The ministerial committee took an important and dramatic decision Sunday. The prisoners are the Palestinians’ soft underbelly, and the prison conditions are the soft underbelly of the detainees.
The only way to prompt a fundamental change in the static situation of the Gilad Shalit affair is to press the prisoners so that they in turn press their leaders.
With the exception of very basic humanitarian rights, there is no reason why Hamas terrorists will be granted any extras during their detainment. They shouldn’t be getting televisions, newspapers, visits, conjugal visits, letters, phone calls, or academic studies.
The High Court of Justice must go as far as possible here. Israel must change its attitude and make the other side become the one wanting a deal; make them beg for a deal to be finalized.
We need to understand that there are two fundamental realities in respect to Gilad Shalit. First, it turned out that there is nobody we can talk to on the other side. The deal finalized by both sides via German mediation was not executed only because of internal disputes and ego battles on the other side. There was no other reason.
Secondly, it turned out that unlike similar cases in the past, there is no possibility of securing Shalit’s release via a successful military operation. The last attempt undertaken in this respect – the operation to rescue Nachshon Wachsman – proved that even perfect intelligence is not enough.
Think of damp, windowless roomTerror organizations also drew lessons from past operations and they know how to hide better. Mostly, in the case of any Israeli assault they are prepared to put into action the Samson principle and die along with their captives.
These two facts leave Israel with one possible option: Exerting pressure. The move we say Sunday is the first step. En route to implementing it we have all sorts of overly-righteous organizations that plan to appeal the decision to the High Court, loud Knesset committees, and whatnot.
We should be asking one thing only of all the people who intend to curb this necessary law: Think about the damp, windowless room, with the moldy mattress and dim lighting, where Gilad Shalit has spent more than a thousand days and nights.
Bureacratic moves are a legitimate thing, yet not when someone rots away while still alive in the heart of Gaza. Our sages already told us that those who show mercy to the cruel end up being cruel to the merciful.