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While Israel celebrates Gilad Shalit’s long-awaited home coming, and tens of thousands of Hamas supporters call for a “new Gilad” to be taken hostage, those of us outside of the Middle East cannot help but wonder at the dangerous message that Israel has sent to its enemies. The unsavoury deal in which one single Israeli soldier has been swapped for 1,027 convicted criminals (many of them murderers) has undoubtedly demonstrated that hostage-taking does work and that Israel does negotiate with terrorists. This message of acquiescence, however, is not an isolated one. It is accompanied by a message of appeasement from the wider international community, a message that declares that the West has lost its mettle.

Read the remainder of my Online Opinion article here.