Barak Tells Israeli Teens: Israel Can’t Save Every Soldier


barakDefense Minister Ehud Barak today said that Israel would do its utmost to ensure the return of abducted Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, “not at any price, but in every way.”

“It’s not a race to see who wants Shalit home most,” Barak said during a visit to schools in the Negev today. “The negotiations are harsh and sometimes cruel. We must also take into account future instances and opportunities.”

When asked by students whether they could be sure the state would protect them once they begin their compulsory IDF service, the defense minister said:

“The state can’t promise to protect your lives; we must protect ourselves with that regard. This is not western Europe,” he said. “Whoever blinks and fails to protect themselves won’t succeed.”

“I will reiterate – we are doing everything possible to bring Shalit home, but not at every price. I urge everyone who wants ‘any price’ to consider that option through.”

“I urge us all to continue to stick to the target and avoid letting ourselves fall into doubt and sorrow along the way,” he added. “We have faced more difficult challenges.”

Negotiations have yielded little result so far for the release of Shalit, who has been in Palestinian captivity since abducted by militants from the Gaza Strip in a 2006 cross-border raid.

The German mediator in the talks for Shalit’s release has presented Hamas with a new proposal to which Hamas would have three days to respond, according to German weekly Der Spiegel.

Meanwhile, the London-based daily Al-Hayat reported over the weekend that Hamas politburo chief Khaled Meshal is due to arrive in Cairo today to approve a deal for Shalit’s release.

Palestinian news agency Ma’an, however, says there has been limited progress in finalizing a prisoner-exchange deal. Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has also refuted reports that a deal is just days away.

Der Spiegel reported that a new comprehensive proposal has been put forth for a deal between Israel and Hamas involving 450 prisoners in exchange for Shalit. This is identical to what was negotiated during the government of the previous prime minister, Ehud Olmert.

The German mediator, however, included a new element in the deal that is similar to the model used in the exchange with Hezbollah for two Israeli reservists, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. Accordingly, Israel would release several hundred Palestinian prisoners at a later stage, with no direct connection to the deal with Hamas. Israel would be committed to release more prisoners as a humanitarian gesture, but again this would not be part of the deal.

The gesture by Israel would not be linked to any timetable, and the release would be carried out at a time of Israel’s choosing.

According to Der Spiegel, Netanyahu’s government is the side that requested the involvement of the German mediator, several months ago. The magazine also said the mediator is from the ranks of Germany’s federal intelligence agency and had begun talks with the various sides in mid-July.

{Haaretz/Yair Israel}


  1. In every country where the death penalty has been banned -the argument is made that Life without the possibility of parole results in the same level of protection for society. If Palestenians with blood on their hands are freed will the government/army take less prisoners in the future? Will the government change the law to allow for execution of terrorists?
    Can anyone believe that freed terrorists even if “exiled” for the moment, will not endanger Israeli citizens?

  2. Barak: “I will reiterate – we are doing everything possible to bring Shalit home, but not at every price. I urge everyone who wants ‘any price’ to consider that option through.”

    – Not at every price.. Its been 4 years since Shalit has been held captive. If he, Israelis, their government and world Jewry would value life to the upmost – of infinite value bestowed by HaKodosh Baruch Hu, then things would change; Shalit would be brought back, terror would cease and peace would reign through out Israel and the World (because the world depends on Israel, unity and the emunah of Jews). In short, Barak and Israel are doing absolutely nothing and the world is too anti-Semetic and filled with hate and bias that they too won’t do anything. Its up to our faith in Hashem, our Rock.