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No Silver Lining

Reader comment on item: Samir Kuntar and the Last Laugh

Submitted by Jonathan Keiler (United States), Jul 21, 2008 at 10:36

This piece is refreshing to the extent it recognizes that the "prisoner exchange" was not merely the work of a corrupt and opportunistic government, but reflected, unfortunately, the will of the Israeli people. Pipes might have added that the IDF leadership strongly supported the trade as well, though not supposedly the Mossad or Shin Bet. There is no question either that the consequences of this terrible decision weaken Israel further, both in the way the country is perceived by friends and enemies, and in terms of reinforcing the nation's own inclination to wallow in sentimentality and the moralistic rationalization of defeatist policies.

Where the piece goes astray is in the attempt to find a silver lining to this cloud, in decrying the sick Arab embrace of Kuntar and the speculation that Israel will "right" matters by assassinating him. The fact that the Arab world treats Kuntar as a hero is not even interesting. It is the way the Arab world has treated terrrorists and murderers for all of living memory.

As for assassinating Kuntar: What sort of rational government or body politic, possessing the legal and moral authority to justly execute a convicted child killer if it wished to, releases him in order to plot a covert and complex assassination of the man later? Even if Israel were to kill Kuntar in a month, year or decade, what possible difference would it make, and what does it say about the logic of the country that does it? Which is what happens when, as Mr. Pipes notes, a country is run by mental midgets, and the people don't care.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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