Sunday, October 16, 2011

Deaths in Anti-Government Protests Around the World

Death Tolls in Anti-Government Protests Around The World 2010-2011
If you look to the right end of the chart, you will notice two countries which have been told they risk isolation for their actions and policies, yet of all the countries who have experienced major anti-government unrest amongst their people, they have experienced, by far, the fewest relative deaths.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Chag Sameach

As the hours tick down to sunset here in America, the holiday of Succoth has essentially begun in The Land of Israel. For the most of us celebrating the holiday two days plus shabbat, we won't know whether the deal to return Gilad Shalit to his family has been completed until Saturday night. Hopefully, this will be the last holiday he and his family are forced to spend apart.

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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Value of a Life: Is the life of Gilad Shalit worth more than the life of 1000 Arabs?

    I'm not willing to celebrate just yet, but it would appear that the long lost son of Israel Gilad Shalit is alive, if not well, and will soon be returned to us after five-plus long years in captivity. I myself, won't believe it until I see him home, safe and with his family.

    It should hardly shock anybody, but the deal to get Gilad Shalit back is rumored to include an exchange of 1000+ Arabs in Israeli prisons. This poses the obvious moral dilemma, which has been debated thoroughly. Specifically: letting dangerous criminals out of prison; sacrificing justice for victims of terror; and putting Israeli citizens at risk for kidnapping.

    However, there is another moral conundrum which has gone ignored for many years. When 100 Arab prisoners are exchanged for 1 Israel hostage, doesn't it implicitly devalue the lives of all Arabs? Doesn't it cast a shadow on those arguing for the Palestinian cause, when they point out (accurately) that more Arabs have died in this decades-old conflict than Israelis? This is of course ignoring that Israeli treatment of their prisoners has been far superior to the PA's treatment of its kidnapping victims.

    In any event, we should take a small solace in the fact that Aviva and Noam Shalit will be reunited with their son after too long a time. Maybe we will be able to see new photos of him in happier times.