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Wednesday, October 19, 2011

A "Sophie's Choice" for Israel

Gilad Shalit    (h/t Theo)

Laden with happiness and tears   …

Related source » Sophie's Choice (novel) - Wikipedia: 'via Blog this'
[This related source is recommended in its entirety.]

“A "Sophie's Choice" is a tragic choice between two unbearable options.”
— From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (

What can one say about such a dilemma that hasn't already been analyzed and re-analyzed in excruciating detail by legions of people? In the novel by William Styron the diabolical choice confronting the eponymous heroin of the story was thrust upon her in Auschwitz at the beginning of her internment. The kidnapping of the young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit, by Hamas terrorists presented the State of Israel with a similar dilemma. I can only express my emotional response upon hearing the news that this unfortunate young man was given another chance at life after years of captivity under what must have been a daily torment for him, his family, and for the Jewish people of Israel.

I have read all the objections to the final agreement that won release for Gilad in exchange for more than one thousand convicted terrorists from Israeli prisons. Considered soberly and dispassionately, one can not deny the legitimacy of such objections. But from my perspective, I can not imagine considering such a choice dispassionately. Gilad is a flesh and blood individual known to many who love him and cherish his existence. That other (as yet unknown) individuals will likely pay with their lives for Gilad's return is horrible to contemplate. Nevertheless, at this moment in time, my heart goes out to Gilad and his loved ones. At some future time, I will mourn those whom the released-by-Israel murderers will kill.

I think such decisions must be made ahead of time, before a known individual is kidnapped. In a sober moment, before any real individual victim is identified, the State of Israel must adopt an official and unambiguous policy that will automatically resolve its response to any such incidence of kidnapping. The official policy of the State must not include any wiggle room; the abominable choices are impossible to make rationally after the fact.

And, god help me, the official policy must include the most extreme retaliatory measures. I know that it is Israel's inclination to take the high road under most circumstances. But diabolical actions by one's enemies sometimes preclude all manner of "high roads". If I had the power to establish such a response policy, I would not exclude consideration of retaliatory decimation of terrorist prisoners.

Post 1,721 A "Sophie's Choice" for Israel

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