Free GIlad Shalit: Time in Captivity

Poll: Five Years On. What should the Israeli Government do?

What action should the Israeli Government take now that Hamas has clear control of Gaza and it has been 1 year since Gilad Shalit was been kidnapped
Negotiate with Hamas
Negotiate with Hamas, release as many prisoners as it takes
Hold the Hamas Leadership directly accountable
Hold the Leadership accountable and give them one final deadline before military action
Hold Leadership accountable, give deadline for military action and total cessation of all Israeli supplied electricty and Water.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Gilad Shalit--Going On 900 Days

HonestReporting's blog Backspin Media notes:

The day after the world celebrated the 60th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights with pomp and hot air, Israelis mark Gilad Shalit's 900th day in captivity.

At least the Red Cross noticed.

The Red Cross site explains what the Red Cross has done so far and is trying to do--which basically boils down to trying to see Gilad Shalit and speak to him in private:
We are pursuing dialogue with all those concerned, as we believe that is essential for achieving progress. We have to talk to those who hold a person's fate in their hands in order to be able to help that person.
The Red Cross is sincere, but still--I thought this was a bit jarring:
There are limits to what we can do and to what international humanitarian law entitles us to do when it comes to visiting people in detention or to finding out what happened to people who go missing in an armed conflict. [emphasis added]
Neither of these 2 descriptions fit the current circumstances. Shalit is neither in detention nor did he go missing. He was kidnapped by terrorists. Despite the Red Cross's best motives, their efforts thus far seem to have done nothing more than to legitimize Hamas and what they have done by equating their actions with those of a party to an armed conflict. 

If indeed the situation was one of armed conflict, why is Israel put under constant pressure to act as if there was no such conflict and open up its borders and indiscriminately allow unfettered access to Palestinian Arabs?

Not surprisingly, the Red Cross refuses to call Hamas by what they are and is reduced to 
"pursuing dialogue."

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Debate Over Gilad Shalit Continues

Shmuel Rosner has a post on Contentions about the ongoing debate in Israel about Gilad Shalit--about what the Israeli public itself can do:

Simply put: there are those who believe that Israelis should have demonstrations and rallies demanding the release of Schalit, captured by a Hamas faction in Gaza three years ago. And there are those saying that a public outcry makes it more difficult for the government to deal successfully with this delicate topic.
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai and Ehud Barak have come out saying that public rallies will only encourage Hamas to raise their demands in exchange for Shalit's release. On the other hand, former Shin-Bet head Ami Ayalon spoke at one of those rallies, emphasizing the importance of telling the government what they think and that the same government that sent Shalit into battle must also bring him own.

In the aftermath of the Samir Kuntar deal, the situation is even more delicate.

Rosner concludes:
Strategic considerations aside, the public is sick and tired of hearing excuses as to why Shalit is still in Gaza. Since it has no way of demonstrating effectively against Hamas, it goes after the Israeli government. Problematic–but also encouraging, because means that Israelis still care for the soldiers they send to battle, that there’s still a sense of responsibility for their fate.
The question now is how to act responsibly.

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Monday, August 25, 2008

A poem for Gilad Shalit

Here is a poem I wrote for Gilad:

Gilad, please don't cry tonight

The heart of a forlorn nation

beats inside your chest

I wait with you to see the light

while brothers are laid to rest

I just want to see your face again

I only dream to see you smile

What I'd give to enter that lion's den

and just hold your hand a while


Anat Sivan, Tel Aviv

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IDF Warns of Increased Alerts of Plans to Abduct Soldiers

Via JPost:

Security forces are warning of increased alerts on terrorist groups’ plans to kidnap soldiers, Channel 2 reported Thursday.

IDF military police have established a special team that carries out mock abductions, and in the past week alone arrested 25 soldiers caught hitchhiking, in violation of military orders.

Chief of Staff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi has said in internal meetings that he would rather explain to the soldiers’ parents why their children were in jail than explain why they had fallen captive.

Crossposted on Smooth Stone

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Sunday, August 24, 2008

Fake recording of Gilad Schalit

The Jerusalem post has published an article Fake Schalit tape circulated, which is a mock recording of Gilad Schalit talking.
When you consider the content of the tape reported by JPost it apparently states;

"I am the kidnapped soldier Gilad, son of Aviva and Noam Schalit. You are invited to celebrate with me the third anniversary of my captivity by Hamas, in the last place where I was still a free man."
It soon becomes clear the tape is not authentic.
The Jerusalem Post article in full is here:
Fake Schalit tape circulated

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Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Gilad Shalit’s Book Now on YouTube

From the IsRealli blog:

Gilad Shalit’s book, When the Shark and the Fish First Met, now appears on YouTube to mark two years since he was kidnapped.

The Consulate General of Israel filmed five fifth-grade students from New York [Bronx Middle School] reading the story that Shalit wrote when he, too, was eleven years old. “Gilad was a boy our age when he wrote this story; if only we could write something so significant at this age. Today, no one knows where he is and he probably misses his parents,” said one of the students. “If the shark and fish can make peace, why can’t people?”

Click here to download (PDF) information about Shalit and the book.
You can also download the story in Hebrew and in translation here.

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Saturday, June 21, 2008

The Calm Before The Storm: The Israeli Consulate On The Truce

From an email from the Israeli Consulate in NY.

All very matter-of-factly.

I like this part:

Palestinian terrorist organizations must:

o Halt all fire and terrorist activity
o End their buildup of arms
o Cease smuggling from Egypt
In other words: Hamas must give up terrorism.

Isn't that kind of like asking the current Israeli government to ask responsibly?

Details of the "State of Calm" in Gaza

After a protracted period of negotiations between Egypt and representatives of Israel and Hamas, it was announced that a period of calm would be instituted between Israel and the Palestinians in the Gaza Strip beginning at 6:00 A.M. on Thursday, 19 June. Following are some of the major points comprising this agreement:

  • The institution of "calm" applies only to the Gaza Strip and not to West Bank areas. Thus, while Israel's security forces will refrain from operations in the Gaza Strip, they will continue to undertake necessary operations in the West Bank.
  • Palestinian terrorist organizations must:
    • Halt all fire and terrorist activity
    • End their buildup of arms
    • Cease smuggling from Egypt
  • While the above points are effective immediately with the beginning of the "calm," opening the crossings to Gaza will be implemented gradually after successive periods of calm.
    • After 3 days, Israel will open the Karni and Sufa crossings for basic commodities
    • One week later, Israel will allow for a larger number of commodities to enter the Gaza Strip, excepting those used for weapons manufacturing
    • After an additional week, talks will be held about opening the Rafah crossing to Egypt
  • The freedom of Gilad Shalit, kidnapped two years ago, is an integral part of the "state of calm." According to Foreign Minister Livni, releasing Shalit is a necessary step if Hamas wants to achieve further gains.
  • Furthermore, Israel will continue to monitor the situation closely to ensure that all parties adhere to their obligations. Hamas will bear responsibility for any terrorist act by any organization and should be prepared to accept the consequences of such actions.

While the State of Israel has every desire to see this "lull" develop into a period of sustained calm, she places primary significance on the safety and security of her citizens. Should the "calm" collapse, Israel will take alternate measures to address the new situation.

Information for this report comes from the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Intelligence and Terrorism Information Center.

Better to check out Caroline Glick's Israel's Darkest Week:
The Olmert-Livni-Barak-Yishai government's liquidation sale of Israel's strategic assets opened officially this week. Iran's proxies have pounced on the merchandise.
Read the whole thing.

One concern is the lack of clarity on how Gilad Shalit fits in.

According to the above, Shalit is "integral" to all of this and after receiving concessions, Hamas must release Shalit to get more.

Noah Pollak
, however, writes that Olmert:
has agreed to a tahdiyya with Hamas, but notably without the release of Gilad Shalit, which up until this moment had been the central (and non-negotiable) condition of any such agreement.
Likewise, according to
"If Gilad Shalit is not released, Rafah crossing does not open," said Senior Defense Ministry Official Amos Gilad during an interview with Ynet on Wednesday night. Gilad is currently representing Israel in talks negotiating the ceasefire with Hamas and the other Gazan terror organizations in Egypt.

Gilad's statement validated an earlier statement made by the kidnapped soldier's father, Noam Shalit, according to which Israel's government had neglected his son during the negotiations of a truce.
But in the same article, Gilad says:
"I think the ceasefire is the only way we may be able to bring about Shalit's release," he said, adding that the issue had been prioritized during his talks with Egyptian Intelligence Chief Omar Suleiman in Cairo on Tuesday.

"During the last discussion we set aside a third of the time allotted to speak about Shalit, and we were adamant in demanding that his release be part of the agreement," Gilad said.
Gilad Shalit may be part of the agreement, but only conditionally. Shalit's release has not been secured. First Hamas gets the recognition it wants and enough goodies so it can brag that just like The Disengagement, once again Hamas 'resistance' has forced Israel's hand. Then Hamas can haggle over releasing Shalit--just as it has till now.

And according to Glick:

The government agreed to the "cease-fire" with Hamas without securing Gilad Schalit's release from captivity. Rather than acknowledge that they have likely signed his death warrant, the government insists that it's not done capitulating. It will begin begging Hamas to accept hundreds of Palestinian murderers jailed in Israeli prisons in exchange for Schalit next Tuesday.

One more reason why the truce is a cruel joke.

by Daled Amos

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Sunday, February 17, 2008

Despite Report, 'Assume Goldwasser, Regev Alive'

by Hana Levi Julian

( A report Saturday by the German Der Spiegel magazine that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is preparing to announce that kidnapped IDF reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev are dead may be premature.A senior political source in Jerusalem quoted by Ynet said “as long as there is no unequivocal information regarding their condition, Israel will continue to engage in negotiations based on the assumption they are alive.”

News of the Der Spiegel report was splayed across Israeli news outlets by Saturday night, with headlines trumpeting the probability of an imminent announcement by the prime minister that Israeli intelligence has concluded the two reservists are dead.

Olmert was in Germany for talks with Chancellor Angela Merkel last week to discuss the matter. Germany has been deeply involved in mediating talks with Hizbullah about Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were kidnapped in July 2006 by the group’s operatives in a cross-border attack that touched off the Second Lebanon War.

Goldwasser’s wife Karnit, who often comments on reports in the news about her husband and his fellow reservist, said she had not received any notification from the Prime Minister’s Office.

“Usually, when there are serious developments, the Prime Minister calls me or the family,” said Goldwasser. “I have not received any new notification from the [PMO] and so I have no intention of commenting on the various reports by foreign media outlets.”
Second Report by German Newspaper that Goldwasser and Regev are Dead
Der Spiegel reported last October in a feature article about the unnamed German official mediating talks between Israel and Hizbullah for the soldiers’ release that both soldiers were dead. The report added that Israeli officials also believe they were killed.

Goldwasser’s wife and Regev’s brother Benny spoke about her husband and his fellow reservist last month in a video hookup with Jewish communities in London, Singapore and Hong. Goldwasser acknowledged that she is preparing for the possibility that Ehud is no longer alive. While not saying he won’t return home at all, she commented that “in the meantime, a year and a half later, I am getting along without Udi.”

Directly from Arutz Sheva:
Israel: Despite Report, 'Assume Goldwasser, Regev Alive'

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Wednesday, February 6, 2008

A Sign of Life from Gilad Shalit Received by Israel

Israel has received a sign of life from kidnapped IDF Corporal Gilad Shalit, according to the daily Hebrew newspaper Maariv.

Egyptian officials involved in talks between Israel and the Hamas terrorist organization said the letter was checked and found to be authentic. It was passed to Shalit’s family, said the source.

Shalit was kidnapped in June 2006 by Hamas terrorists, the same organization whose paramilitia operatives one year later wrested control over Gaza from the rival Fatah faction that currently leading the Palestinian Authority.

The sources said the letter intensified efforts to negotiate with Hamas, which has demanded the release of thousands of terrorists, in exchange for Shalit’s freedom. Many of the requested terrorists were directly involved in the murders of Israeli citizens, and have thus been classified as having "blood on their hands."

But Prime Minister Ehud Olmert has decided to relax the standards by which terrorists are categorized as having such bloody hands. Thereby Olmert can broaden the eligibility for release among the thousands of PA terrorists held in Israeli jails, according to the Jerusalem Post.

Olmert met Sunday to discuss his decision with Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Public Security Minister and former head of the General Security Service (Shin Bet) Avi Dichter, former Shin Bet director Ami Ayalon, Environment Minister and former deputy Shin Bet head Gideon Ezra, Vice Premier Chaim Ramon, Justice Minister Daniel Friedmann and Foreign Minister Tzipi Livni.

The current definition of the term includes terrorists who have masterminded, ordered and organized deadly attacks on Israeli citizens as well as those who physically prepared and carried out the attacks.

General Security Services (Shin Bet) director Yuval Diskin vehemently opposed the move. Israel’s representative in talks with the terrorists, Ofer Dekel, is the one who recommended it.

Diskin warned that releasing prisoners with “blood on their hands” would result in increased terrorist attacks, increase Hamas’s standing among PA residents, and thereby weaken Fatah leader and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas’s control over the population.

A senior government official said that even if Israel made the concession, “The road ahead is still very long. Hamas has high demands to which we have no intention of conceding.”

The State of Israel has so far not agreed to release terrorists classified as having “blood on their hands.”

Israel National News: A Sign of Life from Gilad Shalit recieved by Israel

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Friday, January 11, 2008

Bush, Free Your Captive: Jonathan Pollard

I just took a night stroll through the Kiryat Moshe of Jerusalem and I saw this:

The sign says, "Bush, Free Your Captive".

Under the picture of Islamofascist Haniyeh is the name Gilad Shalit, who is being held captive in Gaza. The names of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser are under the picture of Nassrallah the war criminal. Under the image of George W. Bush is the name Jonathan Pollard.

I've already stated many times that the continued incarceration of Pollard is a stain on "the land of the free and the home of the brave." Pollard is in jail because he is a Jew, and not because of any crime that he committed. Bush did not put him in jail,but he has the power to set him free. As long as he doesn't, he is in some pretty bad company.


Deputy Prime Minister and Shas Chairman Eli Yishai, who attended the event, forwarded a letter from Shas spiritual leader the Rabbi Ovadia Yosef to Bush. Yosef asked the president to free jailed Israeli spy Jonathan Pollard.

Yosef's plea was sent along with a letter from Pollard's wife Esther, asking Bush to pardon her husband, who has been incarcerated for 22 years.

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