When Doing the Wrong thing is Right

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Israel Completes Controversial Prisoner Swap


I have been against this from the beginning—the idea of swapping Israeli soldiers for terrorists and murderers. If you negotiate with terrorists, you encourage them. You are in essence saying that if you want something from us, terror is an effective way to get it.

Two days ago Israel handed over five terrorists, including a notorious cold-blooded killer, Samir Kuntar, and the remains of 200 Lebanese and Palestinian fighters. Israel received the dead bodies of two soldiers in exchange. In Hebrew the word for body and dead body are extremely close: goof and goofa. Yet in reality the difference could not be greater.

For these two reasons I was against the exchange: 1) I don’t want to encourage terrorists to kidnap Israelis (of which I am one!) and 2) it was not a fair exchange.

However, two days ago that all changed for me. We were in our chug hallel (Hebrew-speaking worship home group) on the night after the exchange when one of the worshippers began to pray for the families of the fallen soldiers. She prayed with deep emotion and empathy. As I agreed with her I felt the Lord speak to me.

I will bless Israel. For you value the bodies of fallen soldiers more than they value their living ones. Because Israel is doing the unwise thing for the right reason I will look down from heaven and protect her. No one in Israel argues that this was a foolish thing to do. What many Israelis have argued about the last few weeks is whether or not this foolish act is actually a righteous act. At the end of the day our nation said, “Yes, it does encourage the terrorists…yes, it does make us the losers in the Lebanon War…yes, it turns Nasrallah into a hero and his group,Hezbollah, into giant killers…no, it is not a fair exchange… but yes, we still must do it.” They have found our weakness—we are not barbarians—we put value on human life, and even death. 

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Samir Kuntar

At the age of 16 Kuntar

(pictured above) and his

fellow terrorists killed a

policeman and entered an

apartment building in

northern Israel, took a father,

Danny Haran, 28, and his

four-year-old child, Einat,

hostage. The wife, Smadar,

hid in a small space with their

two- year old daughter.

Trying to muffle the child’s

cries, Smadar accidentally

smothered their child to

death. While more police

were arriving at the scene,

the terrorists pulled Danny

and Einat to the beach where

Kuntar shot Danny at close

range and threw him into

the sea. Kuntar then killed

Einat by crushing her head

on the rocks with the butt