I was talking to my father the other night, and, as usual, he asked me which segments I'm working on here at Talk of the Nation. I told him that I'm putting together a show on prisoner swaps; and, after I gave him the rundown on the different guests I was considering, he told me that Mohammed Abu Nasser, the man who kidnapped him back in 1989, had been released in a prisoner swap prior to the kidnapping. (Btw my father is fine. He was held for less than two days, and he was treated well. He says that he was served some amazing traditional Palestinian food during that time.) My family doesn't talk about the kidnapping very much, but I bring it up because it is a perfect example of why people oppose prisoner swaps. Not only does it mean that governments have to negotiate with entities they deem terrorists (Israel and Hezbollah), but often there was a reason those people were in prison in the first place. Yet, countries still do it. Why?
Today we are talking to Haaretz Defense Correspondent Amos Harel; author, former Israeli politician, and one-time "swapee" Natan Shransky; and Civil War historian Jeffry Wert about the logic behind prisoner swaps.
What do you think? If you were taken prisoner during a war or conflict, would you want your government to swap you?