Gilad Shalit and the Israeli Prisoner Swap with Hamas
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After five years in the Gaza Strip, a captured Israeli soldier has been returned, and Israel has begun to release more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners. On both sides, celebration is tinged with bitterness. Will the trade improve relations between Israel and Hamas? Has the "Arab Spring" made Egypt a different kind of player? Also, will the Pentagon's dramatic adoption of remote controlled drones change the face of warfare?
Banner image: Freed Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit (2nd R) walks with (L-R) Defence Minister Ehud Barak, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu his father Naom Shalit at Tel Nof Airbase on October 18, 2011 in central Israel. Photo by IDF viaGetty Images
Is Israeli Prisoner Swap with Hamas a Step Toward Peace? ()
Five years after being abducted by Hamas during a cross-border raid, a captured Israeli soldier is back home in Israel. Sergeant First Class Gilad Shalit was taken from the Gaza Strip to Egypt, where he told Egyptian TV he was hopeful that his trade for more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners being released by Israel would "advance peace." Prime Minister Netanyahu said the country was "united in joy and in pain." Buses carrying more than 400 Palestinian prisoners went from Israel to Ramallah, the capital of the West Bank. They were met by Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, although their release was negotiated by leaders of the rival Hamas in the Gaza Strip. Will the trade improve relations between Israel and Hamas? Has the "Arab Spring" made Egypt a different kind of player?
- Dan Ephron: Newsweek
- Jon Donnison: BBC, @http://twitter.com/#!/JonDonnison
- Matt Bradley: Dow Jones News Wires, @MattMcBradley
The Pros and Cons of Drones ()
Wars are vastly expensive in blood and treasure. The outcomes are always uncertain, and continued public support is not guaranteed. Witness Iraq and Afghanistan. Faced with the threat of terrorism, the Obama Administration has "decisively embraced the drone… as a cheap, safe and precise tool to eliminate enemies." But the Obama Defense Department isn’t the only one adopting drones for reconnaissance and, ultimately, for targeted killing. Is it legal? Will the US be vulnerable when China, other countries — or terrorists -- develop their own technologies? Will they make outright war less likely? Are their pilots committing remote-control murder? We hear the pros and cons.
- Scott Shane: New York Times, @ScottShaneNYT
- Michael W. Lewis: Ohio Northern University School of Law
- Noel Sharkey: University of Sheffield
- G.I. Wilson: Palomar College
Engage & Discuss
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