Even swap?

October 18, 2011 1:26:01 PM PDT
So how do you put a price on one life? If you're Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit the answer is simple. More than 1,000 other lives.

That's the ratio today for the lopsided by dramatic prisoner swap between Palestinians and Israelis. More than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, terrorists to Israelis, but heroes to Palestinians, freed in exchange for Hamas releasing 25-year-old Schalit, a prisoner for more than 5 years in Gaza.

If you're Hamas, do you now think that all you need to do is kidnap and hold hostage, say, half a dozen Israelis to free 5,000 or-so Palestinian prisoners?

Hamas has said as much.

And what does it say about the price of a life if one guy gets his freedom in exchange for 1,000 others? If you're the family of one of those 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, the question is nonsensical, you just want your loved one back.

But I just can't wrap my head around this notion that the value of life seems so unbalanced here. What would Israelis think of a plan that called for one Palestinian prisoner to be released in exchange for 1,000 Israelis held as prisoners? Is one Palestinian life worth 1,000 Israelis?

Is this question about lopsidedness meaningless? I just don't know. But it's weighing on me today.

The bottom line of course isn't the fairness of the swap ratio, but instead it's the political implications. Cheers on the streets of Gaza, cheers in Israel. We'll have the latest on the release, tonight at 11.

We're also following another prisoner swap, this one involving scores of Egyptian prisoners held in Israel in exchange for the release of a New Yorker, Ilan Grapel, a 27-year-old law student from Queens. He was arrested in June and accused of being a spy. His family insists he's just a free spirit who participated in the spring uprising in Egypt. But the anti-Israel tension has grown since Hosni Mubarek was forced out of office earlier this year, and Mr. Grapel may have gotten caught up in that. Meanwhile, his family waits. And so do we with any developments.

Also at 11, we take a closer look at so-called penny auction websites, which advertise big bargains. The lucky "winners" walk away with TV's, kitchen appliances, and other knickknacks at a fraction of the retail price. So ? are they too good to be true? The buyer ends up with a deal ? but so do these websites because they charge you every time you make a bid. Consumer Reports investigates.

We'll also have any breaking news of the night, plus Meteorologist Lee Goldberg's AccuWeather forecast and Rob Powers with the night's sports. I hope you can join Sade Baderinwa and me, tonight at 11.


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