Captivity is horrible and cruel, but it is also fascinating, both as a historical phenomenon and as a human and political issue that raises difficult and controversial dilemmas. The issue of captives keeps arising in Israel and demands that we all delve into it.
The anthology Captives addresses the historical, sociological, literary, halakhic, and legal aspects of the issue of captivity and challenges the reader with a variety of considerations and reservations. The articles in this volume raise a variety of questions, such as the individual’s place in society and the extent to which a society should make sacrifices for the individual. What is a reasonable price that a society should pay to redeem captives? Why do Palestinian prisoners see themselves as captives? How did the image of the anonymous fighter, one of millions who died or were taken captive during the huge world wars of the twentieth century, become enhanced in the beginning of the twenty-first century as the captive fighter, the individual, the hero as a victim? How do these changes affect each of us and our place in the state and in the army, and what are the cultural changes and political decisions we must make regarding the issue of captives?
Captives examines unfamiliar historical facts about the history of captivity, which raise moral, emotional, and strategic dilemmas.
The participating authors are Ronen Bergman, Uri S. Cohen, Yvonne Friedman, Hannan Hever, Elad Lapidot, Amia Lieblich, Yosef Isaac Lifshitz, Sagit Mor, Yuval Rotman, and the editor, Merav Mack.