October 12th, 2011
09:23 AM ET

Shalit swap based on 'ultimate value of human life,' rabbis say

By Richard Allen Greene, CNN

Israel's government approved an extraordinary deal Tuesday night - agreeing to release more than 1,000 Palestinians from prison, including hundreds serving life sentences for attacks on Israelis, in exchange for a single slender young Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit.

But the exchange of 1,027 inmates for a single captive does make sense in a Jewish context, Rabbi Arik Ascherman explained Wednesday.

"Judaism places ultimate value on human life. Therefore in the Jewish tradition, in Jewish law, redeeming captives trumps just about everything else," said Ascherman, of Rabbis for Human Rights. "It takes priority over anything else you can possibly do."

Jews around the world greeted the news that Shalit would be released after spending more than a fifth of his life in captivity with overwhelming joy, said William Daroff of the Jewish Federations of North America.

"We have prayed for his release. We have met with his parents, we have sat with his family in their tent outside the prime minister's residence, we have marched for Gilad's release," he said.

"When I announced the news of Gilad's forthcoming release at a reception with Jewish leaders on Capitol Hill this afternoon, it was met by tears, applause, and a spontaneous prayer of thanks," he told CNN late Tuesday.

"Jews across the world have been pining for Gilad Shalit's release for over five years," he added.

Many have left an empty chair in honor of him at their seders, the family meal marking the beginning of Passover, Daroff said.

"We are indeed thankful that Gilad Shalit will soon return to his family and to the Jewish people. It is long overdue," he said.

But the exchange is not without controversy, said Ascherman.

"There has been a very, very difficult debate about this and similar cases over the years," he said.

There is a question in Jewish law about whether it's moral to free a captive in a deal that could potentially endanger other lives - as many Israelis fear will happen when Palestinians who have killed Israelis are released.

Ascherman sees the benefit of the deal.

"On the one hand, we have somebody who - if he isn't redeemed - faces death or danger or captivity, versus a theoretical possibility that someone could be harmed if these people go back to terror," he said.

"I would say it is possible to redeem the prisoner you definitely know," he argued. "But it's certainly a terrible dilemma and Israelis are coming down on both sides."

The spiritual leader of Hezbollah praised Israel for its dedication to repatriating its citizens, dead or alive, during a previous exchange, in 2004.

"We have a fierce enemy in Israel, but I stand here in respect for the enemy that is concerned about his captives and bodies of his soldiers and works diligently day and night addressing those concerns," Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah said as Israel handed over hundreds of prisoners for a kidnapped businessman and three bodies.

"We should acknowledge positives in our enemy when it exists. Whatever their motive is, the fact that they are concerned about their captives, their dead or the bodies of their dead is something to be respected," the Hezbollah leader said.

Rabbi Jonathan Rosenblum is not certain the swap for Shalit is wise.

He too cites Jewish law, or halacha, and says the literature is so vast that there's no clear answer.

"Unfortunately there is an abundance of halachic literature about the redemption of captives," he said.

He cited the example of the 13th-century German Rabbi Meir ben Baruch, known as the Maharam of Rothenburg, who refused to allow the Jewish community to pay a ransom for him when he was held by the Emperor Rudolph.

"He feared that his ransom would encourage any cash-strapped person to grab a hostage. You can't create an incentive for kidnapping," the rabbi said.

"He did not allow the community to redeem him. He died in jail," said Rosenberg, an ultra-Orthodox rabbi and writer. "The idea is that you shouldn't encourage further kidnappings."

The precedent still applies, he argued.

"You see in any Latin American country in which captives are ransomed, it becomes a major criminal activity," he said.

But he, too, circled back to the value Judiasm places on human life.

"However one arrives at the balance in this case, the redemption of captives is a tremendous value," he said.

He said one of Israel's most important rabbis, Shas party spiritual mentor Ovadiah Yosef, had backed the Shalit exchange, and that government ministers must have discussed it with him before it was announced.

"The Shas party would not have voted for it otherwise," he said.

"A friend of mine in the gym the other day asked me why so many government ministers have been going to see Rabbi Yosef," he said. "This has obviously been in the works for some time."

CNN's Paul Colsey and Michael Schwartz contributed to this report.

- Newsdesk editor, The CNN Wire

Filed under: Ethics • Israel • Judaism

soundoff (598 Responses)
  1. Muneef

    Majority of those Palestinians were imprisoned when were underage for throwing stones during the upraiseds...many still as underaged prisoners...then there is the number of females who were imprisoned while not knowing for what...!!

    October 19, 2011 at 11:47 am |
  2. nichole

    my brother-in-law makes $ 55/hr onlinë. She has been unemployed for 7 months but last September her pay was $ 6752 just working onlinë for a few hours. Go to this site CashHArd.cøm

    October 16, 2011 at 6:32 pm |
  3. dan

    death to arabs!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    the arabs do only problems all over the world!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 16, 2011 at 4:39 pm |
    • Ali

      so humane from you................thank you. p.s. iam an arab did you no harm and you want to kill me. again thank you. i rest my case

      October 16, 2011 at 4:47 pm |
    • Muneef


      ?? Are you saying you are Israeli and calling to the death of Arabs? Are you sure being Israeli or maybe some junk from some where and want to bring more hatred and troubles between neighbors..? After all we as Arabs consider Jews as our cousins...but as it seems that does not make them happy because we descended from "Ismael the son of the slave wife of Abraham..while they are superior beings GOD chosen and the "Masters of the World"..

      October 16, 2011 at 5:46 pm |
    • H. B.

      You are wallowing in bigotry. ARABS aren't causing the problems; MUSLIMS are. Many Arabs are not Muslims. Some are Christians or of other faiths. They're not causing anyone problems. It was Arabs who invented Islam, but not all Arabs are Islamic.

      Maybe it would do you some good to enroll in a course on analytical thinking. It is people like you who find legitimacy in blind, narrow-focus hatred. Our world problems today are centered on Islam. It is a political, warlike, militaristic and ideologic concept which Muhammad wrapped up like a burrito in the trappings of a religion, in order to have armies who would obey him like robots. It worked. It is still working, for today's Islamic leaders.

      Nor does it do any good to hate Muslims. How is hate constructive? It just poisons you, as your misplaced hatred of ALL Arabs is doing to you right now. We don't need to make war on Muslims, because they'd love it.

      We don't need war or hatred for Muslims in order to deal with their goal of global conquest effectively. We DO need to study Islam, to know what it is REALLY about, and then we need a plan to thwart their goal. We don't need war or hate – what we DO need is fear. Fear of them making their global conquest successful, which they're already working on to take over Europe in a few more years.

      We need that fear, because the methods Muslims use...work. Our collective ignorance and political correctness is precisely what they want, so we will not be ready at all when they decide to take over our countries from within.

      I'd call THAT important.

      October 16, 2011 at 6:14 pm |
    • Muneef

      While the Zionists (Christian and Jewish) never get tired of quoting the Covenant of God with Abraham mentioned in the Bible, in their attempts to legitimize occupation of Palestine by forcing millions of Palestinians out of their homes, they somehow "forgot" to mention the fact that the children of Ishmael also become beneficiary to this Covenant according to the same Bible they claim to believe in. (Genesis 21) 

      As Dr. Mary Weaver, Professor of Religious Studies at Indiana University writes, "Abraham did have a son (two in fact), though the first, Ishmael, drops out of the story." 

      Although Ishmael and his descendents were also included, but-this was qualified for both sons of Israel and sons of Ishmael with obedience!
      Since the Jews fail to accept Jesus (peace be upon him) as the true Messiah, which both Christians and Muslims know to be the truth, the Antichrist will arise as their "Messiah". The shrewd false Messiah will take advantage of the insidious Zionist military expansionist fervor ultimately leading to the downfall of the Zionists. 

      October 17, 2011 at 5:49 pm |
    • Muneef


      You seem to be from the same tribe;
      Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-c. 236) held that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan and would rebuild the Jewish temple in order to reign from it. He identified the Antichrist with the Beast out of the Earth from the book of Revelation.

      October 17, 2011 at 8:05 pm |
  4. Maryland, USA

    More than once, the heart of a deceased Israeli Jew has been transplanted to an Arab. In the 1980s, the Jewish donor had been murdered by an Arab terrorist! Yet the recipient had to go into hiding lest he be killed by a fellow Arab for having a Jewish heart. Years later, in 1997, a Jewish boy's heart was transplanted to an Arab girl; to learn more, search for "Heart of Dead Boy Aids Girl, Warms Nation". Imagine the local outcry if an Arab hospital were to transplant an Arab heart into a Jew. Oh, wait, the Jews were kicked out of Arab countries without compensation.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:36 pm |
    • Ali

      when was that. the last part........the first part has nothing to do with politics, it is so pure thing so please dont dirty it with arab israel blablabla

      October 16, 2011 at 4:45 pm |
    • Muneef

      Understood that during the conflicts and wars the killed one's from both sides whether Israeli soldiers or Palestinian's that which are taken in to Israeli hospitals had their Eyes Corneas removed stolen and GOD knows what else gets stolen before final burial or handing over back to their families....

      October 16, 2011 at 5:52 pm |
    • Muhammad

      My question to Maryland is how the Arab terrorists murder the Jewish donor when the donor was already dead after donating his heart?

      October 16, 2011 at 6:43 pm |
    • Maryland, USA

      Muhammad, I wrote "the Jewish donor had been murdered by an Arab terrorist." In English, "had been" means that he was murdered first...while he was still alive.

      October 16, 2011 at 7:16 pm |
  5. H. B.

    Not all Arabs are Muslim. I've encountered many such people, who admit that Muslims did not have any legitimate claim to the land known as Israel, and that there never WERE such people as "Palestinians." The word "Palestinian" was a word slapped on Jews by the Romans, and it was an insult.

    History tells us what we need to know, if we'd bother to look at it. We should, because it DOES repeat itself.

    The history of Islam, from the days when its Quran was still a work in progress, is an unbroken history of conquest. Nor does the Quran make any bones about conquest as being its prime directive. Islam's purpose is total global conquest and total domination by Islam.

    TRY to fit that into the mantra we're being fed all the time about how "the VAST majority of Muslims are peaceful and tolerant." You can make a square peg fit a round hole if you want to badly enough – but it takes a hammer to do it. Today, that hammer is called "propaganda." Lies, in other words. Is the oil really worth being conquered?

    I have never felt the urge to tune in the news, asking myself who the Zionists or Jews were slaughtering today. I DO have to ask myself who those "peaceful, tolerant Muslims" are slaughtering today, however. I am rarely unable to find information of that nature. Muslims are busy little bees, slaughtering and conquering whole nations – and that "VAST majority" are not benign in the least – they are "jihadis-in-waiting." Their time for jihad will come later. Remember Glasgow? Decades of "peaceful, tolerant" living came to an end when those doctors decided it was "jihad-time."

    So who are more "bad guys" than the other? Israel has to try to stay alive while it exists in a room full of alligators. The "Palestinians" have the support of the alligators. Israel is the only nation which has ever GIVEN land from its own borders to another people – and particularly a people who hate them with black completeness. When have any Muslims ever done that?

    Israel HAS committed some atrocities. Given their position in the Mideast, it is more surprising that they have shown as much restraint in that regard as they have. It's natural that people under fire by everyone around them will likely send out some fire of their own – and it's even understandable that such fire isn't always done wisely. That doesn't excuse Israel's own atrocities, but those on the other side are both more abundant and utterly without remorse. Judaism does not make a virtue out of mass slaughter; Islam DOES.

    Islam is out to conquer the whole world. To a Muslim, ALL land is Muslim land. They will soon begin a putsch to take over Europe, even while some of us are still cheering for those "noble rebels" in the "Arab Spring" uprisings. They rely on the constant stream of propaganda that keeps people in the free world thinking Islam is benign. With that mindset, Europe won't be preparing for the putsch when it comes. Millions upon millions of Muslims, already in residence in Europe, combined with the full military capabilities of the "New" Islamic states of Libya, Egypt, Syria, etc., will rise up on one day throughout Europe, and conquer it easily.

    Nobody seems to notice that this mobilization is going on, even though it is doing so right before our eyes.

    THAT is the real problem we need to address – and soon.

    October 16, 2011 at 4:08 pm |
    • Ali

      "Israel has to try to stay alive while it exists in a room full of alligators" Come on. you are talking about history. did you ask yourself how israel went to this room full of alligators. was there any alligator before israel. who started war isnt it israel who started war to conquer Palestine and committed "the" real genocide. Where did you learn anything about islam, let me guess from someone who hates islam. so does anyone who hate you talks good about you. who told you such lies about islam, iam a muslim and i tell you all this is nonsense. What are you saying that every muslim is a terrorist. So lets kill every muslim, what do u think? isnt there terrorism among christians and jews and hundis and what ever races left......... dont blame the religion one embraces for the sins this individual does. killiing does not justify killing, every human has the right to live freely think freely and embrace whatever religion he wishes also freely. isnt there any murderer who is christian so does that give me the excuse to say all christians are murderers........NO a big fat NO. please rethink what you said. and give people the freedom to think whatever they like to think

      October 16, 2011 at 4:25 pm |
    • Muneef


      Ignore the poor guy he is mixing history up...since there is Islam and there was Ottoman, he got them together as one for being Muslims.. Any way Ali some times I think that our Arab ancestors were dead wrong for their treason and revolt against the Ottoman empire...after all since that era we Arabs and Muslims were used and abused by the stronger nations that came after it till date...!! Maybe if any day now Turkey delivers a new "Ottoman ideology" many Arab and Muslim individuals and countries will be more than happy to join... To stand against such tyrannies and discriminations...!

      October 16, 2011 at 4:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Just to refresh minds what "Ghazis" used to mean;
      Ghazi (warrior);
      The Ottoman poet Ahmedi, writing ca. 1402, defines a gazi as "the instruments of God's religion, a servant of God who cleanses the earth from the filth of polytheism." (Lewis, The Political Language of Islam, pp. 147–148, note 8).
      Read more at link;

      October 16, 2011 at 5:09 pm |
    • H. B.

      Mr. Ali: No other alligator before Israel? Egad! Whose history books have YOU read? Islam has always BEEN an alligator. For the past 1400 years, and still counting. Islam's "middle name" is "conquest." Since most of the countries around Israel are Muslim or majority Muslim, they have to hate and wish to genocide the Jews. It's bred into Muslims with mother's milk. Being Muslim is what makes those nations into the alligators I referred to.

      Darlink, I learned about Islam from...drumroll...ISLAM! I have studied the Quran and Hadith, studied Islam since the days of its prophet, for many YEARS. I probably know more about Islam than you do, old bean old sock.

      Muslims are taught that Jews are "apes and swine." Isn't that somewhat...ah...bigoted? But Muhammad put it into the Quran, didn't he? Jews aren't taught things like that, nor are people of the other faiths. Only Muslims. ONLY.

      Your offense at dan's comment was proper. He's one of the many mental midgets. But it is well known that hate fosters hate, and Islamic hate is vicious, VERY active, and legendary. Naturally some small-minded people like dan will hate you for being an Arab. It's stupid, of course. But you are also a Muslim. That is no cause for hating you, either. But your faith is one rooted in conquest, hatred and malevolence, and IT deserves our loathing fully.

      You are lying to us about Islam, and I'm calling you out on it. I can do a whole LOT more of it, too.

      The word "terrorist" is known to be a loaded term. I'm not saying all Muslims are terrorists, but I AM saying that even genocide (as in Darfur, and the 20-year Sudanese genocide in the south) is perfectly acceptable to Muslims, and still is. To a Muslim, an atrocity is only an atrocity when done TO Muslims, never when done BY Muslims. A Muslim is "always right," and an infidel "always wrong." Nor do Muslims EVER lose a battle, even when they got trounced. Allah promised them they'd always win, so even a royal trouncing is still a victory to them. It's incredibly inane. I've listened for the outcry from "peaceful, tolerant, moderate" Muslims against the atrocities committed by Muslims in the world, and what I hear is mostly dead silence.

      You say, "so let's kill every Muslim" is how I think? How'd you squeeze THAT out of anything I said? You reveal yourself with that comment, because THAT is how Muslims easily think. Most other people don't. I never advocate killing ANYONE. So quit judging how I think by how YOU would think. That hound don't hunt, bud. I advocate AGAINST hating Muslims and AGAINST making war on them. I advocate in favor of thwarting their global conquest. Violence isn't required for that.

      I began studying Islam 16+ years ago, because with all the terrorism going on, I wanted REASSURANCE from authentic Islamic sources (their holy texts) that Islam really WAS a faith of peace and tolerance. My studies did NOT give me that reassurance; instead, it stood my hair on end. It's funny, because I am a scholar of the very faith you claim, and which you claim I know nothing about. I'd guess you are one of the Western converts who were wazooed into converting to an Islam that doesn't – and never has – existed. They use "sweetened up" versions of the holy texts, to get around certain Western values and get more converts. I have copies of real Quran text to compare with sweetened-up text of the same suras, which are used for converting Western people. They're not remotely the same.

      Islam threatens to conquer all of humanity. That's what its OWN scriptures mandate. Are you going to tell us now that the Quran lied about that?

      October 16, 2011 at 9:02 pm |
    • Muneef


      Read might you know what is happening in the World...
      For every Coin there are Two side Faces;

      Origen (185–254) refuted Celsus's view of the Antichrist. Origen utilized Scriptural citations from Daniel, Paul, and the Gospels. He argued:
      Where is the absurdity, then, in holding that there exist among men, so to speak, two extremes– the one of virtue, and the other of its opposite; so that the perfection of virtue dwells in the man who realizes the ideal given in Jesus, from whom there flowed to the human race so great a conversion, and healing, and amelioration, while the opposite extreme is in the man who embodies the notion of him that is named Antichrist?... one of these extremes, and the best of the two, should be styled the Son of God, on account of His pre-eminence; and the other, who is diametrically opposite, be termed the son of the wicked demon, and of Satan, and of the devil. And, in the next place, since evil is specially characterized by its diffusion, and attains its greatest height when it simulates the appearance of the good, for that reason are signs, and marvels, and lying miracles found to accompany evil, through the cooperation of its father the devil.[38]


      October 17, 2011 at 6:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      All the signs we were warned of are already here and increasing at higher speed;

      Masih ad-Dajjal the "AntiChrist";
      Signs of the  coming of Dajjal;
      Hadith attributed to Muhammad give many signs of the appearance of the Dajjal...The following signs are;

      People will stop offering the prayers
      Dishonesty will be the way of life
      Falsehood will become a virtue
      People will mortgage their faith for worldly gains
      Us-ury and bribery will become legitimate
      Imbeciles would rule over the wise
      Blood of innocents would be shed
      Pride will be taken on acts of oppression
      The rulers will be corrupt
      The scholars will be hypocrites
      Adultery will be rampant
      The liars and treacherous will be respected
      There will be acute famine at the time
      There will be no shame amongst people
      Children would challenge their mothers
      Youngsters would perform marital relationship with their parents
      Many people would worship Satan
      There would be no respect for elder people

      More at link;

      October 17, 2011 at 6:31 pm |
    • Muneef

      Eye of Providence
      From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
      A Christian version of the Eye of Providence, emphasizing the triangle representing the Trinity.
      The Eye of Providence (or the all-seeing eye of God) is a symbol showing an eye often surrounded by rays of light or a glory and usually enclosed by a triangle. It is sometimes interpreted as representing the eye of God watching over humankind (or divine providence).[1][2][3]
      In the modern era, the most notable depiction of the eye is the reverse of the Great Seal of the United States, which appears on the United States one-dollar bill.

      The One Eyed Creature;
      Narrated Ibn Umar: Once Allah's Apostle stood amongst the people, glorified and praised Allah as He deserved. Then, mentioning Dajjal, he said, "I warn you against him (i.e. the Dajjal) and there was no prophet but warned his nation against him. No doubt, Noah warned his nation against him but I tell you about him something of which no prophet told his nation before me. You should know that he is one-eyed, and Allah is not one-eyed."[5]
      Every Messenger of God did warn his nation about the trials of Dajjal. God,
       however, delayed Dajjal’s birth and did not let him appear until now. Be aware! He will claim to be God and try to create doubts in your minds. Have a firm belief, the one-eyed creature cannot be your Lord. 

      October 17, 2011 at 7:58 pm |
    • Muneef

      The term or t-itle antichrist, in Christian theology, refers to a leader who fulfills Biblical prophecies concerning an adversary of Christ, while resembling him in a deceptive manner. The antichrist will seemingly provide for the needs of the people but deny them ultimate salvation.
      The term "antichrist" appears five times in 1 John and 2 John of the New Testament — once in plural form and four times in the singular.[1] The Apostle Paul's Second Epistle to the Thessalonians, in particular the 2nd chapter, summarizes the nature, work, coming, and revelation of the "Man of Sin" – a passage often regarded as referring to same person as the antichrist of 1 and 2 John.

      Jewish antecedents
      Anti-messiahs are referred to in some Jewish writings in the period 500 BC–50 AD, and this is thought to be the precursor of the concept of the Antichrist in Christian writing. Bernard McGinn conjectures that the concept may have been generated by the frustration of Jews subject to often-capricious Seleucid or Roman rule, who found the nebulous Jewish idea of a Satan who is more of an opposing angel of God in the heavenly court insufficiently humanised and personalised to be a satisfactory incarnation of evil and threat.[24]
      Armilus is an anti-messiah figure from late period Jewish eschatology. He is described as bald, partially maimed, and partially deaf.[27]

      Hippolytus of Rome (c. 170-c. 236) held that the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan and would rebuild the Jewish temple in order to reign from it. He identified the Antichrist with the Beast out of the Earth from the book of Revelation. 

      More at links;

      October 17, 2011 at 8:01 pm |
  6. Hamad

    Muslims world-wide rejoiced over the release of our brothers Palestinians jailed in so called Israel for tens of years.

    I am glad and sympathized to see the relatives of jailed prisoners but I am not happy to see our Muslims old and young men or women with the signs of "V" for victory which is not our Muslim character and to my mind we Muslims have to create or already exist in Muslim society what we are not realizing to replace the "V"sign as RED CROSS into CRESCENT MOON for Muslims character. I think instead of TWIN FINGERS like V shape we should have done ONE FINGER UP as the sign of ALLAH The ONE and The GREAT. I pray to The Almighty ALLAH SWT to safe guard all human beings from evils of the Jews because THE JEWS ARE THE ROOTS OF EVIL IN THIS WORLD.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:40 pm |
    • Ali

      Iam a muslim and dont agree with you. It is not the jew who is the root of evil it is the people who kill other people just because they dont agree with them. It is killing people to take their lands and homes as israelies did with the palastinians during the last century to take thier country and make Israel, the land of the chooosen people. So we are not the "choosen". I think the human being is the "choosen" people not a part of them as some falsely claim.

      October 16, 2011 at 4:03 pm |
    • Muneef

      Some take them for being Terrorists while others of their own see them as Patriots fighting for their Nationals and for their rightful inherited Lands..!! Specially for only two movements looked up as Patriots fighting for their lands and those two are "Hamas in Gaza" and "Hizballah in Lebnon"... They might be taken for as disorganized but not taken as for terrorists by any Arabs or Muslims...!!

      October 16, 2011 at 5:18 pm |
  7. samkingdawg

    pray for Israel...God's chosen people! Bless Israel and Jerusalem.

    October 16, 2011 at 3:30 pm |
    • Ali

      Pray for peace not only Israel. Arabs are humans as well. No human is worth better than another. Did you ask yourself what was this soldier doing when he was caught, or his colleagues. Does being an israeli give the right to kill people..... Is killing people with guns airplanes tanks better than killing them with explosives......... Killing is killing regardless how. I wish there is a body count of how many people get killed by Israeli army and how many by the palastinians. I bet it will 1000 to 1. Thats why one soldier to 1000.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
    • Muneef

      Yes 1-1000 they are the chosen one's the children of "Israel" while we as Arabs the descendants of Ismael the son of Hager the slave wife of Abraham and that's we are lower grades therefore equal 1000 to 1 of the children of Israel..!! Do you not realize they are the masters of the world controlling and ruling every country and every world financial inst-itutes...how are we to the masters the GOD chosen people...!! Poor we nobody loves us, African had gained their freedoms while Arabs are still treated as decendants of a son of a slave woman...!! Now every body will tell me I was wrong but I find no other explaination for such treatment but surely if we go through the Holy bibles and books of Judisem and Christianity or prophecies might we then understand why Arabs are treated like this...!!?

      October 16, 2011 at 5:37 pm |
  8. Reb Barry

    I'm one of the few people in Israel to come out and say frankly it IS a bad deal, not just "I have a few reservations" about it. Innocent Israelis will very likely die in the future as a result of this deal. See http://www.neshamah.net/2011/10/redeeming-captives-at-what-price.html

    October 16, 2011 at 3:00 pm |
    • H. B.

      I'm trying to write to you – again – after my first comment was redirected into the ether – it was sent to a URL called:
      It had a blue/white logo with a big W on it. That wasn't any kind of CNN logo. I don't know whose it was, either.
      My comment was supposed to go to:

      So I'll just write it again. I'm used to being hacked by now. I can keep sending this comment, so the redirection of my browser isn't going to stop me.

      Your comment has validity, but I doubt the Israelis who would be killed by these released prisoners would stay any healthier if they remained in prison. There are plenty of other jihadis willing to do the job.

      I wrote to tell you that it is only KNOWLEDGE of Islam which can save the non-Muslim people from being conquered. Islam is all about conquest and always has been. Governments and media are like most people – intellectually lazy. Rather than doing their own homework on Islam, they consult a Muslim. ALL Muslims will lie to us about Islam. Even clerics – actually especially the clerics. In Islam, lying to infidels is righteous and praiseworthy. They ALL will do it.

      But the lies are believed.

      It scares me silly that most people in the free world insist – against mountains of evidence – that Islam is tolerant and peaceful. It is literally anti-survival to deny the threat exists. But the last thing we should do is lower our own values to their level, or to wallow in hate or scream for war. All futile and stupid. THWARTING their goals needs no hate or violence, and it can be done VERY effectively, if we'd get cracking on it in time. We don't have much time left, either.

      I've studied Islam for many years and know it better than most Muslims. You are an Israeli. You are therefore probably Jewish, and you have no problem with a religious-led government. I have plenty of objection to religions running nations, because they will ALWAYS become oppressive and absolutist. I dislike Judaism, but then I dislike the other religions, too – they are not forces of good, because they propagate more harm than good, sooner or later. But I don't hate. Most of the Israeli people are pretty nice folks. But you fail to recognize that the lies Muslims tell are being believed – by people all over the world. That is supremely dangerous. Someone has to call out the lies Muslims tell, and only someone who has been studying Islam seriously has any standing to do so. When I call out Muslims for their lies, I can use their OWN holy texts to do it. This makes them VERY angry, of course, and they hate me.

      Aren't there ANY people in the world with the brains to do some of their OWN homework, rather than listening to governments and media who regard oil as more important than our own survival? Isn't there anyone out there who knows just how dangerous Islam is, and how successful their lies and propaganda can be?

      I've been doing it for years, and have been repeatedly hacked for my efforts. Meanwhile, if maybe three people have told me "Hey, that's not a bad idea. I think I will start to study Islam from its own core texts," that's all I've accomplished. People just don't WANT to do their own homework! They refuse to look at the wolf that is already near their own door. Denying the threat exists will never make it go away – it enables it, actually. Muslims lie to us about their faith because their plans to conquer us rely UTTERLY on our continued ignorance of Islam. It's working.

      I can't keep it up much longer. I'm very disabled and getting old. Maybe you can encourage people – of all faiths – to do this homework and learn the realities of Islam FOR THEMSELVES. It's the best kind of knowledge to have. Doesn't that make some sense?

      Though I've been gagged by hackers at the regular CNN SoundOff boards, my earlier postings may still be there, if you look for them. I logged on as "faster." Feel free to read what I wrote before I got clobbered.

      I'm in very deadly earnest when I say that Islam is focused on total global conquest and dominance. I'm serious when I say that they are very actively at work toward that goal right now, and I feel sure that Europe will soon be conquered. Look at the mega-millions of Islamic immigrants living there – in countries whose cultures are blasphemous to Muslims. They're not there because they "yearn for liberty and rights." They're there to be a ready-made military to take over the countries they're in all at once, when the call comes. Sort of like Glasgow. Decades of "peace and tolerance" didn't stop them from changing, overnight, into ravening jihadis. And it looks as though they'll have the full military backup of Libya, Egypt, Syria and other countries which are going to become Islamic States very soon. I truly fear that Europe is as good as lost already.

      YOU in Israel have a better handle on what Muslims are and what they want to do. But you can't be the ones to tell the rest of the world about it, because of all the anti-semitism. So find other non-Jews you know who'd be willing to do the homework and take up where I will soon have to leave off. Objectivity, without the emotional and religious trappings, is the best approach.

      I'd like someone to tell me if there is ANYTHING sneaky or wrongful about telling people to get off their sofas and do some serious HOMEWORK on Islam. I don't ask anyone to take MY word for it – or anyone else's. I tell them to go and get the real knowledge from the horse's mouth. How is THAT unfair?

      If I can do it, so can many of the people who read this. So DO IT!

      October 16, 2011 at 11:15 pm |
  9. Cythara

    This article is crap. Shalit's release is because the thousand Palestinians being held by Israel are not and never were a 'threat' to Israel. If they were, you can be SURE the Israelis would not let them go. They were simply people swept up in Israel's 'terrorize your neighbors' plan.

    For the author to say 'Jews value life' is howlingly ludicrous. What it is going on is an exorbitant display of the inculcated, rabid racism within Israel. The pathological and hysterical desperation to save a Jew from a 'fate worse than death' (capture by Palestinians... eeeeeeK!) and their own casual contempt for their utterly sadistic but routine and indiscriminate imprisoning of innocent Palestinians. Nothing shows the screwball virulent racism of Zionism better than this little incident.

    October 16, 2011 at 2:30 pm |
    • brillisoft

      Cythara, you can deny it as much as you want, but many of the Palestinian prisoners being released are not only threat to Israel, but have blood on their hands and will have no inhibitions to kill Israelis again.

      Tell me your truth – would you murder an Israeli person or maybe an entire family, if you could?
      many of these people actually did just that.

      Is that a reason for you to admire them?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:13 pm |
    • brillisoft

      Cythara, there is one thing worse then death.
      It is living with thoughts and ideas such as you express.
      You will obviously never understand value of life, as long as it is a jewish life.
      You are full of hate.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Elad

      Obviously, you know nothing about this deal or the prisoners Israel is releasing, or you would be reacting differently.
      You can't argue with the fact that Israel as a nation goes to extraordinary measures to retrieve one of its soldiers or citizens.
      On this day, despite what may occur because of this deal, I am proud to be an Israeli citizen, as I know that if a friend, a family member or my son will be enlisted to defend our country, everything will be done to bring them home.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:22 pm |
    • Latinlover

      Bless You, Cythara!!! There are FEW good people like you, who have courage to stand up against naked and shameless brutality of the Israelis against defenseless Palestenians.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:59 pm |
    • H. B.

      The crimes committed by those prisoners are well-known, even outside of Israel. You Muslims are told by your god that lying to us infidels is righteous and good. That does not cover up the fact that your lies are easily called out.

      Shalit was IN Israel when he was kidnapped off his base. The perps entered Israel through secret tunnels and made off with him. They've used him time and again as a pawn against Israel, and will probably use other similar-type pawns in the future. Muslims are very good at using "blame the victim" to justify what they do. In today's world, they haven't yet latched on to the fact that such ploys can only have a very limited effect. Shalit was an entirely innocent victim, even though he was in the military. He was just bebopping around on his own base, in his own country, threatening nobody.

      Cythara seems to forget that after WWII, people didn't WANT to take in Jews. So how could they have had a "cabal" which was strong enough to encourage the free world to commit crimes for Jews? I don't know what history books you read, but Israel was formed out of guilt those nations had for their ill-treatment of Jews. The guilt was justified, and they did the right thing.

      Furthermore, when Israel began, there were a few Arab nomads living there – it was barren, godforsaken land. Those few Arabs acquired full Israeli citizenship, and, until the jihadi types moved in, they had no problem living there with the Jews. Most of these so-called "Palestinians" are actually immigrants who came there, mostly from Syria, for the express purpose of jihading against Jews.

      After many years, the Jews turned that barren land into a garden, and the Muslims moved in to take it from them. Muslims do stuff like that – a lot. Like when they took Spain, turned churches into mosques and made the people "dhimmis," (second-class citizens, almost slaves). Back then, having a low opinion of Islam and Muslims was not called "Islamophobia" and condemned. It was real life, and Muslims were people who behaved odiously. Please note that they were ultimately kicked out. Had they been genuinely "benign" rulers, that wouldn't have been deemed necessary, would it?

      You can't rewrite what history wrote, long before the Muslims decided to call Israelis "Zionists" and themselves "Palestinians." Today, most people insist on thinking of Islam as the precise opposite of what it really IS – and what it always HAS BEEN. That's called propaganda. From our own people, it's for the oil. From Muslims, it's to keep us placid – and therefore VULNERABLE – to what they have in mind for us.

      In college (in the early '60's), every Muslim I knew would get up and start "dry-slaughtering" Jews with an imaginary cutlass, every time somebody mentioned Jews to them. Those nice, "peaceful, tolerant" Muslims. The Jews I knew really WERE peaceful and tolerant.

      I've STUDIED the Quran and Hadith – for years. Muslims can't lie and pull it off with me. Islam is about two things, which are actually (to them) virtually the same thing: Conquest and manliness. It has never been about anything else.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:02 pm |
    • Ali

      let me ask you a question. if i go now to your home kill some of your family members prison the others and let others live while my gun in their head. and tell you my god told me that he gave me your and i repeat your home, do you accept? thats what israelies did they took stole rubbed the land of the palestinians and then called it their country, thats the real history.

      October 16, 2011 at 6:00 pm |

    The time is running out for Isreal ,now for sixty year built on doctrine of religion discrimination.Same as christiian are condemn in muslim countries.But fact is christian are free to exercise their religion in muslim countries.Can Muslims of all world for example have superior claim over Christians living in their countries.hat Answer is no. So it is double standards of UN that is responsible for this discrimination even in this century.UN has failed. That's why people of Palestine have used violence like in Libya and other Arab countries.This violence would continue unless these parties and countries involved are forced to accept solution.Pray for peace

    October 16, 2011 at 2:16 pm |
    • H. B.

      Riiight, pal – in other words, war is peace, right?

      Maybe you'd care to explain the definition of the Muslim word, "dhimmi." Being "allowed" to practice their faith in a Muslim country does not mean the treatment is benign. There are constant harassments and overbearing repression. You may notice that the B'hai people are under constant attack in Iran.

      You seem to have forgotten that in Israel, people of other faiths are NOT second-class "dhimmis." They really CAN practice their faiths without inhibition from the government.

      To say Muslims tolerate other faiths is a flat lie, chum.

      So will YOU offer a true and unbiased definition of "dhimmi" for all of us? Don't leave out the draconian "taxes" a dhimmi must pay to his Muslim overlords. I might notice that.

      BTW, did Muslims "tolerate" the Zoroastrian faith that the Persian people had before the Muslims conquered them, forced them to convert to Islam, and named the country "Iran"?

      Yes, before people start hammering at me that Islam prohibits conversions by the sword: That's what the MUSLIMS tell us. History is littered with forced conversions, and the first of the bunch was done by Muhammad himself. After he did it, the Quran text, "There shall be no compulsion in religion" died. Totally. Those Muslims came into Persia and forced Islam on them. They knew it would only be a matter of a generation or two before the people were genuinely Muslims, having no access to any other knowledge or influences. But even today, there remain many Persians who do remember their own past, and hate Islam and everything it stands for. Naturally, they have to remain rather quiet about that. Islam, that "peaceful, tolerant" religion, would treat them rather badly if the Muslims in Iran knew who they were.

      Will you also please grace us with the knowledge that Islam regards lying to us infidels as righteous and praiseworthy?

      We go to Muslims with our questions about Islam – even the government and media do this all the time. Those Muslims then dish out LIES, and are believed. There is only ONE SOURCE of knowledge about the realities of Islam: The Quran and Hadith, the two scriptures of Islam.

      Muslims know how intellectually lazy people are, and they know how to use it. It's long overdue for you people in the free world to truly educate yourselves about Islam, since it threatens the lives of every non-Muslim on the planet. I'd call that important. And yes, even more important than the oil. Ask a Muslim; get lies. Ask the Islamic scriptures; learn the reality.

      You would learn that, while all other faiths DO revere human life, Islam does NOT. Non-Muslims don't deserve to live, but even Muslims' lives exist for only ONE purpose: to serve Allah's goal of global overlordship in order to earn paradise. Nothing else matters. In Islam, even the lives of its OWN believers are not worth making better in this life, and are often best used by dying for their faith. No reverence for human life at ALL exists in Islam. Muslims don't generally build things; they prefer to break them.

      Islam's PRIME DIRECTIVE is total global conquest. I don't call that either peaceful or tolerant. Silly me.

      If you non-Muslims want to stay free, DO YOUR HOMEWORK.

      October 16, 2011 at 5:57 pm |

    I don't understand the myth of religion,race,nation.This division is for the superiority of one human race on the other.When u read this article it is truly evident that one religion,race,nation is superior in all respect of their teaching,traditions,culture as compared to the other.
    But the reality is that whatever you write now this world will be free in few years to come and all human beings will live in love and peace.
    Those who penned down these words should encourage love and peace in their writtings and division should end.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:55 pm |
  12. alfred

    their message is: 1 of our people is worth a thousand of yours. while it may not be correct its still a powerful message

    October 16, 2011 at 1:53 pm |
  13. Charles

    The exchange of one israeli soldier for1000 prisoners in this case mostly terorists with blood on there hands has nothing to do with the fact of Gilad being jewish , the israely governement , army and people has been supporting anybody willing to help us in getting any soldier from the israely army missing in actoin dead or alive back home this is an unwritten law of the idf that every father and mother in israel knows . We here in israel jews christians muslims druze etc enjoy the freedom and democracy here and are ready to defend it serving proudly in the idf.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:48 pm |
    • Cythara


      October 16, 2011 at 2:33 pm |
  14. Annette

    Why doesn't anyone say what the Palestinian prisoners actually did?! Here's just one: Ahlam Tamimi was sentenced to 16 consecutive life terms in jail for her involvement in the terrorist attack on the Sbarro pizza restaurant in Jerusalem in August 2001 that claimed the lives of 16 innocent victims, amongst them many children.

    Tamimi has never expressed remorse and told reporters in 2006, "I'm not sorry for what I did. I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel's existence. Discussions will only take place after Israel recognizes that this is Islamic land."

    When released, Tamimi will have her life to live, despite having been sentenced in a court of law after a full and proper trial to sixteen consecutive life sentences. The thought that she will become a wife and mother, be honored by her community and others, and become an inspiration to young formative minds in the Arab world.

    And then there's another female terrorist – one who lured an Israeli kid over an internet chat room to meet her for a date, when he was met not by her, but by a group of Palestinians who promptly murdered him.

    Compare these animals with Gilad Shalit, a shy, boy who wrote a book at age 11 on tolerance.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm |
    • elie

      dear annette
      why doesn't anybody question the tactics of the israeli air force and army in each and every war they faught, notably lebanon 1982, when they were responsible for the killing of more than 20,000 civilians in 40 days, the massare of 45 children in Qana, and they did it twice. in Gaza for the past 6 years. if such high values are accorded to human life, then these theocrats owe us an explanation? is the massacre of civilians in their thousands allowed in enemy territories to go unpunished, isn't this a crime against humanity? or do we have two sets of humans as per the israeli doctrine as it seems? it reminds me of nazi germany. and white only south africa... and dear annette, it was the people of europe who have persecuted jews( germany, spain, russia, ukrain) to name only a few countries, so why do the poor palestinians have to pay for europe's sins and crimes against jews?

      October 16, 2011 at 3:47 pm |
  15. Yael, Tel-Aviv

    Yes, everyone – Judaism does places ultimate value on human life! to all of you that regard this statement as some cliche, you have no understanding of the way the state of Israel functions and its values. Israel is the only country in the world the will do anything possible to release one soldier! – what other country would do that? Where in the world will every single citizen pry daily for a return of one of their children.
    Welcome Gilad, We have been waiting for you return for more then five years. Waiting to see you embraced by your mothers arms. May you experience no more sorrow in your life. May you overcome the horror that you have faced daily for the last five years and get to see days of love and joy. May you see days of peace.

    October 16, 2011 at 1:09 pm |
  16. John

    Israel actions are becoming more & more hostage to religious extremists and principles, and less & less geared towards pragmatic, honest and sustainable real life solutions. It is not only a shame, but a major threat for peace and respectful cohabitation with the Palestinians, who have as much rights as the Israelis on the palestine land.
    The US government is hostage to the american jewish lobby, and that is simply outrageous and foolish. Wake up USA, reject this dead-end in which the jewish lobby is cornering you in.

    October 16, 2011 at 12:23 pm |
    • brillisoft

      What is extremist in releasing 1027 prisoners for one soldier?
      Israel is the most humane nation and state in the world.

      October 16, 2011 at 3:33 pm |
  17. yoav

    israel does not relese "palestinians". they relese terorists. mega terorists.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:55 am |
    • Muneef

      Palestinians are terrorists but those mercenaries imported from East Europe and African Flasha are not as terrorists...!?

      October 16, 2011 at 12:08 pm |
    • stevemann

      You can not release "Palestinians"- There are no such people- They are refugees made so in first instant by not accepting UN resolution 181- Then by Jordan and Egypt putting them into Camps of futility for political gain and refusing to absorb them into their nations.
      Then of course the bulk of those people had been wanderers who Britain allowed in and out of the area pre 1947 at will- They came from what is now Syria, Egypt and the Hejaz, After all Arafat was an Egyptian.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:16 pm |
    • Muneef

      Moses as well was Egyptian and on the exudes him and his people were turned to wander the deserts...those all from the area are descendants of those that were moving for centuries between reigns surrounding the area and they have every right for the holy land as any one else...
      Just remember that the ottoman army & leaders were all brought on their childhood from East Europian countries and then they got them educated and trained to lead the empire interests... So the people whom you call wanderers are decedents of such as those and Arabs of the Arabian Penisuler whom are known to trade between areas in what is called the Summer and Winter trade movement...

      October 16, 2011 at 2:24 pm |
    • Muneef

      Sahih International
      For the accustomed security of the Quraysh – (106:1).
      Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer – (106:2).

      October 16, 2011 at 2:28 pm |
    • Cythara

      If that is so, then you guys must be morons. But since I am sure you will never admit to being mornons, you must be lying, because Israel would never release people it truly thought were dangerous to itself.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:36 pm |
    • Muneef


      According to military historian Michael Antonucci, every five years the Turkish administrators would scour their regions for the strongest sons of the sultan's Christian subjects. These boys, usually between the ages of 10 and 12, were then taken from their parents and given to the Turkish families in the provinces to learn Turkish language and customs, and the rules of Islam; these boys were then enrolled in Janissary training. The recruit was immediately indoctrinated into the religion of Islam. He was supervised 24 hours a day and subjected to severe discipline: he was prohibited from growing a beard, taking up a skill other than war, or marrying. The Janissaries were extremely well disciplined (a rarity in the Middle Ages).
      Read more at link;

      October 16, 2011 at 4:34 pm |
  18. Kyne

    I'm still amazed that there are people returning to a land their ancestors left centuries ago, claiming it's been their's all along , and it's been and being given to them (by whose authority, anyway?) Anybody else, anywhere else in the world would have to do it by force and be considered the bad guy or be laughed at and sent away. If the US accepts and supports Israel's claims and reasoning, how about they return the land they stole from the native Americans?

    October 16, 2011 at 11:36 am |
    • yoav

      the authority that dicided israel is for the Jews is the UN (1948). in that land there was 3 Jewish autonomys over the centuries, and there was never other autonomy in there, not arab, not muslim, nada. those are historical facts.

      October 16, 2011 at 12:01 pm |
    • Cythara

      Before 1948, a hidden Jewish cabal in Britain, the US and Palestine (the Jewish Agency) politicked behind the scenes which culminated in getting the UN to give them a homeland in Palestine. After LOTS of shady, criminal deals, it was done. All that was left to do was totally reinvent history with screwy mantras like 'there were no people in Palestine – at all' until the Jews came. Suddenly, all sorts of Arabs moved in and called themselves 'Palestinians'.

      Open the mind of a Zionist and you will see a little squirrel going round and round in a metal cage. That is how Zionism sustains itself and Israel justifies its existence.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:41 pm |

      Come on guy grow up, lets all just live and be proud of who we are. For some reason people need someone to blame for problems, every race has a problem within there race some are just not as smart as others and some races are better looking then others. We should embrace who we are and use what god-nature has given us if your race is better at working in the fields or are better at working with other people then come to turms with the truth NOT EVERY ON IS EQUAL ON EVERYTHING. That does not mean we all should'ent respect eachother but know who and what you are and STAND PROUD.

      October 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  19. Schamroth

    The lack of any mention that the 'Palestinians' referred to in the article committed multiple acts of terrorism, belonged to an internationally recognized terrorist orgnization (Hamas), and were guilty of murder, reflects negatively on the author's impartiality as a journalist. CNN, you can do better!

    October 16, 2011 at 11:18 am |
    • Cythara

      The lack of any mention that the 'Israelis' referred to in the article committed multiple acts of terrorism, belonged to an internationally recognized terrorist organization (the Jewish Agency, the Jewish Telegraph Agency, AIPAC, the IDF, Moussad, Shin Bet, or the historical ones like the Irgun, the Stern Gang, etc et al), and were guilty of murder, reflects negatively on the author's impartiality as a journalist. CNN, you can do better!

      October 16, 2011 at 2:46 pm |
  20. andyboy

    Whilst Gilad's release will be a relief to him, and a welcome comfort for his family in the short term, I am not so sure that the conditions that enabled it will not prove problematic for both him and his family in the long term.

    How WILL they cope with the situation when the first Israelis die at the hands of terrorists to be released this week? How could anyone cope with that degree of responsibility?

    And, in the full and certain knowledge that had their campaign been less strident and high profile, the government would not have been under such pressure to meet so many of the demands of Hamas.

    A lower profile would have led to less terrorists being released,and would, at least, have reduced the future Israeli casualties.

    I am not sure that they did themselves, or Gilad, any favours.

    October 16, 2011 at 11:14 am |
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About this blog

The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.