Negotiating Balance in the Middle East

With such results as this, can there be any question about why Palestinian leaders take the strategy that they do?

In the first video images since he was captured by Palestinian militants in 2006, Israeli Sgt. Gilad Schalit — looking thin but healthy, his hair freshly trimmed — sent love to his family, appealed for his freedom and held up a newspaper to prove the footage was recent.
Israel freed 19 Palestinian women from prison on Friday in exchange for the video, raising hopes for the young soldier’s release and taking a step toward defusing a key flashpoint in Israeli-Palestinian hostilities.
In the West Bank, jubilant Palestinians cheered and waved flags as the freed women returned home, some with prison-born babies in tow. And in Gaza, ruled by the Hamas militants holding Schalit, the prime minister called the swap a victory for Palestinians.

Nineteen women for a video. And there’s an air of congratulations to the fact that Hamas has kept its prison “healthy” (if thin) and presented him with a haircut, while it’s quickly passed by that the women have clearly been receiving thorough medical care.
Hamas’s next step in “negotiations” is to request the release of 1,000 prisoners, some of them terrorist murderers, for Schalit. And so it goes.

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14 years ago

Big deal… war crimes beget more war crimes. And so it goes.
Here’s what the UN has to say about Israel’s recent history of war crimes, including “arbitrary detentions” (granted you propaganda guys only listen to the UN when it’s convenient for justifying an invasion):

It is estimated that, since the beginning of the occupation, approximately 700,000 Palestinian men, women and children have been detained by Israel. According to estimates, as at 1 June 2009, there were approximately 8,100 Palestinian “political prisoners” in detention in Israel, including 60 women and 390 children. Most of these detainees are charged or convicted by the Israeli military court system that operates for Palestinians in the West Bank and under which due process rights for Palestinians are severely limited. Many are held in administrative detention and some under the Israeli “Unlawful Combatants Law”.
The Mission finds that these practices have resulted in violations of international human rights and humanitarian law, including the prohibition of arbitrary detention, the right to equal protection under the law and not to be discriminated based on political beliefs and the special protections to which children are entitled. The Mission also finds that the detention of members of the Legislative Council may amount to collective punishment contrary to international humanitarian law. [my emphasis]

14 years ago

More good reasons not to get involved in this expensive and deadly mess called the Middle East.
Sell food, computers, guns and ammunition to both sides. What they do with it will be on their own hands. Nobody wants to blow up their general store.

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