When Israel succumbs to the ransom demanded by a regime which has kidnapped a citizen of the free world, that creates a precedent that will reverberate across the globe.

Despite their desire to see Cpl. Gilad Shalit home, safe and sound, most Israelis seethe at the possibility that it might indeed trade hundreds of lethal convicts in exchange for an Israeli whom Hamas has managed to abduct.

Freeing these convicts will place highly motivated killers on the streets of Israel AND create an incentive for Hamas to kidnap anyone else in the world and demand an even greater ransom in the future for their freedom.

This ransom arrangement will establish an international precedent that would communicate: Abductions Pay..

Our agency interviewed 12 of these convicts who would be released, each of whom promise to return to the path of murder, if released.

In Israel, those who most feel the greatest injustice in their guts are the family members of the 1,478 people murdered by these convicts since the inception of the negotiations with the PLO in 1993.

However, the Israeli media has delivered a monolithic message, as if the only way to free the one kidnapped Israeli citizen in Gaza, Corporal Gilad Shalit, would be to trade hundreds of lethal murderers for his freedom.
There is another option: The government of Israel can clamp a complete and total economic shut down of Gaza until the Gaza regime hands over a kidnapped citizen of Israel that it now holds for ransom.

There is one possible reason why Israel has not applied that option: According to a study released by Globes, Israel’s daily business paper, Israeli firms export 2.7 billion shekels of products to the Palestinian Authority.

An economic boycott would cause Israeli firms to lose profits.

One of the Israelis firms that would express outrage at an economic slowdown in Gaza would be Dor Alon, Israel’s leading gasoline conglomerate, which owns a contract as the primary supplier of gasoline to Gaza.

The new owners of “Dor Alon” now include former Israel Finance Minister, Beiga Shochat, and son of the the former head of the World Jewish Congress, Matthew Bronfman.

Another Israeli firm that does business in Gaza is Nesher, Israel’s cement cooperative, which is owned in part by the influential former Israel Defense Forces Commander in Chief, Amnon Lipkin Shahak.

The time has come to demand an economic boycott of the Gaza regime instead of a surrender to the Gaza regime, to forestall the freedom of convicted killers. It is not too late.

Israel’s foreign ministry could mobilize voices of reason across the world who will call for Israel to stand strong and not to agree to any such ransom.

The message of Israel and the free world to Gaza must be: Your regime needs an economy. To have any economy, your regime must hand over the young man whom it has kidnapped.

A postscript: On July 4th, 1976, a senior Israeli army officer, Yonatan Netanyahu, the older brother of Israel’s current Prime Minister, commanded an successful military operation to rescue 118 hostages from the hands of abductors in Entebbe who demanded the release of 57 convicts who were serving time for murder in Israeli jails, in exchange for the lives of the hostages.

Yonathan Netanyahu paid for that mission with his life.

Perhaps Yonatan’s younger brother should visit his grave at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem and learn a lesson from his older brother about what it means to stand up to those who hold people hostage in exchange for murderers.


  1. 1. Where is it written that putting the entire Jewish Community into jeopardy in order to save one Jewish hostage is permitted?
    2. What would the hostage say – if given a voice – to such a decision?
    3. What is the message to the enemies of the Jewish Community?
    4. In yet another dreadful situation repeated through out the ages, what have we


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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: and A new site,, will be launched very soon.