN Security Council urges Greek and Turkish Cypriots to reach peace agreement (AP)
from the article: And if thousands of prisoners go free?