Two-Thirds of released Hamas prisoners return to terrorism. So says Haim Ramon, government minister. Presumably, statistics for Hizballah and other terrorist groups—at least Islamist ones—are the same or worse.
Let’s remember this fact–brought up only after the prisoner exchange failed–in future. Prisoner deals, at least those involving the release of one Israeli for scores and even hundreds of imprisoned terrorists, are big mistakes. No one can help but sympathize with the families of men held prisoner under horrible conditions or whose bodies are in the possession of Hamas, Hizballah, or other terrorist groups. But this sympathy should not lead to releasing terrorists. Because the result will be a lot more grieving families. It is the government’s job to look after the welfare of the entire citizenry, even when it hurts.
By the way, the same principle holds for other countries as those letting al-Qaida and other terrorists go free are discovering.
Barry Rubin is director of the Global Research in International Affairs (GLORIA) Center and editor of the Middle East Review of International Affairs (MERIA) Journal. His latest books are The Israel-Arab Reader (seventh edition), with Walter Laqueur (Viking-Penguin); the paperback edition of The Truth About Syria (Palgrave-Macmillan); A Chronological History of Terrorism, with Judy Colp Rubin, (Sharpe); and The Long War for Freedom: The Arab Struggle for Democracy in the Middle East (Wiley). To read and subscribe to MERIA, GLORIA articles, or to order books, go to http://www.gloria-center.org