Kidnappings and self-respect
Kidnappings and self-respect
By Obadiah Shoher
The deterioration of Israel’s self-respect is disheartening. Soon after the state was formed, Israel was forced to deal with the first MIA situation. Sharon then kidnapped several Jordanian officers, and exchanged them for Israeli MIAs. The Shalit debacle goes on for years even though Dughmushes, Hamas ministers, and PIJ members are walking at large, waiting to be taken hostage for exchange with Shalit. Common Gazans laud Hamas instead of crying as Israel destroys a dozen of houses per hour to force his release.
When the terrorists hijacked an aircraft with Jewish passengers and landed it in Entebbe, they asked for a prisoner swap which seems laughable by the current standards, only for a few of their comrades. Israel chose to attack a sovereign state of Uganda, lose a number of hostages and a commando, but refused negotiating with kidnappers. Both Rabin and the opposition leader Menahem Begin agreed then: as long as even a slightest chance exists to release the hostages forcibly, they should not be exchanged.
Israel embarked on the course which lacks even a Kafka’s explanation, such as exchanging a thousand terrorists for a Jewish drug dealer or a top terrorist Kuntar for two decomposed corpses which used to be Jews. Now the government will trade the terrorists who did not pull the trigger regardless of their role as accomplices to mass murder of Jews. Israeli jails are full with 11,000 “terrorists” of the stone-throwers’ variety who should rather be flogged and dumped into Gaza.
Israel successfully hunted down the terrorists who killed Jewish athletes during the German Olympics. Since the 1980s, Israel only hunts down conservative Jews, murdering the people like Kahane and settler activists. Paying homage to the daring operations of the early state, Mossad and Shabak engage in targeted assassinations of terrorist leaders, but the effect is just the opposite. While the early assassinations of perpetrators made common terrorists nervous and pushed them to make errors and be caught, leaders’ assassinations do not concern the common members, and are avenged tremendously against soft Jewish targets abroad.
When PLFP-GC hijacked an El Al aircraft, the IDF blew up thirteen civilian airliners in Beirut airport. When the PLO very rarely shelled Israel North from Lebanon, Israel responded with massive retaliatory raids which drove masses of Shiites from South Lebanon, eventually leading to the civil war in Beirut. Who could think forty years ago that Israel would resort to theatrical raids on Gaza in retaliation to the shower of rockets on her towns?
The problem is the rulers of Israel believed their own rhetoric. Leftists such as Ben Gurion spoke about peace and tolerance but ruled the Arabs with iron fist. The next generation took their pronouncements to the heart. The generation of Israeli leaders who lack the firsthand experience of pre-state war of survival with Arabs, who expect the IDF to prevail and the US to intervene, who are concerned with foreign media more than with domestic opinion, lead the country to death. Unless, of course, we deal with them reciprocally.
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