Sunday, November 12, 2023

  • Sunday, November 12, 2023
  • Elder of Ziyon
In 2011, there was intense debate in Israel about the wisdom of a swap of roughly 1000 convicted Palestinian  prisoners for Gilad Shalit. 

There were two main lines of argument. One is that such a lopsided swap would result in more kidnap attempts. The other is that the released terrorists would be likely to kill more Israelis in the future.

I myself argued that the swap should happen, before we knew the identity of the released prisoners:
Yes, statistically there is a good chance that there will be future attacks involving some of the  terrorists in this swap. But chances are the attacks would occur anyway with different people. Brainless terror drones  are a dime a dozen in the territories.

The organizers who actually dream up new ways of killing should not be released. But most of the terrorists in the swap, from what I can tell, do not fit that description.
However, Israel didn't only trade low level terrorists as I had thought. 

The most senior terrorist released in the Shalit deal was none other that Yahya Sinwar, the top leader of Hamas in Gaza today. Deif, along with Al Qassam Brigades leader Mohammed Deif, was (according to reports)  the person most responsible for the October 7 massacre.

Sinwar was not the only major terrorist released in 2011. No fewer than 30 of those released had been sentence to at least one life term for murder. 

Sinwar gave an eerie promise that seemingly predicted the pogrom within a week of his release in 2011:
Yahya Sinwar pledged “to take serious action” to free all the prisoners, “whatever the cost” ( In a statement made at a welcoming reception in the Gaza Strip on October 18, Yahya Sinwar said he prefers to live as a fighter and die as a fighter. He stressed that the warning issued by the Israeli PM to the released prisoners not to return to the “resistance” will not make them stop operating.
Questions of "what if" cannot be answered definitively, but from what we know today, it sure looks like the October 7 Black Shabbat would not have been as deadly, and may not have happened altogether, without Yahya Sinwar as the leader of Hamas in Gaza.

Which means the deal to save Gilad Shalit very possibly led to the deaths of 1200 Israelis.

There is a large amount of rabbinic literature about what monetary price to pay to release Jewish captives. It is generally acknowledged that the community does not have to pay an exorbitant price because of fears that this will lead to more abductions. It seems that a price of potential future deaths would be considered all the more so important in making such a calculation.

In retrospect, the Shalit deal seems to have been a horrible miscalculation. Israel must never make that mistake again. 

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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