As a postscript to my musings yesterday, about the emotional and psychological significance of captured soldiers: an interesting article about the same subject by Ethan Bronner, NYT's man in Jerusalem.
One paragraph in particular caught my eye:
“These people, although they are murderers, do it for a political cause and even if they don’t represent a country they are being sent by a military organization that is our rival and one day will make peace with us,” Mr. Liel, the former diplomat, said. “They are not regular criminals. We know that sooner or later when we have a peace deal they will be released.”
Alon Liel, quoted above, used to be the DG - head of service - at the Foreign Ministry. It's not something you hear people saying in these parts every day, and I doubt that everyone subscribes to this notion. Still...