We could have played with the figures another year or two, but we would reach the exact same point. Those who try to hint that they would do it better are lying. Worst than that, they know they are lying.
The principle whereby “we do not trade live terrorists for dead soldiers” has been violated a long time ago, but it was never true anyway. We traded life for life; the life of Samir Kuntar for the lives of the Goldwasser and Regev families.
Is this a sign of weakness or strength? There is no clear answer to this, but this is the way we are. One culture sanctifies death, while the other sanctifies life.
If someone really wants to see bodies of terrorists, he is invited to look at the photos of the 700 Hizbullah men killed in the Second Lebanon War. This is the real price they paid for the prisoner swap approved by the Israeli government Sunday.
Everyone had something to say
There is not even one person in Lebanon, including Nasrallah, who today thinks that the abductions were a good idea. The party they will hold in Beirut following Kuntar’s release may bother us, but they will know, better then us, who won’t be able to make it to the party.
Does this deal say anything about the Shalit swap being formulated at this time? Apparently not. When it comes to negotiations, as opposed to court cases, there are no precedents. Every case is different. They gave too much for Elhanan Tannenbaum, and apparently offered too little for Ron Arad.
The current deal was formulated under impossible pressure; from the public, the families, and the media. Everyone had something to say, and it never sounded good. One of the main arguments was that we were deliberating. It’s good to deliberate. This was certainly something that required deliberation.
At the end of the day, the deal that should have been finalized was indeed finalized. The best evidence of this is that nobody is pleased.