Gilad Shalit's release from Hamas's clutches -- winners and losers

Israelis understandably are rejoicing about the pending release of Sgt. Gilad Shalit, the soldier kidnapped five years ago by Hamas in a cross-border ambush off Gaza. As of this writing, Prime Minister Netanyahu has called Shalit's parents to inform them that their son will be coming home in a few days. After lengthy debate, the cabinet approved the deal by a vote of 26 to 3.   Reports indicate that Israel will free as many as 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, many of them convicted of terrorist acts.   There's no question but that Israel will be paying a high price for Shalit's freedom.  Many of the Palestinians who will be freed pose an undoubted security risk to the Jewish state.  But this trumped the vast emotional longings for Shalit's freedom in a country where almost all families have current or past members in the military.   For Israel, despite the immediate joy, Shalit's return will not be an unalloyed blessing. ...(Read Full Post)