A few facts about previous trades (from the Associated Press via Yahoo:

• 2004: Israel and Hezbollah exchange an Israeli civilian and the bodies of three Israeli soldiers for 436 Arab prisoners and the bodies of 59 Lebanese fighters.

• 1996: Israel frees 65 Lebanese prisoners for the bodies of two soldiers captured in fighting in Lebanon.

• 1991: Israel trades 51 Lebanese prisoners for proof that one of its soldiers held in Lebanon is dead.

• 1985: Israel releases 1,150 Arab prisoners, almost all of them Palestinians, in return for three soldiers captured by Lebanese guerrillas in 1982.

• 1983: Israel swaps 4,600 Palestinian and Lebanese captives for six Israeli soldiers abducted Sept. 4, 1982 from their forward post in Lebanon. Most of the Arab prisoners had been rounded up during Israel’s 1982 invasion of Lebanon.

According to Wikipedia, the total tally is them 7000, Us 19 plus 8 corpses. As Rabin put it in 1985:

When no military option exists there is no choice but to enter negotiations and pay a price.

Sutnar is a bad man and less anonymous, at least currently, than most of the 7000 that have been traded back. But apparently bad deals are nothing new for Israel.

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  • Wasn’t it Israeli policy not to give up captives with ‘blood on their hands’? Isn’t this is the threshold Israel’s clearly crossed in freeing Kuntar?

    Per the jpost:

    “Hamas’s representative in Lebanon, Osama Hamdan, said that the release of Kuntar, ‘who killed Israelis,’ was a significant precedent that would be used in the negotiations over the release of Schalit.”

    Then, too, this trade occurs in the context of a string of military and political reversals for Israel, in which the state seems powerless, e.g. the attacks on Sderot. When even Abbas gratuitously piles on, praising Kuntar while making nice with Olmert in Paris, it’s an ominous sign that Israel has lost the respect of its enemies. And that may be the biggest cost of all in this debacle.

  • Totally.

    When a bully knows he can slap you around, that’s usually exactly what he does.

  • Here’s hoping Israel can find someone, somewhere, to take a serious whack at, and soon.

  • That video…. It’s like they’ve won the World Cup of terrorism.

  • It’s pretty obvious the evil Zionazis starved and tortured Kuntar while he was in prison. He’s so emaciated and horribly scarred, a pitiful shell of a man.

  • Of course, Xisnotx, when somebody lays an UNPROVOKED ambush on your territory, kills and maims your soldiers and kidnaps those it can, you immediately bow your head and negotiate a price. Who would ever even think of, you know, fighting back.

  • TM, I read that Rabin quote w/out looking at its context. So, I take back my comment.

  • Next time Muffti teaches a class on Nietzsche’s theory of the revaluation of values, he should show this video.

  • We’re all sad and frustrated, but in the end this is a price we pay for having a democracy in which soldiers’ parents and buddies can lobby the government to make trades like these. And who would want to live in a country that silences them?

  • Next time Muffti does that, his colleagues and students will ask him what it has to do with truth conditional semantics!

    But if Muffti had to guess, good ol Friedrich would have ultimately said Hizbullah 1, Israel 0 on this one. Olmert is no ubermensch.