May 21, 1985 witnessed what has come to be known as the "Jibril deal". Some 1,115 terrorists were released in exchange for three Israeli soldiers who had been abducted in Lebanon. According to statistics published by the Israel General Security Service (Shabak, or Shin Bet), more than 40 percent of those released went on to resume terrorist operations including acts of murder. Those released in the Jibril deal also produced the Palestinian leadership that launched the 1989 intifada--that in many ways continues to this day.We have to pray that God will give our leaders the wisdom to do what is good for the country. With all of the sympathy that I have for the Shalit family, we cannot have their personal interest take precedence over the interest of the entire nation.
With 22 years hindsight, that was a cancerous precedent. The terrorist organizations discovered Israel's soft belly: the inability to withstand the pressures exerted by the families of the abducted soldiers. Ever since, abductions have become routine: Israelis are kidnapped and Israeli governments, right- and left-wing, redeem the abductees with the wholesale release of terrorists. It is these frequent capitulations, especially in the Lebanon arena, that led Hassan Nasrallah in 2000 to the conclusion that Israel had lost the will to fight and could be likened in its weakness to a spider web.
[Cross posted on Free Gilad Shalit]