Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Sometimes events occur in Israel and my opinion forms immediately, while other times I have to gather the reality of the event a bit; the facts, background, etc..., before I can come to a conclusion.

Thus is the situation with Lebanon, and I think that it has snapped into place and that I've come to a conclusion of what must be done. While I do absolutely believe that the life of every single person possesses the value of the whole world, per the Talmud's statement, "every person is a world," I had to think critically of Olmert's decision to reach into Lebanon in the name of retracting and rescuing them. It has become an Israeli national maxim that no Jew will be left to the whims of kidnappers, a noble tenet. The Talmud also considers the scenario when someone kidnaps Jews, which used to be a frequent set of events throughout the last two millennia in Europe. I remember studying this with a rabbi. This section of the Talmud said that one must do anything in their capability get a kidnapped Jew back, but referred to paying any ransom that the kidnapper demanded. This would translate into today's modern situation as giving Hezba-llah any amount of terrorist prisoners back that they would like. In that we see the difference between the European "kidnappers of old," whom would demand a demoralizing sum of money for the return of kidnapped Jews, but that's it. Today's Arab/Muslim variation is not satisified with money; they want a return of prisoners.

Nevertheless, if it was just a ransom of money, it would be doable. But since the demand is for terrorists, people whom will be used to continue the attacks on Israel, the exchange of three Jewish kidnapees for 1,000 terrorists (I previously said 9,000, which was an error) is not doable since it will put the entire state in further jeopardy.

Perhaps it is not this goal which Israeli Prime Minster Olmert has in mind with the entry into Lebanon, perhaps it is a show of renewed unacceptance with Arab/Muslim terrorism towards the state, that Israel has sat back idly for too long a period in the name of deterrence. It is an attempted return to Israel's formerly solid position on dealing with terrorists, which is defined by some as, "Israel has been hugely successful in defending its borders and then some." Perhaps it is an attempted return to that successful defense. But before we can have that defense, we need some "and then some."

Daniel Pipes says it best in this article, which my friend Ben, my eyes and ears, sent to me.

Enjoy, Yaniv...