Monday, July 21, 2008

Goldwasser, Regev, and Kuntar

Last week, Israel traded convicted murderer Samir Kuntar for the remains of Sergeant Major Ehud Goldwasser and State Sergeant Eldad Regev. There are a few points of note about this exchange:

1. Israeli doctors hypothesize that Seg. Goldwasser and Seg. Reven likely died before most of the major combat operations in July 2006. However, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah did not inform the Israeli that his POWs were deceased. This is a violation of all international conventions on POWs. Israel (and America) release at least the names and well beings of its prisoners, so that families at least know that they are safe. To without such information is gross human rights violation. However, the international community has been completely silent about this.

2. Israel released Samir Kuntar, convicted of murdering multiple Israelis, including brutally bashing the head of a 4 year old girl. Kuntar is not an innocent Arab caught hanging out with the wrong people. He's a brutal murderer. There are many innocent people sitting in Israel's jails who deserve to be released. Kuntar is not one of them.

3. This is also more frightening because Kuntar was given a hero's welcome. When would Israel (or America) ever give a hero's welcome to a combatant who gruesomely murdered a child?

4. Given that Nasrallah likely knew that the Israelis were dead, he still allowed thousands of Lebanese civilians to die and hundreds of thousands to be displaced. If he had informed the Israelis that the soldiers had died and returned their remains, he could have prevented the deaths and hardships to so many people. Instead, Nasrallah used them a pawn to build support for his group and hatred against Israel. Where is the outrage from the international community?

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