By Ami Isseroff
Israel is under attack and requires your help.
Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser and their comrades, living and dead, fought for a great and just cause, defending
If my own sons had been kidnapped, I would surely not rest a minute. I would raise hell all over the world to ensure that the Lebanese government, of which Hezbollah is a part, abides by international law and allows visits by the red cross. I would stage demonstrations at the White House, at the UN, at appearances of American officials in the
The Israeli media are filled with pleas to release convicted murderer Samir Kuntar, and perhaps hundreds of Palestinian prisoners, in return for what is almost certainly the dead bodies of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser. They are filled with imprecations and threats against the Israeli government.
It is not a matter of putting "honor" or "justice" or "revenge" above human compassion. The problem is not the release of prisoners with "blood on their hands." Rather, it is the blood of our soldiers and civilians that will be spilled in the next kidnapping. The success of the Goldwasser-Regev kidnapping will certainly engender yet another one, just as the success of the previous kidnapping, in which Hezbollah traded the degenerate Elhanan Tannenbaum and some dead soldiers for many live prisoners, was probably the decisive factor in motivating the kidnapping of Goldwasser and Regev. How many people will die because of the next kidnapping, and how many will be kidnapped? Those who are applying pressure for this deal, those who write op-eds, the parents and families of the kidnapped soldiers and their army of PR people, will all have blood on their hands - the blood of hundreds of Israelis. If we are silent, they will make us all accomplices in murder.
Miki Goldwasser, mother of Ehud Goldwasser, reasons:
"On the claim that if Kuntar is returned, more will be kidnapped in the future, I can only say that had he been returned in the [Elhanan] Tennenbaum deal, you would not be reading my letter today,"
Grief obscures reason. Miki Goldwasser would be right if the Hezbollah had been formed in order to free Samir Kuntar, and if the Hezbollah had no goal other than freeing Samir Kuntar.
But Samir Kuntar is only an issue that is used to further the real goals of the Hezbollah, one among many. If Kuntar is freed, the next round of soldiers would be kidnapped in order to free Palestinian prisoners, or to force
Goldwasser and Regev were severely, probably fatally wounded in the attack. Miki Goldwasser argues that Hassan Nasrallah said that he captured live soldiers. Of course, Nasrallah is a man of his word and never lies. Assuming he is telling the truth, he is probably telling the exact truth. The soldiers were still living when captured. It is noteworthy that he doesn't warrant that they are still alive now. Nasrallah could surely make easy propaganda by trading a tape of a live Regev and Goldwasser, holding today's newspaper and "confessing" to their "crimes" for a quantity of Palestinian prisoners. He doesn't do it, and that should tell us what we need to know about the case of Regev and Goldwasser. Miki Goldwasser cites the case of a previous detainee, whose fate was unknown and turned out to be alive. But that case is probably not relevant. Hezbollah is no longer a tiny persecuted underground group afraid of publicity. It is part of the Lebanese government, tacitly accepted as "legitimate" by most of the world. i
Today, most Israelis, perhaps because they have been bombarded with op-eds begging for the release of Samir Kuntar without any conditions, with quotes from the Goldwasser family and a well focused PR campaign, Agree with the Goldwasser and Regev families. A Dahaf poll shows the following:
If, forefend, it turns out with certainty that Goldwasser and Regev are dead, should we agree to the deal?
For 61% Against 32% No reply 7%
That is only a small percent less than those who favor the release of Goldwasser and Regev if they are alive. The logical thing for Hezbollah to do, then, is to kill any kidnap victims, current or future.
Those who oppose the deal are largely silent. If we had all spoken out against the disastrous trade of Elhanan Tannenbaum, perhaps this new catastrophe that led to the Second Lebanon War would have occurred. If we had spoken out against negligence and incompetence and corrected it, perhaps the war would not have occurred either. But if nobody speaks out against this folly, there will be a much worse one. The future war will be the fault of all those who were silent, but primarily it will be the fault of the lawyers, the PR people and the poor grief-stricken and anguished families, who are directing their efforts in the wrong direction, and getting the ear of a weak and unpopular government.
"Never leave anyone behind" and "Bring our boys" home reflect some of the finest aspects of Israeli battle ethics, if "battle ethics" is not an oxymoron. But glorifying a bloodthirsty enemy and rewarding their crimes in order to retrieve dead bodies is criminal folly. The "dignity of the dead" is not enhanced by selling out the cause for which they fought and by creating more "dignified" dead.
Who dares to stand against the grief of mothers bereft of their sons? Of separated young wives, loves, fathers, brothers? Not many, surely!
But who can dare to remain silent in defense of those who cannot speak, because they are dead, and on behalf of those who do not know they will be the victims of future kidnappings or casualties in the next war? It is our duty to prevent this tragedy.
Original content is Copyright by the author 2008.