Shalit Home in Israel; Hamas Gets 1,000 Prisoners, First Round Draft Pick
JERUSALEM- On Monday, the Israeli Supreme Court approved what has become a high-profile prisoner exchange between the country and the Palestinian group Hamas. The trade featured Sgt. Gilad Shalit, who was captured by the militant group in 2006, and over 1,000 Palestinian prisoners of various offenses currently being held in Israeli prisons.
Details surrounding the deal are beginning to emerge. Though they have received scant media attention, officials on both sides have indicated that the standings in the Middle Eastern Fantasy Football League (MEFFL) played a significant role in negotiations.
Israel, whose primacy in the league has been threatened recently, maintains a vested interest in negotiating for players who would help it to retain its number one spot.
“Getting Gilad back was great – absolutely essential,” said Israeli Defense Minister Ehud Barak, “but I would argue that the acquisition of [Detroit Lions wide receiver] Calvin Johnson was even more important. We really needed to boost our offensive numbers, and getting Johnson will do that for us.”
This sentiment was also echoed by those on the other end of the negotiations. “Obviously, this was a great trade for us,” proclaimed Hamas Foreign Minister Mahmoud Zahar. “Not only did we trade one random guy for some valuable operatives, but the trade puts us in a good position going forward to challenge Israel for the MEFFL title.”
In addition to the roughly 1,000 prisoners being released to the West Bank, Hamas will receive Israel’s first round draft pick in the 2012 MEFFL Fantasy Draft. Israel was widely ridiculed this year when it picked Greg Caramillo, a wide receiver for the Minnesota Vikings, while New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady was still available; Israel cited the fact that Caramillo is Jewish as its reasoning for the pick.
A surprising revelation of the negotiations has been the involvement of outside parties. Egypt proposed an involved three-way trade which would send Patriots wide receiver Chad Ochocinco from Hamas to Egypt, and Egypt would send Atlanta Falcons tight end Tony Gonzalez to Israel.
Not wanting to be left out of negotiations, Hezbollah threatened to resume rocket attacks from southern Lebanon if the other parties refused a trade. In response, Israel offered to trade the Green Bay Packers defense in a direct exchange for the St. Louis Rams defense.
“It’s okay,” said Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, “our back-up defense was the New York Jets. We’ll see if the other league members can get off of ‘Revis Island.’ I doubt it.”
By Chester S. McFisticuffs