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Will Mubarak’s Dealings Pay Off?

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Egyptian president, Hosni Mubarak, has been working diligently toward a resolution to Israel's current military incursion into Gaza. According to the Jerusalem Post, Mubarak's efforts may, in fact, bear fruit:

Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak said Friday that a compromise had been reached with several Hamas leaders for a conditional release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

The Israeli government, however, has made clear that Shalit's release was not a point for negotiation; in other words, a "conditional release" is unacceptable. According to a senior Israeli Foreign Ministry official, Gideon Meira:

"Israel's stance is . . . that the soldier will only be released unconditionally and there will be no negotiations with a gang of terrorists and criminals who abducted a soldier from Israeli territory."

While some may view Israel's stance as extreme, history indicates that it is entirely justified and indeed necessary.

Shalit was kidnapped in order to secure the release of Palestinian prisoners who are being held in Israeli prisons. A statement issued by the Palestinian Information Ministry (PIM) on Wednesday reveals the strategic logic behind Shalit's kidnapping:

"This (prisoner swap) has been exercised by previous Israeli governments with Hezbollah and the PLO, and this is what other countries do in conflict situations."

Basically, the PIM is acknowledging that kidnapping Israeli soldiers and civilians are profitable endeavors, which terrorists fully realize. The question then becomes: Does Israel want to reinforce these views?

The repercussions of negotiating with terrorists are fairly straightforward. Through such dealings, terrorist activity is justified by the rewards that it produces. Thus, additional terrorist activity is sure to follow.

Israel is, by far, the most experienced (Western) country at dealing with terrorists. Still, the exceptionally high value that the country places on human life has long been taken advantage of by terrorists, who realize that Israel would agree to most anything in order to preserve the life of even a single citizen.

However, the recent military incursion into Gaza indicates that the Israeli government has opted for an alternative strategy, making terrorist activity far more costly. More importantly, Israel's Gaza operation has surely convinced the terrorists that harming Shalit would spell disaster for the Palestinian people at large. Indeed, taking Shalit's life would inevitably lead the dismantling of the Palestinian Authority and quite possibly the re-occupation of Gaza.

Meanwhile, the deal reached by Mubarak, to which Hamas has apparently agreed, is nothing more than an attempt by the terrorists to save face:

The agreement that Mubarak claimed to have reached with the kidnappers involved an Israeli withdrawal from Gaza and the release of prisoners scheduled to be released anyway in the next year, in exchange for the release of Cpl. Gilad Shalit who was kidnapped on Sunday, Palestinian sources said.

Should Israel accept the terms of the agreement, it would be a hollow victory for the terrorists. One can hardly argue that the freeing of prisoners who are scheduled for release within a year justifies the damage that Gaza has experienced thus far. Still, propagandists in the Arab media would surely report it as a major victory for the "freedom fighters," which Israel must avoid. Indeed, even when they lose, they win.

Mubarak further demanded of Syrian president, Bashar Assad, to expel the Hamas leadership from Syria, unless Shalit is returned.

[Mubarak] warned Mashaal that by insisting that thousands of Palestinian detainees be released in exchange for Shalit, he was leading the Palestinians to disaster, Israel Radio reported.

Though I'm hopeful that Shalit will be released in the coming days in order to avoid the hell that his continued captivity promises for the Palestinians, Marshaal has ample reasons to stall Shalit's release. Indeed, Marshaal surely realizes by now that his own life is directly tied to that of Shalit. Israel will not attempt to assassinate Marshaal until Shalit's fate is known. An early attempt by Israel would likely lead to the retaliatory killing of Shalit by his captors. Once the situation is resolved, however, Marshaal's remaining days on planet Earth will be numbered — and likely in single digits.

Related Articles: "Hamas Bears Responsibility For Military Incursion " and "Gaza Strike Continues"

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About Dr Politico

  • Dean

    “Dr Politico is a student of US foreign policy and international relations at the University of California…”

    The student has much to learn.

    “While some may view Israel’s stance as extreme, history indicates that it is entirely justified and indeed necessary.”

    What history?

    “Israel is, by far, the most experienced (Western) country at dealing with terrorists.”

    And by far, the one with the least amount of success.

  • http://www.partisantimes.com Dr Politico

    Dean,

    You make some impressive points. Next time you post, try writing something of substance.

  • Dean

    This response is an oxymoron.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dean,

    American cops come here, to the Kishler police station in the Old City, to learn the latest techniques in dealing with terrorists. Does that tell you nothing?

    The Israeli government hasn’t displayed to will to deal with Arab terror, but we know better than anyone (except maybe for the Russians) how to deal with terror. What is lacking is the will to win in spite of what the idiots around the world (well represented at Blog Critics) say, not the ability.

    Golda Meir used to say “better to get bad press than a glittering obituary,” something the present regime has entirely forgotten.

    Mubgarak’s dealings may pay off in terms of keeping this one soldier alive, but I suspect the fact that a bunch of Hamas officials are in jail is a far more decisive factor.

    It is not in America’s interest to have a Hamas regime in the Arab controlled territory here, so if these officials died for some reason, Olmert, can expect a little slap on the wrist.

  • Dean

    Ruvy,

    “American cops come here, to the Kishler police station in the Old City, to learn the latest techniques in dealing with terrorists.”

    That is why places like Abu Ghraib and Gitmo torture their prisoners. The net effect doesn’t help the U.S. one bit.

    “The Israeli government hasn’t displayed the will to deal with Arab terror..”

    What else would you have them do?

    “It is not in America’s interest to have a Hamas regime in the Arab controlled territory here…”

    It is certainly not in America’s interest to have a bloodbath in the Arab controlled territory either.

    “So if these officials died for some reason, Olmert can expect a little slap on the wrist.”

    You should know from experience that you kill one and ten more spring up.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dean,

    What you don’t know about his part of the world is astounding.

    “It is not in America’s interest to have a Hamas regime in the Arab controlled territory here…”

    It is certainly not in America’s interest to have a bloodbath in the Arab controlled territory either.

    There has been one Arab casualty from all of the Israeli military activity in Gaza so far. That is not a blood bath by any stretch of the imagination.

    “American cops come here, to the Kishler police station in the Old City, to learn the latest techniques in dealing with terrorists.”

    That is why places like Abu Ghraib and Gitmo torture their prisoners. The net effect doesn’t help the U.S. one bit.

    I said cops, not soldiers or CIA agents. What your country does in Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo is your business, and frankly I think you all whine too much about it. But, as I said, it is your business. Whine away, if you choose, but don’t lay that at our door. The cops in your country need to know how to handle terror, and the Israel Police is happy to teach them. If you would prefer them to be ignorant, of course, the deaths resulting from your police forces’ lack of knowledge would be laid at your door.

    “The Israeli government hasn’t displayed the will to deal with Arab terror..”

    What else would you have them do?

    Well, let’s see…

    Executing the terorist murderers in our jails would be a nice start and make as lot of Israelis feel that justice hass been served, but castrating them and releasing them to Arab society would far be more effective as a deterrent to terror. Of course that would not work too well with women terrorists…

    The other thing to do would be to remove the family of a terrorist from the clan they live in to a different clan. This would stop terrorism cold because the the family would fear removal from their native village. All of their protections would be gone.

    Finally, executing the leaders of any terror group would help, and bringing an end to the PA would work wonders.

  • Dean

    Ruvy,

    It is within the lifetimes of many now living who can recall that current descriptions of Palestinians were attributed to Jews.

    And there is little difference between current conditions in Gaza and those of the Warsaw Ghetto in 1942.

    How soon we forget!

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Dean,

    I’m not privileged to know survivors of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt, that I can tell of the conditions in the Warsaw Ghetto, but I have been privileged to know survivors of other ghetto revolts.

    There is an essential difference between the various ghettos in Poland under the heel of the Nazis and the Gaza Strip; it is this. Arabs are not rounded up in their thousands daily or weekly to be shipped off to be gassed. That was the cause of the Warsaw Ghetto Revolt, by the way.

    You would paint the terrorists who kidnap and kill innocent men, women and children with bombs as though they were brave resistance fighters against the Nazis. How pathetic you are to buy such a line of shit. How pathetic any American or European is who buys this line of shit. The UN you admire so is filled with such scum – as it the American state department and most of the foreign ministries of Europe.

  • Dean

    Ruvy,

    Up to 30,000 Jews escaped the ghettoes and work camps of Nazi-occupied Europe, and formed groups to fight against the Nazis and their collaborators.

    The Nazis and their collaborators used a method called collective punishment to deter Jews from escaping the ghettos and camps. Collective punishment meant that for each person who escaped, 10 to 25 remaining people would be executed, beginning with the escapee’s family.

    When the Nazis came in to clean out the Warsaw Ghetto, they were met with resistance. There were over a thousand fighters, including children. They used pistols and Molotov cocktails against the Nazi weaponry, and they successfully repulsed the Germans.

    It was a short-lived victory. The Germans returned a short while later. This time they brought major fire power. They started to destroy buildings, bit by bit by bit, knocking everything down. After about a day, they broke into the hospital, shot everyone in their beds, and torched the place. Gradually, they destroyed the entire ghetto.

    Do you see any similarities in Gaza?

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    After accurately descibing the brutalities of the Nazis in WWII, Dean asks,

    Do you see any similarities in Gaza?

    Actually, no. Israelis have not used this method of collective punishment on the Arabs in this country. The vast majority of executions of Arabs have taken place here at the hands of other Arabs, for collaborating with us, occasionally for selling land to us. The vast majority of Arabs who have died at the hands of Israelis have been terrorists.

    I do not thnk the vast majority of Israelis could look themselves in the face if they perpetrated what the Nazis did. Some of the criminals in office could, perhaps, like Peres, or Sharon or Rabin, but the average Jew – no.

    As bad as some of us have been, the vast majority of us are nothing like the monsters you so accurately portray. And you again miss the point. There is and never has been a program of progressively executing Arabs in this country. Perhaps if the Arabs got control here, they might pursue such a program. I would not be surprised. But genocide is not our game.

    Sorry, Dean. Try our next door neighbors. The description might fit better. Check out the glittering accomplishments of Zia el Haq of Jordan, or Saddam Hussein, or old man Assad in Syria.

    The Arab bullshit you buy is beginning to smell all the way here in Jerusalem. Feh!

  • Dean

    Ruvy,

    According to the August 1949 Geneva Convention, “No general penalty shall be inflicted upon the population on account of the acts of individuals for which they cannot be regarded as jointly and severally responsible.”

    Although not in the same category as WWII atrocities, an example of collective punishment is the policy of Israel to destroy homes as a means of deterrence, as family members are the ones affected by such actions. And there has been economic collective punishment of all Palestinians who depend on the flow of labor and capital to exist under occupation. If this collective punishment does anything, it makes matters worse. Today Israel opened the border to Gaza today to allow a limited supply of fuel and food. Why? Because collective punishment doesn’t work.

    No one can excuse the barbarity of a perpetrator who takes the life of innocent people. That is a crime which must be punished, but minor infractions have been used as excuses by Israel for collective punishment.

    For fourteen years, George Qumsieh, a stonecutter, worked to build a three-story stone home in the West Bank town of Beit Sahour. In February 1981, he and his family—his wife, four daughters, and three sons—moved into their new home. Nine months later, Israeli soldiers arrived at the home to arrest their youngest son, Walid, age fifteen. The army accused Walid of having thrown stones at an Israeli military vehicle four days earlier, in which a side window was broken. No soldiers were reported to have been injured in the incident.

    The following day, and before the Shin Bet had completed interrogating Walid, more troops arrived at the Qumsieh home. Ariel Sharon, the newly appointed Likud defense minister had promised an “iron fist” policy against Palestinians. Members of an Israeli engineering brigade placed the explosives and blew up the Qumsieh stone house. Months later, Walid was sentenced to seven years in jail based on the confession of his friends.

    This was not an isolated event.

    Under the 1949 Geneva Conventions, collective punishments are a war crime. Article 33 of the Fourth Convention states: “No protected person may be punished for an offense he or she has not personally committed,” and “collective penalties and likewise all measures of intimidation or of terrorism are prohibited.” Israel, however, does not accept that the Fourth Geneva Convention or the Additional Protocols apply to the West Bank de jure, but says it abides by the humanitarian provisions without specifying what the humanitarian provisions are.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    In what concentration camp did this George die in? And in what death camp did Walid starve and die? Genocide and collective punishment as you defined the Nazis doing it, is not what you’ve described here at all, is it?. You slipped neatly from the genocide of the Nazis to the “Fourth Geneva Convention and its additional Protocols of 1949″ – a very differnt kettle of fish from death camps and killing 25 people for the crime of one.

    A good lawyerly job of lying and deception to convince people who do not look beyond the self-righteous waving of documnents in the air.

    Now let’s add a point or two for those who don’t live around here. What the anti-Israel western media describes as “throwing stones” (which is then downgraded to “a mere thowing of pebbles” by the chattering classes in the media) is slinging rocks weighing between 2 and 2½ kilos in a sling shot. Such a rock breaks a window shield and can crack skulls. It is for potentially endangering the life of a soldier – assault with intent to kill – that Walid and others like him was sent to jail, and his house was destroyed so his brothers and sisters would get the general idea – don’t try to kill Israelis. Seven years is a light sentence for attenpted murder.

    Sorry if you don’t like the truth, as opposed to the lies you brute about. You still have not demonstrated any way that Israelis resemble Nazis in their behavior – just your ability to sling bullshit pretending it is gold.

    When an Israeli raid destroys the Aswan High Dam – and millions of Egyptians die as a result – THEN you can cry genocide.

  • Dean

    Why did you change the subject to genocide in response to the issue of collective punishment? Genocide is an entirely different subject.

    The following is another WWII example of collective punishment.

    As a reprisal for the killing of SS leader Reinhard Heydrich, Hitler ordered the small Czech mining village of Lidice to be liquidated on the fake charge that it had aided the assassins. The village of Lidice was destroyed building by building with explosives, then completely leveled until not a trace remained, with grain being planted over the flattened soil. The name was then removed from all German maps.

    Is Lidice the future of Gaza?

  • http://www.elitistpig.com Dave Nalle

    Dean, horrendous though your Walid example is, it’s not an example of collective punishment. It’s an example of family being held responsible for the crimes of a minor child, something which happens from time to time under US law and is not a violation of the Geneva Convention.

    Dave

  • Dean

    You must be kidding.

  • Ruvy in Jerusalem

    Oops! sorry, Dean,

    I was in a hurry to get to a meeting down-town.

    When an Israeli raid destroys the Aswan High Dam – and millions of Egyptians die as a result – THEN you can cry collective punishment – and genocide.

    And don’t forget that rock throwing, kid. We’re not talking about litte sweeties throwing pebbles here.

    As for Lidice. Finally, you are getting to something that is more relevant to events here.

    During the War of Independence there was a massacre of an Arab village – Deir Yassin. Bear in mind, the Arabs had also massacred people in Gush Etzion and elsewhere. But the Arabs make their stink about Deir Yassin. You would think, from some of their propaganda that Deir Yassin was a metropolis of several millions.

    It, like the massacre of the residents of Gush Etzion, ought not have occurred. But it did. That is war, and part of why it is hell. One other massacre occurred at the hands of the Israeli army – particularly, squad 101, under the command of a young officer named Ariel Sharon (funny how his name and brutality keep popping up together!). It was done in an attempt to squelch terror from what was then Jordan. In the short term, it was very effective. As a method of squelching terror, it probably was not effective in the long run. But it did even the score from the terror murders committed by gangs of fidayun in the early 1950’s.

    I notice that all of your condemnations do not mention the fidayun, and other terror operations of the Arabs which have killed thousands of Jews over the years. Only we Jews, for daring to want to live in peace, without constant terror attacks and threats of annihilation, are held at fault. So, if that is how the international standard works, it is no better than the Jew hatred that dominated Christendom in the last millennium.

    So, the hell with the Geneva Convention, the hell with the Red Cross, the hell with the UN and the hell with your double standard “international law”. Shove it all in the shit-hole where it belongs. Don’t believe me. Ask the young girls raped at Darfur, the young Christian girls raped in Bethlehem, the Assyrian girls raped in Iraq. So much for the effectiveness of your shitty double stand international law.

    We have our nukes, and may G-d speed the day when we will have patriots in command here instead of traitors. Then idiots across the globe will learn to respect us and to fear us. The law will come forth from Jerusalem. Justice will be served.

  • Dean

    Ruvy, you say,

    “So, the hell with the Geneva Convention, the hell with the Red Cross, the hell with the UN and the hell with your double standard “international law”.

    The problem is we have a lack of leadership. As long as we have “leaders” who don’t enforce international law, the Middle East will stay in your “shit-hole”.

    There will continue to be atrocities, until the only superpower stops playing its stupid game of politics and double-standard international law.

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