Noam Schalit at Knesset Forum_311.
(photo credit: Marc Israel Sellem)
Noam Schalit, whose soldier son Gilad was released from captivity in Gaza three
months ago, called upon the government and the IDF on Tuesday to threaten the
heads of terrorist organizations and deter them from
Speaking at a Knesset conference on what price should be
paid to redeem captives in the future, Schalit spoke out against a bill
sponsored by the conference’s organizer, National Union MK Uri Ariel, which
would ban Israel from releasing more than one prisoner for each
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“I think, based on my experience, that the fight against
kidnappings should be won by restoring our deterrence and not via legislation,”
Schalit said. “The terrorist organizations need to know that kidnappings don’t
pay off for them. The terrorist organizations need to know that kidnappings will
result in strikes against the organizations and their leaders.”
said the terrorist organizations would keep trying to kidnap Israelis as long as
Palestinians remained in Israeli jails. He criticized the government for not
pressuring Hamas by taking away privileges from their members in Israeli
“There were essential mistakes in the negotiations for my son
that led to the price that I agree was high,” he said. “It didn’t have to be
Schalit predicted that in the event of future kidnappings,
governments would not be able to stand up to pressure to release prisoners.
While not ruling out setting limits for how many prisoners could be released in
an exchange, he mocked Ariel’s onefor- one proposal.
“We can’t tell our
soldiers that they are worth only one Palestinian prisoner,” Schalit said.
“What, is there a price list as if our soldiers are used cars?” Before Schalit’s
speech, he sat on stage listening to Ariel, former defense minister Moshe Arens,
Nobel Prize winner Prof. Robert Yisrael Aumann, and terrorism expert Dr. Boaz
Ganor slamming the deal that brought his son home in exchange for 1,027
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“The Schalit episode ended with a big loss for Israel and a
victory for Israel’s enemies that we don’t want to repeat,” Arens said. “We
shouldn’t start negotiations at all, because they can’t be stopped and they will
lead to another failure.”
Aumann said the Schalit deal was a
“catastrophe,” because it strengthened Hamas, encouraged Israel’s enemies to
kidnap soldiers and civilians, and because many of the freed prisoners would
commit terrorist attacks that would kill Israelis.
separating terrorists from guerrillas. He said that in battle, guerrillas could
be captured and held for future exchanges. But terrorists who attacked civilians
were criminals who must be convicted and serve their entire
Schalit responded by recalling that nearly 80 percent of the
public backed the deal that brought his son home.
“You can’t replace the
public,” he said. “I say it was a victory of the spirit of Israel, which decided
that one soldier was worth 1,000 Palestinian prisoners.”
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