Analysis Of The Shalit Deal: What Other Choice Do We Have?


gilad-shalitBy Chaim Misgav

Gilad Shalit is the child of us all. We encountered his young, handsome face at every turn. I don’t think there was even one person who remained indifferent; not even one person who did not wish to see this sweet child returning home. The debate was, and remains at this time, over the price.

It is indeed difficult to speak of price when talking about a soldier, yet nonetheless we did. Concerned parties spoke about growing terror upon the return of some of the murderers to our streets, while others endorsed a deal “at any price.”

Bibi Netanyahu decided, and I hope he decided well. I do not know how many murderers he is freeing from prison, yet at least now we shall see an end to the cynical use of Gilad’s photo and his family’s real distress by various leftist, arch-radical groups that sought to slam the government while carrying the name of security in vain.

I’m even certain that some of the protestors will be trying to attribute the government’s “capitulation” and Gilad Shalit’s release to their protest.

As a member of the camp of Eretz Yisroel lovers and as one who firmly objects to the diplomatic solution taking shape here, I say that we – the government and the people of Israel – had no choice. The mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim cannot be foregone. It is a mitzvah that must be undertaken even if the bloody price it shall exact is terrible – and I know this will be the case.

People will be murdered in terror attacks – but what other choice do we have? Allowing Gilad Shalit to die in prison?

Neither Marwan Barghouti nor all the other scumbags currently preparing to depart Israeli jails, the people who have the blood of innocents on their hands, are worth the terrible mourning that would have befallen us had Gilad Shalit not returned from captivity, heaven forbid. The Ron Arad trauma is still deeply etched in our flesh, just like the trauma of Eli Cohen, Hashem yinkom domov, who was hung in Damascus, possibly because of negligence or arrogance.

We all educate our children to love this country. This is the country which generations of Jews longed for. This is the land where had a state been established 10 years earlier, millions of Jews would have been spared the Nazi horror. We have no other country, and we therefore have the huge duty of safeguarding it in every way; also at the price of sacrificing our sons and daughters on the altar of defending it.

Yet we must be cautious on one front: We must not show the nations of the world that we are indifferent to the fate of even one Jewish boy. And even if the Arabs want 1,000 souls in exchange for him, this must not deter us. We shall settle the score with the murderers who will be released one way or another. We shall pursue them after they are freed. Every move they make shall be recorded, and I’m certain that at least some of them won’t depart this world in the usual way.

Dr. Chaim Misgav is a law lecturer at the Netanya Academic College.

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  1. It wasn’t a choice of either leaving him to the wolves or trading him for the wolves already in prison. Theses animals only understand one language, FORCE. That’s the only language that’s spoken on that side of the planet.

    If the army would have been resolute and taken out one of their leaders after another until we get him back, they would have understood that no games can be played with our boys. Keep in mind, this is not a government we’re dealing and negotiating with. They’re labeled terrorists even by our own Jew-loving State Department. The world has once again seen how weak-hearted the Israeli government is. It is a shameful day for the State of Israel.

    The only way I’d understand this deal is if they were injected with Smallpox and sent back to their holes to infect the rest of their rats.

  2. no one on this site could comment on the state of Israels decision since we aren’t in there position, who would have the guts to go to Mr.shalit and say sorry we cant save your son-who????? no one its a very big argument whether what they are doing is right but just imagine for a moment you were the kidnapped soldier, being hurt abused every day or you were his parent.just think about it, and as chazzal teach us if u save 1 person its like u saved the whole world.

  3. I wonder what daas Torah would say. Not that the Israeli gov’t asks gedolim these weighty questions.
    Is one Jew’s life worth more than several others if chas vsholom that is the price?
    I can’t answer it and neither could Dr Misgav, but it would be interesting to hear the view of Rav Shteinman on the matter.
    The Maharam MiRottenberg refused to allow people to redeem him from prison since he felt it would increase imprisoning people for the high price they were asking. And that seemed only to be monetary matters. How about deaths of several people chas v’sholom.
    The only thing we can say is that now that it’s being done, we have to daven hard that there be no repercussions.
    We also should know how precious we are, even in the eyes of the Arabs. We are worth 1,000 of them.

  4. Do you have any backing in Shulchan Aruch??? It seems you are ignoring it completely. why not say it by any captive?? Why is there a Halacha of NOT redeeming one if it will cause others to be kidnapped for ransom…. and that is just $$$$, not lives…….

  5. The writer says that the Mitzvah of Pidyon Shevuyim can not be forgone. But actually, the mitzva of pidyon shevuyim has a built in limitation. The halacha is ein podin es hashevuym yeser al kedai demeihen. We are not premitted to redeem them for more money than they are worth.

    Perhaps demeihen can be teitched as blood. Meaning we can’t risk more blood than the one shavui, by releasing a thousand of some of the most dangerous people in the world.

    Rav Ovadia is way bigger than I am, and he obviously holds that I am wrong. But I wonder if other gedolim disagere with him.

  6. “Bibi Netanyahu decided, and I hope he decided well. I do not know how many murderers he is freeing from prison, yet at least now we shall see an end to the cynical use of Gilad¬ís photo and his family¬ís real distress by various leftist, arch-radical groups that sought to slam the government while carrying the name of security in vain.”

    SURE BUT GET READY TO SEE many new soldiers & others kidnapped with pictures of them R”L all because Israel showed the palestanians with Shalits exchange THAT TERRORISM PAYS

  7. Remember how after Leiby was niftar, r”l, all we heard was, how beautiful achdus is, how sad it is that it takes a tragedy?

    Right now, after Y”K Hashem has done a tremendous chessed for us. This incredible news generates two visceral reactions: unbridled joy for the Shalits, or deep reservations, especially if one has experienced terror attacks or come close to it.
    And yet, anyone with a heart, or any seichel, will soon at least SEE the other side. If your first reaction was joy, your heart’s big enough to understand the deep pit in the stomach of many. And those who have reacted with reservations, horror, of course a special part of your heart is singing at the possibility. And most people with seichel understand that there are many nuances and angles, some which all the pundits so far haven’t even touched on.

    So let’s just go into yom tov with the great zechus of ahavas Yisroel and nosei b’ol, wherever your feelings lie. Love and respect the other (as Rabbi Frand said, we can disagree without being disagreeable) and rejoice at how united we are in caring for others.

    Gut yom tov and gut yohr and thanks for your time!

  8. Midwesterner,

    The simple understanding of kedai demeihen is their value as slave on the slave market.

    However, the obvious idea is to discourage the kidnappers from kidnapping if they know that it won’t be worth their while. If they can get multitudes of terrorists freed, it is definitely worth their while.

    Additionally, who says their is any heter if the pidyon greatly increased danger for the rest of Israel even if it is monetarily cheap?

  9. “People will be murdered in terror attacks – but what other choice do we have? Allowing Gilad Shalit to die in prison?” please let us not forget that it is hashem who runs the world. An attack chas vshalom a million times will happen no matter who is or out of jail