What Is the Exchange Rate for Terrorist/Innocent Exchanges?

Amos Guiora and Martha Minow have this interesting post raising the provocative question of what is the proper exchange rate when a country like Israel negotiates with terrorists. They make this telling observation:

What parent wouldn't want the government to do anything—and everything--to recover a missing soldier-daughter or son? If a parent is in the drivers' seat, no price is too high, no measure to risky if there is a chance of recovering the child alive, and even recovering the remains of the cherished family member. Moreover, combat soldiers in recent days have expressed their support the exchange, and noted it is important for them to know that should they fall into captivity the state will do anything to release them.

But what is the obligation of the state when it sends soldier to combat? Does the state owe that individual "everything" should something happen? What are the limits of state obligation? What does "everything" mean? Turn over 1,000 members of Hamas for Gilad Shalit? Or East Jerusalem?

Perhaps the logical conclusion from Guiora and Minow's provocative question is that no negotiations should ever be undertaken with terrorist organizations.

Related Posts (on one page):

  1. What Is the Exchange Rate for Terrorist/Innocent Exchanges?
  2. Why Doesn't Israel Have the Death Penalty for Murder by Terrorists?: