MK Aryeh Eldad (NU/NRP) would like to see Israel release Samir Kuntar – then send him to his Maker. "We know that the Lebanese and the Hizbullah are going to put up a huge celebration for Samir Kuntar," Eldad said in a an interview to be aired Wednesday night with IsraelNationalRadio's Tovia Singer. "A right-wing, Zionist government in Israel would send four F-16's to participate in the celebrations for Samir Kuntar, and kill everyone who participated, including Samir," he explained.
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Kuntar is a Hizbullah terrorist who killed three Israelis in a 1979 attack on the northern town of Nahariya. Upon hearing that he may be released, Kuntar wrote a letter to Nasrallah pledging to rejoin Hizbullah upon his return to Lebanon.
"This could be a true revenge," said Eldad, "but it takes a real Zionist government to do that. Okay, we got the bodies back, we traded them for live prisoners, but they won't be alive too long. They and everyone who celebrates their release should be killed in the same action."
Many in Israel have doubted the wisdom in carrying out the deal, in which live killers including Samir Kuntar will be released in exchange for what Israeli intelligence believes are only the remains of two IDF soldiers, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.
When asked what could possibly motivate the Israeli government to exchange living terrorists for dead soldiers, Eldad replied, "It's a very weak government. It's not only a very corrupt government, it's not only a failing government, but it's also very weak. They didn't really stand the pressure coming from the family that wanted... the bodies back. The declaration by Olmert on the first day of the war was excellent: 'We went to war to bring the kidnapped soldiers back.' As always with him, he speaks nicely, but then his actions deteriorate, his declarations deteriorate, and now... in full bankruptcy, he trades live murderers for dead bodies."
Eldad commented on the danger posed to IDF troops by a policy which leaves Hizbullah with no incentive to keep Israeli soldiers alive since they can exact the same price for a dead soldier. "This is a counterproductive step, an immoral step, because now they understand they do not have to try too hard to keep [the soldiers] alive, because now even the bodies of soldiers are worth the worst murders we've ever seen coming from Lebanon. It really endangers the lives of every kidnapped Israeli. It's really bankruptcy for the [previous] policy of Israel that we don't negotiate with terrorists. Now, we not only negotiate with them, but we pay very heavily for dead bodies."
When asked what he would do if he were Prime Minister and Hizbullah captured IDF soldiers, Eldad replied, "The idea is to defeat Hizbullah, and to bring the soldiers back, and if they are still alive at the time, fine. If not, no terrorist organization would try to kidnap soldiers again, because they know that this will be the last thing that they do on earth."
Eldad continued by slamming the government's failure to win the war and defeat terrorists: "Not only did we go to war and lose many soldiers, not only did we not win the war... after all of these sacrifices we gave in to terrorism and we paid them to get the bodies... That is the wrong message to send to terrorist organizations around the world, especially in the Middle East."
"We can still give an ultimatum to Nasrallah," he continued. "If you don't give us the bodies of the soldiers now, your captured prisoners in the Israeli jails will never see the sun. They will never be released, and we will go into another war to defeat you... We can still teach them, and we must teach them, before we turn to [deal with] Iran, because we can't turn to Iran until we break apart the first division that they put in our frontier. We won't be able to deal with Iran's nuclear threat until we deal with the frontier division that they've sent in the shape of Hizbullah and Hamas in our borders."