Muslim terrorists pride themselves on their amorality. On having no individual sense of right or wrong, only the abstract codes of Islamic law that can be modified at will to allow terrorists to do virtually anything to anyone, so long as it is in the name of the Jihad.
By contrast Muslim terrorists sneer at the human weaknesses of their enemies, their genuine love for their families and their fear for their safety, their love of life and their willingness to show mercy and to trust. And Muslim terrorists and infiltrators are the first to take advantage, to play on and exploit these qualities. Qualities which they themselves only mime. A true committed Islamist will show love or concern for his family, mercy or trust for non-Muslims only as a propaganda ploy. This ploy will be set aside in seconds when it suits him. The father who moments ago was bewailing his wounded child, will grab and use him as a human shield. He will plunge a knife into the neck of his Western friend and co-worker who has been at his house dozens of times and played with his children. He will feel nothing while doing it, only a sense of triumph and pride in his devotion to Islam.
All this has happened over and over again, and will go on happening, because Islamists are taught and trained to only have one love and one passion, Islam. Any human attachments are purely secondary and easily discarded. Any human concepts of guilt or morality are buried.
Islamic law frees the terrorist from all human norms. He may kill, rob or rape. He may take on any disguise, drink alcohol, curse and commit every act explicitly prohibited by the Koran or the Hadiths. He can indulge his appetites in every way, so long as in exchange he is willing to kill and die in the name of the Jihad. That is the devil's bargain that forges an active Islamic terrorist, an amoral cunning entity who has only one ultimate goal, to corrupt, divide and kill the enemies of Allah.
It is vitally important that we understand this because every sign of human weakness we show to Islamic terrorists is exactly like cutting our arms and lowering them into shark infested waters. The Jihad thrives on human weakness, because its acolytes are militarily incompetent, but compensate for it in sheer ruthlessness. Mohammed did not turn his combination of desert hallucinations and shameless plagiarisms into a dominant religion by legitimately defeating his enemies. He used lies, deceit, treachery, false promises, terror and banditry to win his way to the top, in a region already excelling in lies, deceit and treachery. Modern day Muslims are his inheritors in that regard.
Every sign of human weakness is another drop of blood in the water. If we begin an investigation when a Muslim child is killed in a firefight with terrorists, there will be a dozen children being used as human shields in the next firefight. If a dead soldier causes us to question our purpose, then they will do everything possible to kill individual soldiers, even though there is no useful tactical purpose and their losses in such encounters vastly exceed ours. If a Muslim being removed wrongly off a plane triggers protests, then the next time there will be a dozen Muslims, pushing and testing our security. If we are willing to do everything possible to get our hostages released, then hostage taking will dramatically increase.
The Jihad zeroes in on human weakness. The more human weakness we show, the worse we will bleed. At one point Israel understood this, but no longer. The tragic farce of Gilad Shalit's captivity is likely to end shortly at the cost of freeing terrorists with blood on their hands, giving Hamas a definitive victory, and Israel a definitive defeat. The same Israeli left wing media that has made it so hard for IDF soldiers to operate against terrorists, have turned Shalit's captivity into a circus, transforming him from warrior to martyr. And when Hamas scores its vital victory, it is unknown how many Israeli soldiers and civilians will once again wind up paying the price.
Latin America, the Middle East and parts of Asia and the Caucasus have a thriving market in kidnappings. The market thrives because there is a profit motive. If you keep paying off kidnappers, the kidnappings will keep on coming. The key difference between Mexico and the United States is that when kidnappings happen in Mexico, the family cuts a deal, while in the United States they call the police. Israel's willingness to cut deals for the bodies of its soldiers has created a thriving market for terrorists in Israeli soldiers. Dead or alive.
The Jihad against Israel has not resulted in military victories, only in victories of terror. Arafat and his cronies did not win territory in a war. They won it through the classic two-faced approach of terrorism, by showing a demonic killer's face to the general public, and a conciliatory "Let's Negotiate Approach" to foreign diplomats and the press. That approach paid off. It continued to pay off as Arafat brought in his henchmen and then spent the next decade or so terrorizing and murdering Israelis, while living off European and American foreign aid and political support. It was only when Sharon turned the tables by going on the offensive after the Passover bombings that Fatah imploded. And now Hamas has taken its place.
Hamas is a crossbreed of the worst strains of Jihadism. Emerging out of the Muslim Brotherhood, kissing cousin to Al Queda, and backed by Shiite Iran, it is just not just an Iranian proxy, its DNA is also comprised of the original strain of the Will to Caliphate. For Muslims that represents the Kingdom of Heaven on earth, a perfect political state that functions according to the pure will of Allah as embodied by Sharia law. Hamas has demonstrated patience, waiting out Fatah's decline, pushing it into competitive terrorism against Israel that eventually brought down Fatah, leaving it as little more than a European and American puppet. That makes Hamas extremely dangerous. And it makes showing any weakness toward it, deadly.
It is tempting for Netanyahu to try and untangle the Gordian knot of the Iranian bomb abroad and Hamas terrorism at home, highlighted by the plight of Gilad Shalit with a deal. Having gone this far, it's all but certain that his government will go all the way. Captured soldiers have always held a special place in the hearts of Israelis, and that kind of moral omnipotence that Israelis believe will allow them to defend themselves without ever sullying the purity of arms and bring back every man at any cost, has been precisely the weakness that terrorists have been exploiting for much too long.
Meanwhile Hamas is all too aware of the political weaknesses of democracy, of Netanyahu's need to shore up his position with something tangible. It is politically cheaper to trade terrorists for a captured soldier, than to try to once again send in forces into Gaza in the hopes of finding one man. And that sort of weakness too is what the enemy is counting on. Netanyahu will need the backing of the Israeli public when he has to make the tough call on Iran, but gaining that backing the cheap way by bargaining for Gilad Shalit is likely to prove to be a mistake. Appeasement may seem like a politically convenient shortcut, but its full price weighs heavy with time. By negotiating with Hamas, Israel has legitimized the idea of negotiating with it as if it were a legitimate entity. That same approach is how Arafat and his thugs ended up running a sizable portion of Israel.