Photo: Gil Yohanan
Israelis rally for Gilad Shalit's release. 'An entire country had a fit' (archives)
Photo: Gil Yohanan
Ben-Dror Yemini

Shalit campaign was a hysterical surrender to terror

Op-ed: Before Shalit deal, 123 Israelis had been murdered by released Palestinian prisoners. It was all known, but an entire country went mad.

It was one of the most successful campaigns waged in Israel. A mass recruitment for the release of one soldier sitting in Hamas captivity. Emotion overpowered logic.



We didn't need the murder of Baruch Mizrahi to know that it would end badly. A total of 123 Israelis were murdered, before the Shalit deal, by prisoners released in previous deals. It was all known. It was all expected. But an entire country had a fit.


Those years, I waged a campaign against the flow. I thought at the time that the supporters of peace and a compromise were precisely the ones who should have spoken against the surrender to Hamas and the slap in the face of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.


What if it were your son? They asked me, and others asked me, again and again. And what if your son would become the victim of one of the released prisoners? I responded at the time.


Despite all that, let's not blame Noam Shalit. Noam did what every other parent would do. We should salute him, but we should reflect on the countless celebrities, who had no idea what it was about but joined the campaign anyway, and about the loss of discretion, and about an entire country which went mad, encouraged by the media.


One of the characteristics of leadership, just one, is standing up to public hysteria. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu knew that it was a deal based entirely on surrender.


Why he is the person who wrote in his book, "A Place Among the Nations," that the release of terrorists is a mistake Israel's government has been repeating again and again.


"I saw the Jibril deal as a fatal blow to Israel’s efforts to form an international front against terrorism. How can Israel preach to the United States and the West they must adopt a policy of non-surrender to terror, when Israel surrendered herself so shamefully?" he said, he knew, and he surrendered.


Will Israel learn a lesson? The wind changes direction. The dust has settled. Now it is already perceived as a hysterical surrender campaign. The tragic prophecies have been fulfilled. Hamas has grown stronger. Khaled Mashaal is already congratulating the kidnappers. He is almost taking responsibility. It's definitely a provocation. Mashaal wants more. His appetite is increasing.


Terror has gained support. Released prisoners have already gone back to terrorism, and dozens of them have been arrested in recent years. Now it's Ziad Awad, a released prisoner who murdered Baruch Mizrahi.


Every person whose heart is not made of stone felt excited, maybe even shed some tears, while watching the live broadcasts on the week Shalit returned to his family. But that was surrender. Let's just hope that it was the last surrender.


פרסום ראשון: 06.24.14, 15:56
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