Keeping the Peace - At Any Cost...
Earlier this week, the Iranian sponsored Hezbollah terror organization, based in Syria and Lebanon, launched an attack against Israel, whereby a number of Hezbollah terrorist infiltrated Israel's northern border, with the intention of kidnapping Israeli soldiers who would then be used as bargaining chips to force Israel to release terrorists held in Israeli jails.
Thanks to the heroics of IDF Paratrooper (and Hesder yeshiva student) David Markovitz, a major disaster was averted, as he was able to single-handedly kill 4 of the terrorists involved in the attack.
Israel's response (Courtesy of Ha'aretz):
Israel on Friday transferred the bodies of three Hezbollah militants killed by Israel Defense Forces fire in cross-border fighting this week... "The bodies were returned as a confidence-building gesture to create calm along the Israel-Lebanon border," an IDF source said.
Arutz 7 adds:
The Lebanese government minister behind the request, Health Minister Muhammad Jawad Khalif, who is closely affiliated with Hizbullah, clearly threatened further kidnapping attempts on Lebanon's state-run radio if the bodies would not be returned. “[Hizbullah] will try to secure the return of the bodies one way or another,” he said, “which usually ends in negotiations to exchange them for the bodies of Israeli soldiers or prisoners."
There are so many things about this that trouble me:
1) How does Israel giving back the bodies of these terrorists create calm along the border? Is it by giving into threats of continued terror attacks?
2) In October 2000, Hezbollah, with the assistance of the UN, kidnapped and murdered 3 Israeli soldiers (and shortly thereafter kidnapped an Israeli businessman). In exchange for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers, and the Israeli businessman, Israel released more than 430 Arab terrorists. In addition, the bodies of approximately 60 Lebanese terrorists were handed over to the International Committee of the Red Cross, and given over to Lebanon.
What's wrong with Israel simply holding on to the bodies and use them as bargaining chips as well? Hezbollah has information as to the fate and whereabouts of 4 Israeli soldiers, missing since 1982 (Ron Arad, Zecharia Baumel, Yehudah Katz & Zvi Feldman), and Israel should be offering no goodwill gestures unless Hezbollah is forthcoming on this issue.
History has shown what would happen if the situation were to be reversed.
3) Let us not fall into the trap of false morality, whereby one might say, "Israel is better than the Arabs, we shouldn't sink to their level"...
Let us be very clear. Hezbollah (along with their sponsors, Syria, Iran...) seek nothing short of the destruction of the Jewish State of Israel. Hezbollah currently has enough missiles targeted on Israel to wipe out then entire northern part of Israel, including Haifa. Iran, who sponsors Hezbollah has recently called for the annihilation of the Jewish State of Israel and is pursuing nuclear weapons to turn that dream into a reality.
One does not make peace with or goodwill gestures / concessions towards his enemies - on the contrary, one defeats his enemies - or he is defeated by them. The Arabs have learned this lesson well; it's time we do the same.