And the Warning in the Trade

I have no official capacity in the Israeli government, no power in the society. I am not a lawyer or a judge to help forge or enforce laws, nor a politician to help formulate them. I never served in the army and so have no control over how the generals will order our soldiers to react.

I am nothing but a mother. I can’t say I speak for all mothers, or even for anyone but myself. I can say only that this is what I want the government to say, this is what I want politicians to pass into law. This is what I want judges to rule, lawyers to argue and most of all, generals to enforce.

So, here are my thoughts for the people I cannot reach, and my warnings on the trade:

Dear Palestinians:

There will be no more terrorist swaps. You’ve gotten your last exchange. Not because we will not try to get future kidnapped soldiers back, but because there will be nothing for which to exchange. We will, finally, fight force with force. If you send your sons to kill us, they will be killed. If you try to blow us up, you will be blown up. We will no longer issue orders that demand our soldiers shoot low and avoid your deaths.  

You do not care about your lives, why should we?  Enter our cities to die…and you will. Like any other nation, your deaths will be the natural result of the violence you cause. No longer can you rely on our humanity, our attempts to minimize casualties and injuries. 

If you dare to enter our towns to murder our children, we will stop you before…or we will hunt you down. And when we surround your homes and ask you to surrender, we hope you will fight us. And if at times we finally use the extreme force you regularly accuse us of, the world will remember this ridiculous exchange and understand. No other nation in the world would make a trade like this one. But despite how it looks, we are not stupid.

Enjoy these 1,000 prisoners because you’ll get no more from us. If these 1,000 return to terror, our soldiers will shoot to kill. There will be a dramatic and mysterious lowering of the number of arrests and a concurrently large rise in fatalities among your terrorist organizations. Oh, and those that we release this week – they’ve been given a second chance to live their lives in peace and make the right choice. For each that makes the wrong one, there is a bullet with his name engraved on it and waiting. If they live their lives in peace, we will abide by our decision to release them; if they return to their terrorist roots, there will be no second trial. 

 Dear Israeli Politicians,

Israel has the death penalty for one crime only – the Holocaust. We have, in our 63 years of existence, only sentenced one man to death – Adolf Eichmann, for his part in the murder of over 6,000,000 Jews. It is time to amend that law to cover the terrorist murderers who attack our children. The Awad cousins should not be allowed to spend their time in prison waiting for the next prison release. In cold blood, they attacked the Fogel family and murdered Udi and Ruthi Fogel and their three children. 

They did it believing that their names will appear on some list in the future. Do not let their names or the names of others who commit such crimes to be part of a list. No more lists; no more exchanges. Even before the deal has been made, Hamas is already claiming that if we would release 1,000, we would release 4,000.

Pass the law and enforce it.  

And finally…

Dear Gilad,

You have sacrificed more than five years of your life for Israel. Your parents did all they could so that you would be free. Never blame them for failing to bring you home sooner. The choice to free you was never theirs. It was a decision made by this government, these leaders and perhaps these generals.

Any parent, all parents, would fight as your parents did. But you have to know one truth: in the future, others will die for the freedom you will hopefully receive this week. The guilt for the deaths to come will never rest on the head of your parents or on your head. It is natural and right for parents to fight for their sons; proper for someone to want to be free. Just as the decision to make this deal was never theirs; the responsibility for its outcome is not theirs to bear. 

We will bury many for the deal we make this week. You have to find the strength to know that it is not your fault, not your guilt. You have one job to do for Israel and your parents – and that is to live. To have the best life, the happiest one. Find a wonderful girl and have many Jewish children – that will be our answer to Hamas. Raise them as proud Israelis and let your sons fight to be combat soldiers as you did – that will be our answer to Hamas too.

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