Thin and pale, but Gilad Shalit is home at last. To bring this beloved child (beloved of parents and of country) home, Israel released over a thousand Palestinian murderers and would-be murderers. Many mourn that these killers are back on the streets, and rightly so. I hope that Israel has drones hovering over them permanently, ready to erase their existence at the first sign they intend to engage again in violence against Israel. (Netanyahu hints that something like this might be the case.)
In way, though, the exchange can also be viewed as a calculated insult against the Palestinians, but an insult the Palestinians willingly inflicted against themselves. In the exchange rate, Jews have intrinsic to their own countrymen, while Palestinians do not. If this was a financial exchange rate (comparing dollars to some other currency, for example), we’d instantly recognize that the other currency is virtually valueless. The Palestinians’ countrymen love them only as cannon fodder.
It remains to be seen whether, in the long run, a country that values its citizens as individual human beings is going to do better than one that sees its citizens as nothing more than human bombs. I will say that one of my Mom’s old friends (and I do mean old, as she’s 92), just returned from a trip to Israel. She raved about how wonderful the country is: low unemployment, solid infrastructure, happy citizens. She didn’t even mention the two new Nobel science prize winners in her trip review! I doubt that anyone going to the Palestinian territories can say that same, and that’s true despite the bazillions of dollars (and Euros and whatever else) that have been sent to those befouled neighborhoods.