Middle East

Viewpoint: 'Shalit deal was a surrender'

As former Israeli captive Gilad Shalit, and hundreds of Palestinian prisoners released in exchange, begin new lives in freedom, some Israelis have been left angered by the deal. One such Israeli, Ron Kehrmann, saw four Palestinians jailed for life for involvement in a 2003 suicide bombing which killed his 18-year-old daughter, Tal, among those set free. Here he explains his feeling of betrayal.

I am happy that the Shalit family have been reunited with their child, but at the same time I worry for the future of each and every one of my friends, in Israel and around the world. Unfortunately this time Hamas won.

As an Israeli it is very hard for me to admit my government's surrender. My prime minister signed the surrender accord freeing one Israeli soul but risking the lives of so many others.

Signing such a deal gave a big moral boost to any terror organisation, especially in the Middle East.

In signing this document, the prime minister of Israel has already set the opening price for freeing the next captured Israeli.

Accepting such an agreement also undermines the Israeli justice system and breaks all moral rules which a life-affirming society needs to treasure in order to sustain a safe framework in which to live.

So many hours, and so much effort was invested in each and every trial, to lawfully put these convicted murderers behind bars - not even to mention the military operations, risking the lives of those charged with bringing the suspects to court.

'Violence pays'

My government, dealing with the Iranian-backed Hamas, paved the beginning for international recognition of this radical terror group.

During these days, especially at a time when so many Arab leaders are facing drastic turmoil and unrest, a deal freeing 1,027 Palestinians will fuel other violent demonstrations and violent actions.

Image caption Tal was among 17 people killed by a Palestinian suicide bomber on a bus in 2003

Such a surrender signals to the terrorists that violence and killing innocent civilians is the way to achieve their goals.

The Israeli government had a chance to set the price of one for one - but now no more.

I lost my daughter Tal 3,150 days ago, when a Hamas terrorist boarded the bus she was on on her way home from school.

I know what it took to bring these terrorists to justice. I learned the facts about the way they where caught, I followed all court hearings and the appeal in the Supreme Court, until four of them were sentenced to life imprisonment. These terrorists were convicted not arbitrarily kidnapped.

I do not write with the urge for revenge, I write as a man worried about the free and democratic world. I write as a father concerned for the future of his living son and daughter, watching my government breaking all the norms.

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