In a post I did yesterday about the way in which liberals cherry-pick religious writings to support their ideological viewpoints, I discussed Rabbi Gamliel’s ancient edict about hostages, to the effect that the general good (tikkun olam) mandates that families may not pay a premium for a kidnapped family member, even if they can afford to do so, because that will simply create more hostage situations. In a hostage market economy, the higher the price, the greater the incentive to kidnap.
As part of that discussion, I made a parenthetical, unsupported reference to the fact that modern Israel, which has reversed its long-standing policy of refusing to negotiate for hostages, is giving Palestinians and Hezbollah ever greater incentive to kidnap soldiers and civilians. Today, in a long, well-supported article, Bret Stephens makes precisely the same point about the market Israel is creating for the kidnapping of its own citizens.
UPDATE: A little info on the type of people Israel is using as payment for this no-win hostage negotiation.