07/14/2006 01:42 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Anti-Israel Double Standard Watch

Anti-Israel zealots are insisting that the kidnapping by Hamas and Hezbollah of Israeli soldiers is the moral and legal equivalent of Israel's confinement of Palestinian and Hezbollah terrorists, and that accordingly a "prisoner exchange" is being appropriately demanded by the terrorists who crossed over into Israeli territory to kidnap the soldiers. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Every single prisoner held by Israel has judicial review available to him or her and some have won release. Every one of them has access to Red Cross visitation, can communicate with family, and has a known whereabout. Kidnapped Israeli soldiers on the other hand are kept incommunicado by criminal elements, are routinely tortured, often murdered, (as occurred recently) and have no access to the Red Cross or judicial review. Moreover, the prisoners being held by Israel are terrorists--that is, unlawful combatants. Many are murderers who have been convicted and sentenced in accordance with due process. The "women" and "children" are guilty of having murdered or attempted to murder innocent babies and other non-combatants. The soldiers who were kidnapped are lawful combatants subject to prisoner of war status.

So here is the deal Israel should offer. If Hamas and Hezbollah think there is a moral equivalent between the Israeli soldiers they kidnapped and the terrorists who are being held by Israel, let them begin by treating the Israeli soldiers the way Israel treats its prisoners. Let the Red Cross visit them. Let them communicate with their families. Let them have access to judicial review. Of course, neither Hamas nor Hezbollah will do any such thing, because they are terrorist organizations who do not operate within the rule of law.

Those who support them, or who suggest a moral equivalency between terrorists who target civilians and soldiers who defend civilians, are morally obtuse--or worse.