Apr 28, 2019

Israel releasing two Syrian captives in exchange for Baumel's remains

Israeli news is reporting that the government has decided to release 2 Syrian captives held in Israel as a goodwill gesture in light of the recent return of the remains of Zachary Baumel. One is the Syrians is in jail for drug smuggling and the other for an attempted attack on an IDF base. The anonymous government source speaking says this was not part of any deal but is a recent decision as a goodwill gesture.

Personally I think this is a reasonable price to have paid, deal or not, however the process is flawed. There is no report of the security cabinet meeting to debate and come to a decision about this. There were no reports of an official discussion to release the captives in exchange for the remains. The issue of exchanging prisoners for dead bodies has always been a highly charged issue and one that was always debated fiercely in the public realm, and not least in the government.

This decision was taken by PM Benjamin Netanyahu alone, and that is a problem. There is a process for releasing captives in place, yet Netanyahu just circumvents it when he wants to. Another example of why term limits are needed. Not because this is not a price that Israel is willing to pay but because Netanyahu think she is the only person running the country and can do whatever he wants and to hell with everyone else.

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