Democratic governments don’t deal with terrorists – until they do


Robert Fisk
The Independent

October 13, 2011

Once upon a time, we lived in a world where democratic governments did no deals with “terrorists”. No country promoted this nonsense more than Israel. And no Israeli leader repeated the mantra so often as one B Netanyahu Esq. After all, America never “gave way” to “terrorists”. No deals would ever be done by Britain.

Indeed, if France were to release 1,000 prisoners for one French hostage – heaven forbid – Obama, La Clinton and Cameron would be loud in their fury at French cowardice. But yesterday there came not a squeak from Washington or London about Israel’s latest “deal” with its supposedly “terrorist” enemies: 1,027 Palestinians for one Israeli soldier.

Of all nations on earth, Israel regularly “gives in” or does “deals” over “terrorist” demands more than any other. A quick trip down memory lane: in 1985, Israel released 1,150 prisoners for three captured Israeli soldiers in Lebanon. In 1998, for the remains of an Israeli soldier killed the previous year, Israel released 65 prisoners and the bodies of 40 dead Hezbollah men. I watched the grim procession of the latter to a south Lebanon village where the bodies reeked so badly that families were sick at the stench as they wept in mourning.

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