Jun 29, 2008
buying MIAs in the Mahane Yehuda shuk
This whole thing of the possible exchange of prisoners for the MIAs held by Hezbollah is very disturbing to me.
I think the strategy employed by Hezbollah was brilliant, for their point of view. The negotiations were stuck. They wanted us to include freeing hundreds of Palestinian prisoners as part of the deal and we refused. Palestinian prisoners had nothing to do with it and we would not release so many, etc.
At some point, Hezbollah came along and said fine, we will make an almost even exchange, trading Samir Kuntar, plus a few others, for the two Israelis.
Israel got all excited that the price had dropped so drastically. Suddenly the deal had to be done right away as it was practically a bargain. You can't get those kind of prices in Mahane Yehuda Shuk for tomatoes, let alone for two Israeli captives.
Just as Israeli public opinion, and the opinion of the government, had been swayed to support the deal, suddenly Hezbollah backtracks. They throw back in the insistence on including Palestinian prisoners. And the public pressure on the government to approve the deal is tremendous, and might even be impossible to fend off, even if the government decides the price is now too high.
So Hezbollah has successfully created a feeling among Israelis of the deal being a fait accompli and something that has to be done. Then they even change the terms of the deal, but Israelis do not care, because we have to do it. Even though the terms are back to the original terms that Israelis were overwhelmingly rejecting.
Another aspect that is distrubing is the fact that they refuse to give us information if the MIAs are dead or alive. How can we make a deal without knowing what we are getting? How can we say that the price is the same no matter what the product is? If you called up an appliance store and asked how much a refridgerator costs and they said 8000NIS. You would consider it. Then the salesman would add that the catch is the fridge might not work, and you will have no way to know it until it arrives at your door. There is a no refund, no exchange policy. Would you still consider buying the fridge? No way! Maybe if the price was 100NIS, but not 8000NIS.
No way would you pay the same price for a fridge that might very well not work as you would for one that works. So why should we pay the same price for dead MIAs that we would pay for live MIAs?
And if Hezbollah insists on the formula that dead soldiers equals live soldiers and the price will not be different, than we should be able to work with the same formula. Dead prisoners equals live prisoners. As Lion of Zion suggests, the solution would be to execute Samir Kuntar and then make the deal. After all, Hezbollah believes dead people are worth just as much as live people...So let Samir Kuntar go home dead and the price tag remains the same.