You may think you've plumbed the depths of human stupidity and blind prejudice, but you never have. It is bottomless. Deborah Orr is of the opinion that the exchange of Gilad Shalit's freedom for that of more than a thousand Palestinian prisoners underwrites 'the obscene idea that Israeli lives are more important than Palestinian lives'. She asks: 'who is surprised really, to learn that Netanyahu sees one Israeli's freedom as a fair exchange for the freedom of so many Palestinians?' By accepting the terms of the exchange, she contends, Hamas display their eagerness 'to accept a transfer that tacitly acknowledges what so many Zionists believe – that the lives of the chosen are of hugely greater consequence than those of their unfortunate neighbours'.
I urge upon you this brief thought experiment. The Israelis offer to free a single Palestinian prisoner - one, let us say, not responsible for terrorist murder, and in that regard just like Shalit - for the young Israeli hostage. Hamas's leaders deliberate. Do they hold out for a better 'rate of exchange'? Orr do they just agree, 'OK, guys, why not - one for one?' I won't insult anyone's intelligence further by suggesting the result.
But it is 'the lives of the chosen' - she means Jews - that are of 'hugely greater consequence'. Yes, indeed. That has been the world's opinion to date, has it not? - and is still the opinion of those many who find room in their consciences for the idea that murdering Jews is understandable in the given circumstances.
[See now also here.]