Op-Ed: Germany Strikes Out At Jews Again


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Listening to the international and local Israeli media, I was astonished by the fact that no one mentioned the fact that the prisoner exchange deal in Israel to free Gilad Shalit was orchestrated entirely by the Government of Germany. Adding insult to injury is the fact that Israeli President Shimon Peres and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu both made a point of publicly thanking Berlin and its leaders, while the actions of the German mediator compelled the release of 1,027 terrorists – and once again, the world sits by silently, and in this case, applauds.

There are those who feel the responsibility for the prisoner swap deal rests on the shoulders of Israel’s elected officials, which it does, but how do we permit ourselves to ignore the fact that Israel followed the lead of the German mediator, who has been working behind the scenes during recent years – the power-broker in this case. The deal signed by Israel begs a simple question. Why did you have to wait over five years? If you were going to release this many terrorists Shalit could have come home during the Olmert administration, but apparently, Olmert was not the pushover Netanyahu is, and he was not willing to kowtow to the Germans.

Like it or not, if chas v’sholom buses begin blowing up or terrorism strikes out in Israel in any form, Germany must accept a measure of responsibility, for the mediator could have easily pushed Hamas to retract demands, but obviously it did not. The same may hold true regarding France too, since Shalit is a French citizen and French President Nicolas Sarkozy promised to move mountains to gain Shalit’s release – those mountains translate to Israel releasing terrorists. Sarkozy however did not forget to send his congratulatory message, but in reality, what did he or his administration do? It is no secret that France and Hamas are not exactly enemies.

So as the sun set over Mitzpei Hila there was a feeling of pride and accomplishment in Berlin, Paris and Jerusalem, but for the people of Israel, fear and trepidation may be a more accurate description of the emotion that prevailed in many homes.

Daniel Schwartz – Ashdod

NOTE: The views expressed here are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of YWN.



  1. you prefer that maybe they should have returned Gilad’s corpse – the Israeli government asked the German government for assistance (Germany being one of the few countries that has good relations with Israel)

    One should remember that most Israeli POWs are executed before being returned. It is quite rare for one held by a terrorist group (as opposed to a government) to ever be returned alive.

  2. The terrorists have found that kidnapping Israeli soldiers can be very profitable. If Israel were to give a mandatory death penalty for terrorism, there would be no terrorists to release, thereby lessening the incentive to kidnap.

  3. # 1 and # 2 have very good points but the op-ed in general is one of the worst I have seen on a jewish blog.

    I’m wondering if Mr.Shwartz wrote this garbage just to stir the pot.

  4. An interesting view of Germany’s role. However,I think that the political dynamic of Hamas with Egypt and Syria has more to do with the timing.

  5. I wholly agree with commenter number 3. This editorial is simply irrational; it’s hard to believe YWN’s editor gave it a pass. Sorry to be so harsh Mr. Schwartz…but really…you need to re-think your presentation. If there is any logic to it at all, you’ll need to dig deeper to mine it out.