To Hamas: Will you ever get Shalit off your hands?

Risk managment expert Rick Bookstaber tackles a non-finance, game theory problem.

To: Ismail Haniyeh, Hamas Prime Minister
Cc: Khaled Mashal, Chairman of the Hamas Political Bureau

Subject: Will you ever get Shalit off your hands?

I know you are frustrated with how slowly things are going with the Shalit prisoner swap negotiations. You must feel relieved that it is finally just around the corner. Well, it isn’t. You are going to be waiting for a long time yet to come. Do you really think Israel will trade hundreds of convicted murderers for one soldier? Have you ever thought there might be something more going on?


But it won’t be that easy. You aren’t going to be able to get rid of Shalit unless you are willing to give them something big in return.

There was a general expectation you would have figured all of this out about two years ago. By this point everyone is tired of waiting. Any gag can only go on for so long. Of course, Israel cannot be the one to let you in on it, so I am the guy who has ended up with that job.

Now that I’ve let the cat out of the bag, I am going back to writing about finance.

You’ll definitely need to read the whole thing.