Ha’aretz’s Yoel Marcus on the prisoner deal:
In the wake of this miserable affair, Israel must wake up to the sad fact that 60 years after its establishment, we are looking at a crueler, more cannibalistic, less humane Middle East. During World War II, even Nazi Germany abided by the conventions governing prisoners of war, at least in the case of American and British POWs. Letters could be sent and received through the Red Cross. The families at least knew whether they were dead or alive. In this ongoing war against the dark forces of fundamentalist Islam in our region, we must be prepared for the possibility of more kidnappings, more POWs and more cynical abuse of families by withholding news of their loved ones. Aware of the supreme value Israel attaches to human life, Hezbollah played a cannibalistic game with us, refusing to provide even the most basic information on the fate of soldiers who had fallen into their hands. For two whole years, there was no sign of life from Regev and Goldwasser, yet they led us to believe they were alive. This tragic saga now coming to an end, which has driven the families and the whole country insane, cannot be allowed to repeat itself.