Arutz-7's Yigal Shok asked Gen. Dayan to comment on the increasing reports that Gilad Shalit is likely to be released soon in exchange for an unknown number of terrorists. Shalit was kidnapped by eight Hamas terrorists as he was manning a position just outside Gaza over four months ago; two soldiers were killed in the attack.

"Negotiations are underway for Shalit's release," Dayan said, "and it's possible that [Damascus-based Hamas leader] Khaled Mashal is beginning to come around - all because Egypt is pushing very hard for a resolution. But all this talk about 'the talks are progressing' and 'nearing a final deal' - we've heard this type of talk many times before, and it's all much more psychological warfare than truth. The main point is that no one is talking about what the deal actually is" - i.e., how many hundreds of terrorists, and which ones, will have to be released to obtain Shalit's freedom.

"We also have to ask ourselves," Dayan said, "what we can do regarding the other two MIAs" - Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, kidnapped almost four months ago by Hamas - "for whom I don't think anything has been done."

Moral Bankruptcy

Arutz-7's Shok said, "Likud MK Yuval Shteinitz says that from what he understands about the deal, it is 'moral bankruptcy.' He says it's the first time that we're paying this form of ransom to the PA since the Oslo Accords. What is your opinion?"


"We have an unwritten code in Israel that says that soldiers give their all to fight for our country, and if they are taken captive, we will make every appropriate effort to rescue them. The soldiers fulfilled their end, but the State did not fulfill its side of this deal which is so very important for the country and for our security.

"Take note, however, that I said ' appropriate efforts.' The deal for Elchanan Tenenbaum, for instance [involving the release of over 400 terrorist prisoners in exchange for Tenenbaum and the corpses of three kidnapped Israeli soldiers in 2004], was a very bad deal that I warned against at the time...

"In the present case, the government made two grave mistakes and failed to make ' every appropriate effort.' First of all, it did not insist that the UN ceasefire resolution include the release of the captives. Secondly, we should never have removed our naval and aerial blockade from Lebanon without some kind of solution for the captive prisoners - such as having Shalit being handed over to the Palestinian Authority and the other two to the Lebanese government.

"The blockade should never have been removed without this being done; for one thing, we would at least have known their condition - regarding Shalit, we're fairly certain he's alive, but the two others, we don't even know if they're alive or what their condition is. By failing to take these steps, we have failed in our unwritten bargain, and we also now face a very difficult situation of the high demands by the other side."

Rules of the Jungle

Gen. Dayan said that all of the government's current actions are "dictated by the known zoological principle called Survival. The new military appointments, for instance, and the recent coalition agreements - they are all not for the purpose of the citizens' welfare or dealing with national problems, but rather, how to ensure that the present government remains in power.

"In the recent war," Dayan said, "there were three office-holders - the Prime Minister, the Defense Minister, and the Chief of Staff - who did not have the knowledge needed to run the war. They should therefore have admitted their responsibility from the beginning. But at least now - the army has to be changed from Israel Defense Forces to Israel Attack Forces, but instead they're dealing with trivial issues such as new appointments, instead of far-ranging changes... The purpose of these appointments is simply to deceive the public into believing that everything is fine and back to normal."