Gideon Levy in Haaretz on the Jewish state’s uncanny ability to cause terrorism:
It is not difficult to understand the agonizing decision facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his cabinet ministers. It would be very hard to accept a negative decision on their part. Gilad Shalit must be freed at any cost, all the more so because the actual cost is lower than the one bandied about by those who oppose the release.
We’re dealing with the release of hundreds of Palestinians, about one-tenth of the Palestinians in prison. Some of them are political prisoners for all intents and purposes; some are women and youths.
The most murderous of them have, for the most part, already served long sentences. The overwhelming majority of them will not return to terrorist activity; rather they will want to spend the remainder of their life in freedom.
Yes, there will be more and more terrorists in the future, with or without the hundreds of released prisoners, if the occupation and abuse of the Palestinian people continues. This is the real infrastructure of terror, and it does not depend on those who will be released in the deal.
One generation of Palestinians after another will fight in its own way for its liberty and breed more and more terrorists. The only really effective way to reduce terror, if not to prevent it altogether, is to stop its operating engine – the occupation.