Having No Shame

Today, 1027 Palestinian prisoners, some having been convicted of suicide bombings, were released by the State of Israel in exchange for one Israeli soldier, 24-year-old Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped and held incommunicado by Hamas for over five years.

The Palestinians were bussed by the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) to a prearranged exchange point. There was no fanfare. No media coverage. No interviews. No political exploitation.

At least on the Israeli side of the equation.

The Egyptians and Hamas (a designated terrorist organization) went beyond the pale in exploiting the moment.  A female Egyptian anchor did a TV interview of Gilad Shalit while he was in Egypt and not yet transferred to Israeli authority and protection. Shalit was clearly suffering from malnourishment and lack of exposure to sunlight, having been kept in a dungeon for the entire 5 years of his captivity and denied visitation even by the International Red Cross.  The anchor brazenly posed politically loaded questions to a young man who had obvious difficulty breathing, speaking and collecting his thoughts.  All the while, a masked Hamas terrorist stood behind Shalit’s back with a loaded weapon.

It was a disgrace.

But for anyone with eyes to see or ears to hear, it was the most poignant and unequivocal statement of the total disregard for human life, decency and compassion that is Hamas.

As I watched the fiasco unfold, and sensed the confusion, caution and fear Shalit must have been experiencing, I wondered how we will ever negotiate a peaceful resolution with a people who heap rewards and accolades upon an organization so devoid of humanity.  If you have the answer I’d love to hear it. As of this writing, I remain at a loss for one that satisfies.

And “yes” if you wonder if the ratio… 1:1027… was worth it.


Definitely yes.


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2 Responses to “Having No Shame”

  • David Kupferman:

    My meditating Israeli friends were very happy for his release and they said that it diffused a great stress which was the 1000 Palestinian in prison causing a big stress in the middle of the country. That stress is now released and it leaves Israel more peaceful. War is caused by the accumulation of stress in the atmosphere, Maharishi has said. So, now its possible to move in a more peaceful direction.

  • Bill Connor:

    Your points are well taken – altho I do have a problem
    with the ratio of exchange – Israel went against their
    own openely stated position – of not releasing any
    prisoners with “blood on their hands” — I imagine
    it would be extremely difficult to find one of the
    Hamas prisoners to match that description.

    There is no compassion to be found in Hamas or sadly
    in most of Israel’s neighbors – the mistreatment accorded to the young soldier was probably considered
    “Humane” since he is a Jew.

    It is a wonderful thing to get him back alive – I just
    wonder how many innocent Jews of all ages will pay with
    their lives thru the actions of the animals just released.