The Blog

The Devil's Bargain

2:05 PM, Oct 2, 2009 • By RACHEL ABRAMS
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A particularly cruel and clever stroke by the fiends who have held him prisoner for 1,195 days, to release a video of a very much alive-as of September 14-Gilad Shalit addressing a plea to Bibi to make the deal that will set him free, and a loving message to his family.

Now that we've seen the tantalizing image of the living breathing boy, and felt the rush of hope and gratitude that that the sight of him and the sound of him have brought us, how will we countenance the Israeli government's refusing to comply with the ransom demand of 1,000 imprisoned Palestinians in exchange for him? But how, on the other hand, can Bibi, et al., give in to their blackmail without ending up sending every Arab who has ever murdered a Jew back out to start all over again?

We know-and the Israelis know far better-that Gilad's captors hold human life cheap. He's a trump card for them, but they'll dispatch him if it suits them, and film themselves walking in his blood.

This is the lifelong struggle of the citizens of the Jewish State: with an enemy who thinks nothing of hiding behind his own women and children-and worse yet, strapping explosives to them and sending them to their deaths-there is no good faith in bargaining for the life of one of yours.