“Admittedly, there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face.” — Ronald Reagan
Allow me to begin with the fact that I realize that Israel is between a rock and a hard place … but my love for the Jewish State moves me to speak out against what I believe is a perniciously bad idea…
There have been some bad ideas over time that have not only been unbeneficial to Israel, but highly detrimental to the national security of its people. One of those being prisoner exchanges. This is not a new phenomenon … it has occurred since the rebirth of the State of Israel … setting a horrible precedent…
— The first exchanges took place after the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.
— On March 29, 1956, four surviving POWs and one IDF soldier’s body were returned in exchange for 40 Syrian soldiers.
— Following the 1956 Suez Crisis, Israel exchanged 5,500 Egyptian prisoners captured during the campaign and 77 others who were captured during military operations from before the war, in exchange for an Israeli pilot taken prisoner during the war, and three soldiers taken captive in pre-war attacks.
— On February 21, 1962, Syria exchanged the body of an Israeli soldier for a Syrian soldier in Israeli captivity.
— December 21, 1963, 11 Israeli soldiers and civilians captured by Syria throughout the years since Israel’s independence were exchanged for 18 Syrian prisoners in Israel.
— Following the 1967 Six Day War, Israel exchanged 4,338 Egyptian soldiers and 899 civilians, 553 Jordanian soldiers and 366 civilians, and 367 Syrian soldiers and 205 civilians captive for 15 Israeli soldiers and the bodies of 2 more that fell into Arab captivity, Israeli spies imprisoned in Egypt since the 1950s, two Israeli naval commanders captured shortly after the war, and the body of an Israeli soldier who was abducted a year before the war and died in prison.
— April 2, 1968, 12 Jordanian soldiers taken prisoner during the Battle of Karameh were released in exchange for the body of a missing Israeli soldier.
— On December 7, 1969 two Israeli citizens whose plane was hijacked to Damascus, and two Israeli pilots, Giora Rom and Nissim Ashkenazi who were shot down over the Suez Canal in the War of Attrition, were exchanged for 71 Egyptian and Syrian prisoners.
— On January 1, 1970 a night watchman in Metulla, Shmuel Rosenwasser, was abducted by Fatah. More than a year later Rosenwasser was freed in exchange for Mahmoud Hijazi, a Fatah prisoner in Israel.
— On June 9, 1972, an IDF force captured 5 Syrian officers patrolling near the Israel-Lebanon border, and they were exchanged for 3 Israeli pilots in Syrian captivity.
— On June 3, 1973, 3 Israeli Air Force pilots in Syrian captivity for three years were exchanged for 46 Syrian prisoners.
— During the October 1973 Yom Kippur War, Egypt and Syria took 293 Israeli prisoners, while Israel captured 8,372 Egyptians, 392 Syrians, 13 Iraqis, and 6 Moroccans. All these prisoners were exchanged between 15-22 November 1973.