Schalit poll results pic.
(photo credit: JPost.com staff)
The 1,027-for-1 ransom deal that returned Gilad Schalit to Israel last week has sparked much talk about how to ensure no such lopsided deal ever recurs. The Shamgar Committee, established in 2008 to formulate new rules for hostage deals but then iced until Schalit’s return, has already been recalled from retirement and is expected to submit its recommendations within two weeks. Yet one glance at the polls reveals how futile any such recommendations will be. Channel 10’s poll, for instance, found that 62% of Israelis believed the deal would undermine Israel’s security, but 69% supported it anyway. In other words, a sweeping majority of Israelis backed the deal despite being fully cognizant of its risks. Under such circumstances, what government would ever be able to withstand the pressure to make a similar deal, regardless of what wise rules it adopts in principle?