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Thursday, October 20, 2011

Once Again Republicans Support Israel

In the recent Republican debate in Las Vegas, Ron Paul suggested a cut in foreign aid including Israel.  Michelle Bachman and Herman Cain responded by condemning the proposal. Although I agree with Dr.Paul with the need to cut aid,  Herman Cain  suggests that there should be an evaluation of who we help.  We do not need to give money to those who hate us and are not supportive of what we believe should be happening in the world. Evaluate and then cut. If that occurs, we will end up with billions that are not spent. 
Another big waste of money is the United Nations. The original purpose of the organization was very good but has turned out to be something quite different.  It was designed to be force for good but has turned into a very bastardized version of the original dream.  For example, only in a "Frankenstein" nightmare could Syria head the Human Rights Commission!
Here is the story about Cain:

US Republican Candidates Rebuff Aid Cut to Israel

JTA - The Jerusalem Post, October 19th, 2011

Michelle Bachmann and Herman Cain push back against proposal by Ron Paul to cut foreign aid, including the $3 billion sent to Israel.

WASHINGTON — US Republican presidential candidates Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain pushed back against a proposal by Ron Paul to cut funding to Israel.

Paul, a Texas congressman, during the GOP debate Tuesday in Las Vegas repeated his proposal to cut foreign aid, including the $3 billion Israel receives annually in defense assistance.

“That foreign aid makes Israel dependent on us,” he said. “It softens them for their own economy. And they should have their sovereignty back, they should be able to deal with their neighbors at their own will.” Bachmann, a Minnesota congresswoman, and Cain, a businessman, pushed back.

“We should not be cutting foreign aid to Israel,” Bachmann said. “Israel is our greatest ally. The biggest problem with this administration and foreign policy is that [US President Barack] Obama is the first president since Israel declared her sovereignty who put daylight between the United States and Israel. That’s heavily contributed to the current hostilities that we see in the Middle East region.”

Cain said, “If we clarify who our friends are, clarify who our enemies are, and stop giving money to our enemies, then we ought to continue to give money to our friends, like Israel.”

The debate was sponsored by CNN and the Western Republican Leadership Conference.

A Las Vegas focus group of likely GOP voters conducted on the eve of the debate by The Israel Project found unanimous support for continuing aid levels to Israel.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Dick Morris on 9-9-9

As many of you know who follow this blog, we like Herman Cain's 9-9-9 proposal with reservations. As a service to our readers, we thought the following critique of the plan by Dick Morris is important. Please read it and comment.

Published on on October 18, 2011

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In 1980, facing a terrible economy, Ronald Reagan called for a new tax program: 10-10-10. Based on the Kemp-Roth bill, he called for 10 percent cuts in income taxes for three years. He got it, and it kindled 20 years of prosperity.

Now, Herman Cain understands that we need fundamental reform to get our economy moving. He calls for replacing the current system with just three levies of 9 percent each on personal income, corporate income and consumption. There would be no capital gains tax, inheritance tax, Social Security tax or Medicare tax. Just 9-9-9.

His proposal is breathtaking. Currently, the lowest top tax rate is Poland's 18 percent. And Poland is the only European nation that had no recession. If Cain passes 9-9-9, we will thrive and become the destination of choice for every business and businessman. Look at what Reagan's tax cuts achieved, and at the best-performing state economies, where there is no income tax.

The proposal, naturally, attracts critics and skeptics.

Some worry that it will add to the deficit. But that's not likely.

· Americans now earn $12.5 trillion of personal income. Tax it at 9 percent with no deductions and you generate about $1.125 billion.

· We spend $10.3 trillion. A 9 percent tax would yield about $927 billion.

· Net corporate income (after dividends) is $1.1 trillion. A 9 percent levy would generate $100 billion.

· That comes to $2.152 billion, about the same as our actual revenues of $2.162 billion for fiscal 2010.

And then, when you factor in the economic growth this plan will engender, the scenario becomes even better.

Liberals worry that the tax would shift the burden from the rich to the middle class. No, sir. Americans making $50,000 to $60,000 a year now pay an average of 6 percent of their income in income taxes. But they also pay 6.5 percent in FICA levies and 2.9 percent in Medicare payroll taxes (a total of 15.4 percent). The Cain proposal would replace these with a flat 9 percent, saving them 6.4 percent.

Of course, the middle class would also have to pay a 9 percent sales tax, but it would be largely offset by the savings in their payroll taxes.

Cain says that competitive pressures would hold down prices and force businesses to eat much of the 9 percent sales tax. Employers would not have to pay their 6.5 percent share of payroll in Social Security taxes, and their corporate taxes would be cut. For commodities with high price elasticity -- like cars -- competition will hold down prices. But for inelastic purchases -- like food and drugs -- some of the tax would probably be passed on. For the middle class? It's a wash.

More compelling is the possible impact on the poor. A family making $20,000 to $30,000 a year pays only 3 percent of its income in taxes (much of it more than offset by tax credits). But it still pays 6.5 percent in FICA and 2.9 percent in Medicare taxes. So the requirement that such a family pay 9 percent in personal income taxes would probably be fully offset by the cut in payroll taxes. But the poor might face higher prices. Cain plans to spell out how he can mitigate the impact on the poor through special empowerment zones. We need to see the details. Certainly, the poor would benefit from the increased employment, wages and growth the Cain tax cuts would generate.

Conservatives worry that 9-9-9 will open the door to a European Value-Added Tax that starts at 9 percent but goes up each year. Cain proposes that a two-thirds vote be required to raise rates. But a simple act of Congress could change that.

The real answer is political. If the Republican Party surges back to power in 2012, captures the Senate, keeps the House and takes the presidency, it can make sure the rates don't go up. Republicans usually can count on 40 votes in the Senate; we just have to use them.

The 9-9-9 is a good, good plan that can save our economy.

A Mother Speaks Out Against Schalit Prisoner Exchange

As we  said last week, we are against the prisoner exchange the Israelis did. Not because we do not think Schalit should be returned but rather the collateral damage that will assuredly occur in the future by those who have been released.

The following piece is self explanatory and explains my thoughts even better than we could.

Please read and comment:

A Mother's Pain

Sherri Mandell -,  October 17th, 2011

Why is it that terror victims are seemingly the only ones against the prisoner exchange? While other Israelis are rejoicing, we are in despair.
Arnold and Frimet Roth circulated a petition against the release of Ahlam Tamimi, an accomplice in their daughter Malki’s murder at the Sbarro pizza shop.
Tamimi says she is happy that many children were killed in the attack. Meir Schijveschuurder, whose family was massacred in the same attack, filed a petition with the high court and says he is going to leave Israel because of his feelings of betrayal. The parents of Yasmin Karisi feel that the state is dancing in their blood because Khalil Muhammad Abu Ulbah, who murdered their daughter and seven others by running them down with a bus at the Azor junction in 2001, is also on the list to be released. Twenty-six others were wounded in that attack.
Why are so many of us against the exchange that allows murderers and their accomplices to go free? Because we know the suffering that these murderers leave in their wake.
Yes, I want Gilad Schalit released. But not at any price. Not at the price we have experienced.
My son Koby Mandell and his friend Yosef Ish Ran were murdered by terrorists 10 years ago when they were 13 and 14 years old. They had been hiking in the wadi near our home when they were set upon by a Palestinian mob and stoned to death. It was a brutal, vicious murder.
We now run the Koby Mandell Foundation for terror victims’ families. We direct Camp Koby, a 10-day therapeutic sleep away camp for 400 children who have lost loved ones, mostly to terror. We also run mothers’ healing retreats and support groups.
Most people don’t understand the continuing devastation of grief: fathers who die of heart attacks, mothers who get sick with cancer, children who leave school, families whose only child was murdered. We see depression, suicide, symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. You wouldn’t believe how many victims’ families are still on sleeping pills and anti-anxiety medication. We see the pain that doesn’t diminish with time. We literally see people die of grief.
Bereaved families face acute psychological isolation.
Nobody understands us, they often complain.
They mean that nobody understands the duration or the severity of their pain and longing. In the aftermath of a prisoner exchange, this isolation will only be exacerbated.
So will the feeling that our children’s deaths don’t matter.
When people tell me that my son Koby died for nothing, I always used to say: No, it is our job to make his death mean something.
But now I am not sure. It seems that the government is conspiring to ensure that our loved ones’ deaths were for nothing.
Cheapening our loved ones’ deaths only enhances the pain. If Israel is willing to free our loved ones’ murderers, then the rest of the world can look on and assume that the terrorists are really freedom fighters or militants. If Palestinians were murdering Jews in cold blood without justification, surely the Israeli government wouldn’t release them.
No sane government would.
When we were sitting shiva for Koby, a general in the army told us: “We will bring the killers to justice.” I believed him. I took his words to heart. Today I am thankful my son’s killers have not been found. So are my children. Of course, I don’t want the terrorists to kill again. But if they were to be released in this prisoner exchange, I don’t think I could bear it.
We don’t want other families to be put in our situation.
We don’t want terrorists to be free when our loved ones are six feet underground. Ten years after my son was beaten to death, the pain often feels like a prison. In many ways, I am not free.
We don’t want other terrorists to be emboldened because they know that even if they murder, they may not have to stay in prison. President Shimon Peres says he will pardon but he will not forgive. Terrorist victims’ families will not pardon or forgive the government for this release.
We have been betrayed. To pardon terrorists mocks our love and our pain.
Furthermore, terrorism aims to strike fear in an entire society, to bring a whole populace to its knees. During the intifada, the terrorists did not succeed in defeating Israeli society. But to release prisoners now signals to Hamas that their strategy of terror was correct, effective.
They will celebrate wholeheartedly because they have won.
And as a result of prisoner exchanges, the Israeli justice system can only be seen as a joke, a mockery, even a travesty of justice.
It provides no deterrent and no retribution. It’s as if our government says to the killers: Come hurt us again. We’ll be happy to release you one day. We’ll let you go when you demand it.
I want Gilad Schalit home.
We need to protect our own soldiers. But not with a wholesale prisoner exchange. I wish that I could rejoice with the Schalit family. But I can’t. The price is too high.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kudlow on Cain

Larry Kudlow, in the following post, discusses the pros and cons of Herman Cain. As many of you remember, we are impressed with him as a candidate and we like he innovative approach to the financial problems facing the US. His 9-9-9 plan is the only innovative thinking we are seeing from either party.  Will he win?  At present there is no way to tell, however, his out-of-the-box thinking is attracting a lot of attention. It has also has resulted in money. He raised 3 million in the past quarter. He has no debt but his funding is small compared with Perry or Romney who raised over 15 million.  So he has a way to go.

On the personal side, he has a very easy way about himself. While he was Godfathers Chairman, a video has surfaced (on You Tube, of course) which shows singing and making fun of himself. He seems to be a very real person and answers questions in a forthright manner.  It would be nice to have someone who answers questions.

He does have one issue that will drive the MSM crazy. His wife is missing in action. She remains out of the limelight, opting to keep a normal home for the candidate. Mr. Cain has promised that she will come out later but until then we are sure the media will be hunting to find her and expose anything which can be twisted. 

Here is the article, let us know what you think:


Cain the Tax-Code Killer

by: Larry Kudlow

Herman Cain is the only GOP presidential candidate who wants to kill the tax code. That's right. Put a knife in it. Junk the entire system. And people are cheering as he rises in the polls in his quest for the nomination.

Cain's 9-9-9 plan is not perfect. But then again, the good should never be the enemy of the perfect.

Rep. Paul Ryan gives the plan a thumbs-up. Supply-side mentor Art Laffer tells me it would be "far, far better than the current system." And Chris Chocola, president of the free-market Club for Growth, calls it "a truly revolutionary tax reform that would amount to a massive job-creating tax cut on investments, savings and income."

As the world now knows, 9-9-9 translates to a 9 percent income-tax rate, a 9 percent value-added net sales tax rate on business and a 9 percent national sales tax overall. Like many conservatives, I am troubled by the national sales tax piece. It reminds me too much of Europe. It could start low and then build on top of the other taxes. But I totally support the first two nines on personal income and business. In my view, these are vast improvements.

For his part, Cain argues that the sales tax nine would pick up revenue and help to lower the rate for everybody, especially the middle class. His economic adviser Rich Lowrie told me in a CNBC interview that the sales tax is a replacement tax, not an add-on tax like you'd find at the state level. This is a key point. Lowrie said, "All we are doing is pulling out taxes that are invisible. We're cutting the rates. We're putting them back in at lower rates."

Lowrie is referring to the payroll tax, which in the Cain plan will go from 15 to 9 percent. That constitutes a net tax cut and a good deal more transparency regarding costs and prices that are embedded in the current code. I'm not sure I buy into this point entirely, but it's an interesting argument.

Liberals oppose the sales tax because they say its regressivity will hurt middle- and low-income people. But the Cain plan partially deals with this by exempting everybody below the poverty line. Cain also states that sales of existing goods would be exempt. I have no knowledge, however, of the treatment of services, and I am somewhat skeptical about enforcement complexity overall.

Nevertheless, a mammoth drop in marginal tax rates for individuals (35 to 9 percent, or 18 percent including the sales tax) and for businesses (also 35 to 9 percent) would supply an incredibly strong economy-wide growth incentive.

Lowrie argued further that the 9-9-9 plan will add $2 trillion to U.S. gross domestic product, create 6 million jobs, increase business investment by a third and lift wages by 10 percent. "And if you fold all that growth together," said Lowrie, "federal revenues go up by 15 percent."

I'm still a flat-tax guy, and I can't vouch for these numbers. But I can vouch for the proposition that greater marginal incentives will drive economic growth into high gear. I know there are many skeptics on this. But as always, I point to the Harding-Coolidge-Mellon tax cuts of the 1920s, the John F. Kennedy tax cuts of the 1960s and the Ronald Reagan tax cuts of the 1980s.

Remember, too, that the Cain tax plan would eliminate the double-tax on saving and investment by removing capital gains, estates and dividends from the tax code. All this would throw off strong economic incentives.

Given the current economic malaise, which in large part can be traced to the weakened balance sheets and net worths of families suffering from the multi-year slump in stock prices and home values, increasing returns to saving and investment through a much lower marginal tax rate will boost asset values. Just what the doctor ordered.

expensing for new purchases of capital equipment.

Former Treasury hands Gary and Aldona Robbins priced out the Cain plan on a static basis and discovered it to be revenue neutral. Essentially, they found a $26 trillion tax base yielding $2.3 trillion in revenue for a 9.1 percent overall rate. Hence, 9-9-9.

In essence, the Cain plan combines the flat tax (with its single marginal rate) and the fair tax (which uses the national sales tax). I don't know if this is really possible. But in terms of first principles, throwing out the tax code, lowering marginal tax rates, getting rid of the carve-outs and deductions that make the current code impossible to understand, and providing an economic-growth tonic to heal our current funk, it makes a lot of sense.

That Herman Cain is rising in the polls is no surprise

Poverty In The US Explained

The following link coincides with what has been said many times by yours truly. That is--Americans who live in poverty are better off than most of the world!  When you compare the United States with other countries, our poor live better than most of the world's population.

Bill Whittle who has been poor and knows what it is like also makes some excellent points about those who ignore the facts. Listen to this, he will make your day as he did mine.

"Rich Man, Poor Man"

Monday, October 17, 2011

Egypt Violates Peace Terms

Even before Shalit is released, Egypt broke the terms of the Sinai Peace agreement by conducting military operations in the peninsula.  This is meant to stick a  finger in the eye of Israel and to say to the world that the Peace Agreement is dead. Additionally, the new Egyptian leaders hosted Hamas in Cairo which to us is an indication of their future stand in the region.

In other words, Egypt wants to be a power broker in the region and will take all steps to disassociated itself with the past.  Mubarak may not be dead, but the peace his administration negotiated definitely is.
What is the next step, the next shoe to fall? A military build up in the Sinai? Military support to Hamas? Another war?
Additionally, the United States pressure on Israel is getting heavier as the article that follows indicates. My question is, will the US be there if there is another war? Or will Israel have to stand alone?
You tell me--I am guessing now, but all the answers are pretty scary.

Egypt Defies Sinai Peace Terms, Hosts Hamas in Cairo Before Shalit's Release
DEBKA Staffers - DEBKAfile Exclusive Report,  October 13th, 2011

     Thursday, Oct. 13 Cairo took two steps inimical to Israel. Egyptian Air Force Chief Gen. Reda Hafiz said to the official MENA news agency: “Sinai is our land and we do not need permission to increase our forces on our land” in direct contravention of the 1979 peace treaty signed with Israel which demilitarized Sinai by common consent. He added: “Egyptian planes conduct patrols without Israeli consent to secure Egypt's borders, including the eastern (Israeli) border.”
     Furthermore, without waiting for Hamas to open the prison doors for Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after five years of captivity in the Gaza Strip, Cairo let his captors cash in on the prisoner exchange deal by providing the first Damascus-based Hamas leaders with a home in Cairo.
     DEBKAfile reveals that Wednesday, Oct. 12, Khaled Meshaal's deputy, Mousa Abu Marzuk, won permission from Egyptian intelligence director Maj. Gen. Murad Mowafi to relocate from Damascus to a permanent home in a luxury villa provided him in Cairo.
     Meshaal, who arrived in the Egyptian capital Wednesday, was assured of the same privileges along with the staff of his Damascus politburo, if the new round of Palestinian unity talks launched between Hamas and Fatah in Cairo Thursday progressed satisfactorily.
     Egypt claims that Meshaal arrived to oversee arrangements for the handover of Gilat Shalit next week in return for the first batch of 450 jailed Palestinians. The remainder will be released at a later stage.
     According to our sources, he came to supervise the transfer of his command center from the Syrian capital to Cairo.
     Nonetheless, the Shin Bet director Yoram Cohen denied Wednesday that there were any political strings attached to the prisoner swap transaction that were hidden from the Israeli public. The information about the Hamas move to Cairo contradicts this assertion and also puts a question mark over Cohen's statement that the Shin Bet is capable of containing any security threat posed by turning loose 1,027 convicted Palestinian terrorists under the accord for recovering Gilad Shalit.
     DEBKAfile reports deep resentment in senior military circles over Defense Minister Ehud Barak's message to Cairo of “apologies and deep regrets” as well as condolences for the families of the six Egyptian security personnel “who were killed by Israeli fire.”
     He was referring to an incident at the scene of a terrorist attack, launched from Egyptian Sinai, on buses and cars on the Eilat highway which left eight Israelis dead.
     No inquiry has ever established who caused the deaths of the six Egyptian police officers. Israel thoroughly investigated the incident in response to American and Egyptian demands and decided in the interests of good relations with Cairo to cover up testimony by witnesses on the spot that the six Egyptian officers died while shooting at the Israeli vehicles alongside the terrorists and were in fact indistinguishable from them.
     Furthermore, the terrorists had made all their preparations for the attack on the Sinai side of the border under the eye of an Egyptian police post.
     Neither Netanyahu nor Barak checked with Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Benny Gantz before inculpating his troops for the killing of the Egyptian policemen in an official statement to Cairo.
     All this backdoor dealing has not been brought to the public notice. All other news items are snowed under the emotionalism and drama of the soldier's imminent return which fill all Israel's TV screens and front pages.
     Missing therefore is any disclosure of how the US and Egypt used the Shalit case to legitimize Muslim Brotherhood participation in the Egyptian government, the establishment of ties between the Brotherhood and Washington and the Egyptian Brothers' expanding clout in Ramallah and Gaza.
     The Palestinian Authority's ties with the rejectionist Hamas-Gaza were one of the stumbling blocks which held Israel back from negotiating a permanent peace with the Palestinians. By signing the prisoner swap deal, Israel confronts the formidable Muslim Brothers, parents of Hamas, and paved their path into the West Bank.
     None of Israel's talking heads has been able to explain what made Hamas suddenly flexible enough on its toughest terms to swing the deal. For instance, the top terrorist guns of both Hamas and Fatah were not included in the prisoner swap and will stay in jail.
     The answer is revealed here: It was not Hamas' decision to give way; it was forced to do so by its Egyptian Brotherhood masters. US officials in Cairo for talks with the Brotherhood leaders and Gen Mowafi led them in the real negotiations for the Shalit deal.
     They first established its fundamental and left the Israeli prime minister's emissary David Meidan and the head of Hamas' military wing Muhammad Jabari to tie up the technical ends.
     The Americans pushed Israel hard to accept the deal, while the Brothers gave Hamas no choice

International Law and Schalit

In the previous posting, we talked about the issue of the return of Schalit and how we feel it is not good in the long term for Israel to return 1000+ terrorists. In this posting we see another point that international law is violated by the exchange.  Please understand we are not international law experts, so if there are any lawyers with this experience and have either complementary or opposing opinions, we welcome their comments.

We are not comfortable with the exchange with which  many may disagree. However, if Mr. Beres is correct, violating international law only brings weight to our argument.

What are your opinions?

Schalit deal makes mockery of int'l law

Louis Rene Beres - The Jerusalem Post,  October 16th, 2011

No modern government has the legal right to free terrorists in exchange for its own kidnapped citizens, military or civilian.

Under long-standing international law, every state has a primary obligation to protect its citizens.
Yet it appears that tomorrow, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will exchange Palestinian terrorists for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit. Any such exchange, however humane to Schalit and his family, would imperil thousands of other Israelis.
A core element of all civilized legal systems is the rule of Nullum crimen sine poena, “no crime without a punishment.” This principle, drawn originally from the law of ancient Israel and reaffirmed at the post-war Nuremberg Trials, is part of all international law. It applies here as well.
Were the United States to undertake a Schalit-like deal to free terrorist prisoners, America would stand in violation not only of international law, but also of US law. This is because Article 6 of the Constitution (the “supreme law of the land”) makes all international law part of US law. Several landmark Supreme Court decisions have upheld that stance.
For Israel, there is an additional point: The country also has a pertinent and portentous history of terrorist exchanges. In June 2003, Shurat Hadin, the Israel Law Center, in anticipation of a then-planned terrorist releases, condemned Israel’s freeing of 100 Palestinian prisoners. Later, almost five times that number were freed by then-prime minister Ariel Sharon. In her letter to the prime minister and members of his cabinet, Shurat Hadin director Nitsana Darshan-Leitner wrote that releasing terrorists for any reason would reignite Arab terrorism against defenseless Jewish men, women and especially children.
Nitsana was correct. Soon thereafter, at least two newly released Palestinian terrorists proceeded to launch suicide bomb attacks in Israel. In these attacks, one “military target” of the “heroic fighters” was a cafe filled with mothers and their babies.
Every state has an indisputable core obligation under international law to prosecute and punish terrorists. This obligation derives in part from the “no crime without a punishment” principle and is codified directly in many authoritative sources. It can also be deduced from the binding Nuremberg Principles (1950). According to Principle 1: “Any person who commits an act which constitutes a crime under international law is responsible therefore and liable to punishment.”
Terrorism is a serious crime under international law. The precise offenses that comprise this crime can be found at The European Convention on the Suppression of Terrorism. Some of the Palestinian terrorists previously released were also guilty of related crimes of war and crimes against humanity. These are Nuremberg-category crimes, so egregious that the perpetrators are known in law as Hostes humani generis, “Common enemies of humankind.”
International law presumes solidarity between states in the fight against all crime, including terrorism. This presumption is mentioned as early as the seventeenth century in Hugo Grotius’ The Law of War and Peace.
Although Israel has a clear jurisdiction to punish any crimes committed on its own territory, it also has the right to act under broader principles of “universal jurisdiction.” Its case for such universal jurisdiction, which derives from an expectation of inter-state solidarity, is found in the four Geneva Conventions of August 12, 1949. These conventions impose upon the High Contracting Parties the obligation to punish “grave breaches.”
No modern government has the legal right to free terrorists in exchange for its own kidnapped citizens, military or civilian. Terrorism is a criminally sanctionable violation of international law that is not subject to manipulation by individual countries. In the United States, it is clear from the Constitution that the president’s power to pardon does not encompass violations of international law. Rather, this power is always limited precisely to “offenses against the United States.”
In originally capturing and punishing Palestinian terrorists, Israel acted on behalf of all states. Moreover, because some of the terrorists had committed their crimes against other states, Israel cannot properly pardon these offenses against other sovereigns.
Although Mr. Netanyahu’s impending prisoner exchange would not, strictly speaking, represent a “pardon,” it would have exactly the same effect.
No state possesses the authority to pardon violations of international law. No matter what might be permissible under its own Basic Law, any impending political freeing of terrorists by Israel would be impermissible. The fundamental principle is also established in law that, by virtue of such releases, the releasing state itself must assume responsibility for past criminal acts, and for future ones.
Under international law, Netanyahu’s impending exchange, effectively analogous to a mass pardoning of criminals, would implicate the Jewish state for a “denial of justice.” This could have practical consequences. Although it is arguable that punishment, which is central to justice, does not always deter future crimes, such an Israeli freeing of terrorists would undermine the Jewish state’s legal obligation to incapacitate violent criminals from committing new acts of mass murder.
A tragic aspect of modern international law is the need to make hard and painful choices in order to safeguard larger populations from future harm. Mr. Netanyahu
The writer is professor of international law at Purdue University and is author of many books and articles dealing with international criminal law.

The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea--the Shalit Issue

The Israeli government is caught in a conundrum. Do they return one soldier to his family while giving up 1000+ terrorists or do they make the decision that to return killers to freedom is too high a price to pay and if one soldier is not be returned, so be it.  Obviously, with the announcement of the completed negotiations, Shalit will come back to his family.

While there are valid points on either side of the argument, we are concerned with the decision. History has shown that terrorists return to their roots and will strike out against their former captors. Whether it is those who were caught on the fields of Iraq or Afghanistan or in Israel, it seems like the minority are rehabilitated. Most return to their killing ways. 

So to release 1000+ (some say 1028) will only mean more killing and maiming to the Israeli public. Yes,we understand that the family wants their son back and we completely feel for them and the loss they have had since Shalit was captured. However, we must look at things in a more long term vision. How many people will lose their sons, daughters, mothers or fathers, sisters or brothers when the final count is calculated? Is this loss worth the return of one? We do not think so.

In the following post, Jerome Auerbach writes about the dilemna.

What is your opinion?

The Gilad Shalit Dilemma

Jerold S. Auerbach - American Thinker,  October 16th, 2011

In Haifa eight years ago, Asaf Zur was returning home from school.  Along the way, his fellow bus passenger, a Hamas suicide bomber, blew himself up and killed seventeen Israelis, mostly school children like 17-year-old Asaf.
The  bomb belt worn by the terrorist was made by Mawaz Abu Sharach and Majdi Amro. They trained him, planned his deadly assault, and drove him to his target. For their heinous cruelty they received seventeen life sentences. Interviewed from an Israeli prison on British television for a program called “Inside the Mind of a Suicide Bomber,” they said: “We will be released before our sentences' time; we will go back to terror because we must kill more Jews.”
Sharach and Amro are among the 1,027 terrorists who will be released by Israel in return for Sgt. Gilad Shalit, 19 years old when he was abducted during a cross-border raid from Gaza more than five years ago. Held captive and incommunicado by Hamas ever since, his outside contacts have been limited to three letters, a DVD, and an audio tape — granted only in return for the release of 20 female Palestinian prisoners.
Shalit's cruel confinement mobilized his family and their many supporters.  Gilad's father Noam worked relentlessly to secure his son's release.  Mass prayers have been held at the Western Wall.  Ten thousand Israelis joined in a protest march, organized by Shalit's parents, to the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem.  A tent was erected nearby for family and friends to maintain vigil and to press for Gilad's return — at any price.
Few issues galvanize Israelis, and evoke their sense of themselves as a national family, like the capture of soldiers.  Gilad became “a son to all of us,” whose return home would heal the deep family wound.  News of his imminent release, in exchange for the Palestinian terrorists (nearly 300 of whom are convicted murderers serving life sentences), electrified the country.  A substantial majority of Israelis, who have supported such disproportionate prisoner exchanges in the past, enthusiastically approve.  So does Hamas leader Khaled Mashaal, for whom the agreement is a “great achievement.”
But not Yossi Zur, father of Asaf.  He knows the history and consequences of vastly disproportionate prisoner exchanges.  During the past thirty years, 7,000 Palestinian prisoners incarcerated for brutal terrorist actions have been released in exchanges for 19 Israelis (and 8 bodies).   Since 2002, 182 Israelis have been killed by the released  terrorists.  Based on these numbers, dozens of Israelis are likely to die at the hands of prisoners who will be exchanged for Gilad Shalit.
Why now, after five years?  Egyptian military rulers, who brokered the Shalit exchange, may have wished to strengthen relations with Hamas to please the Muslim Brotherhood.  Hamas can use the deal to weaken Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, whose pursuit of UN recognition Hamas opposes.  And Prime Minister Netanyahu will surely bask in public approval for bringing Gilad Shalit home — when he is not castigated for surrendering to terrorists.
The Israeli conundrum cuts deeply.  To Security Agency Chief Yoram Cohen, this is “the best deal for Israel from a security perspective.” But he conceded that strengthening Hamas could “increase motivation for more attacks and kidnappings.”  Despite good reasons for opposing the deal, claimed Israeli journalist Ari Shavit, there is “one decisive reason” to support it: Shalit has become “a symbol of mutual solidarity” for Israelis; “without this feeling, there is no meaning to our lives here.”.
To those on the Israeli right, however, it is a “disgraceful surrender.” The Netanyahu government was denounced for betraying Israelis whose family members were killed by the released terrorists.  A number of those families filed emergency lawsuits to stop the release. Soldiers in elite counter-terrorist units who had risked their lives to capture the murderers also protested.
A decade ago fifteen-year-old Malka Chana Roth was one of fifteen Israelis murdered in a horrific Palestinian terrorist bombing in the Sbarro pizzeria in downtown Jerusalem.  The suicide bomber was escorted to the restaurant by Ahlam Tamimi, a 20-year-old university student who was disguised as a Jewish tourist.   Sentenced to 16 life sentences, she said, “I'm not sorry for what I did.  I will get out of prison and I refuse to recognize Israel's existence.”  Ahlam Tamimi was prescient: she is on the list of prisoners to be exchanged for Shalit.
When Frimet Roth, Malka's mother, heard the news she responded: Tamimi has been “handed a life to live – the life of a hero, an inspiration. And the government that prosecuted this monstrous woman has agreed to the satanic transaction.”
It is difficult to imagine that Israeli solidarity can be forged from Noam Shalit's joy and the bitter sorrow of Yossi Zur, Frimet Roth, and the families of hundreds of other innocent victims whose Palestinian murderers will be free to murder again.
According to President Shimon Peres, the Shalit exchange demonstrates that the Jewish state has fulfilled its “top moral value – to save one soul in Israel.”  But to save one soul by virtually assuring the deaths of others is, at least, morally questionable.  The imprisoned 13th century Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg refused the huge ransom of 23,000 silver marks raised by his loyal followers lest it encourage the incarceration of other rabbis.  He died in prison seven years later.
As Yossi Zur realized, “since the names and faces of the future victims are not known, it is permissible to ignore all signs and past experience, and fantasize that nothing will happen.” For Israelis,  sadly, history suggests otherwise.
Jerold S. Auerbach, author of Brothers at War: Israel and the Tragedy of the Altalena (2011), blogs at