Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Israeli-Palestinian exchange rate

The next time you hear someone use the faded old rhetoric of  comparing number of Israelis killed vs. number of Palestinians killed in order to bash Israel, just remind them of the exchange rate which Palestinians have imposed on the region.

As of today, 1 Israeli life is worth 1027 Palestinian lives.

Let's have a look at the region's skewed concept of "Fair Market Value", shall we?

Over the past 30 years, Israel has released around 7000 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for 19 Israelis and the bodies of 8 Israelis. Here is an overview of some of the most notable exchanges:
  • Jibril Agreement in 1985: 1150 prisoners released in exchange for 3 Israeli prisoners. Among the released: Ahmed Yassin
  • July 1996: A deal with Hezbollah to return the remains of 123 Lebanese soldiers in exchange for the remains of 2 Israelis.
  • June 1998: Another deal with Hezbollah, to return the remains of 40 Hezbollah soldiers (including Nasrallah's son's remains) in exchange for the remains of one Israeli.
  • January 2004: Yet another Hezbollah deal, 435 prisoners in exchange for the bodies of 3 Israeli soldiers kidnapped at the very beginning of the 2nd Intifada (Benny Avraham, Adi Avitan and Omar Sawaid), and "businessman" Elchanan Tennenbaum.
    Among the released: Mustafa Dirani and Abdel Karim Obeid, two "jokers" originally intended as bargaining chips for Ron Arad.
  • July 2008: 5 terrorists, among which Samir Kuntar, and the bodies of 204 other terrorists, were exchanged for the coffins containing the bodies of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. 
  • September 2009: Israel released 20 female prisoners for a proof-of-life tape of Gilad Shalit.
No, Israel is no stranger to this history of lopsided prisoner exchanges.

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