Moshe Feiglin on the Knesset Channel: Should Israel Release Terrorist Bodies for Nothing in Return?
Moshe Feiglin was interviewed on the Knesset Channel on the issue of returning the bodies of terrorists to their families for burial, while bodies of IDF soldiers are still being held by the Gaza terror organizations as potential bargaining chips. The following are translated excerpts from the interview:
Do you think that Israel should release the bodies of terrorists without getting anything in return?
We must differentiate between a criminal and a war prisoner. A terrorist is a fighter. He is fighting a war against us. It makes no difference if he represents a terror organization or if he represents himself. It is unethical to return terrorist’s bodies to their families while the same terror organizations continue to hold the bodies of IDF soldiers.
But why does the terrorist’s family have to suffer?
This is a war. A war is not one individual fighting another. That is criminal. If he had come to steal or murder for criminal reasons, your question would be justified. But this is a war and we have to conduct ourselves accordingly. If we would relate to terror as warfare, the High Court would not get involved and we wouldn’t need a law to regulate the return of terrorist’s bodies.
There are over 100,000 missiles in the north right now, aimed at Israel. Eventually, they will be shot into our territory. Is it ethical to carry out a pre-emptive strike and save our citizens?
In Operation Protective Edge , we lost 67 soldiers. At the beginning of the fighting, the IDF was not bombing apartment buildings that housed terror headquarters. It did that only later. Why didn’t we bomb those buildings from the start? There was a new expression: To charge our legitimacy batteries. Do you remember that mad expression? In other words, we are not concerned about ethics, but rather, legitimacy. So why not charge those legitimacy batteries before our soldiers are killed?
We derive our ethics from our culture. And our culture says something very simple: “If someone comes to kill you, kill him first.” If you don’t do that, you are not ethical, and you will not win. We have never been stronger militarily than we are today. And we have never been ethically weaker. We must understand that we are in a war and fight accordingly.