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.

Monday, March 23, 2009

The Israeli Media And Gilad Shalit

Ruthie Blum Leibowitz takes on the uneviable task of confronting the Israeli media in its campaign to push for the government to work for Gilad Shalit's release "at any cost". The problem is what that campaign is doing to the opposing view:

the media's campaign has been so comprehensive that all other voices are virtually drowned out. And when some do manage to make a dent, they are not silenced, but rather amplified as right-wing fanatical or - worse - unfeeling.

This puts any pundit or politician who disagrees on the defensive. Even those who try to point out that Hamas is also watching Israeli broadcasts, which only serve to strengthen its sense that it need not soften its bargaining position even one iota, have to preface their statements by assuring everybody that, of course, they, too, want to see Gilad home as soon as possible. Even those who attempt to suggest that releasing hundreds of the worst terrorists who are sure to strike again, both by slaughtering innocent Israelis and by kidnapping additional ones for future trades, are forced first to reiterate that they also would be acting as the Schalit family has been if it were their own child in captivity.

THE PURPOSE of this kind of emotional blackmail and manipulation on the part of the media is to award them a monopoly on goodness. As with the desire for "peace," they behave as though they have cornered the market on wanting to rescue Schalit - while the rest of us would prefer war and embrace heartlessness. This is as preposterous as it is dangerous - the former because everybody in this country wants both peace and Schalit's safe return, and the latter because it leads to confusion about who the real culprit is. When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert receives more criticism from the Hebrew press about Schalit's predicament than Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, it's time for it to undergo some serious scrutiny and sorely needed soul-searching.[emphasis added]

Then again, Hamas in general is getting a free ride on the issue of Gilad Shalit as well--from bother the West in general and the media & humanitarian groups in particular.

[Hat tip: Jennifer Rubin]

Read More......

Friday, March 13, 2009

Gilad Shalit--At Any Price?

When I was first learning about life in Israel, over forty years ago, people talked about how one is expected to bargain. Never pay the first price offered. Pay as little as possible. Walk away from the shop, and they'll call you back with a better and yet better price. It was quite a switch from the very "proper" and inflexible America in the mid-1960's.

Israelis seem to have lost the knack. They're (we're) playing all these negotiations like total patsies, total fools.

We've given away our precious Land for nothing--Disengagement or a smile and Nobel Peace Prize--Menachem Begin's Camp David.

Instead of simply refusing all aid to our enemies and Red Cross visits to the terrorist/enemy Arabs we've captured until our soldiers are returned--alive or dead, we keep offering to free more and more terrorists.

Gilad Shalit's family are media darlings like the religious parents of our soldiers captured in Lebanon could never be.

Yes, Gilad Shalit must be freed, must be returned home to Israel, but what happened to the master Israeli bargainers of old? Maybe we should send one of the veteran stall owners from Machene Yehuda to negotiate. I'm sure he wouldn't do any worse than our politicians, diplomats and media have done.

Read More......

The Shalit manipulation

The Israeli MSM is currently engaged in a shameless campaign to free Gil'ad Shalit at any price.

Here's a courageous article from Yaron Dekel, Channel 1’s political commentator, where he takes the media to task. A snippet:

They forgot the victims, and the counter protest tent of those opposed to a deal was dismantled within 24 hours.

It’s also difficult to find reports about the ramifications of this deal. Reports that not only ask what the terrorists could do once they are be released, but also a wider discussion about the impact this deal will have on IDF operations in the future, on the combat doctrine and efforts to sacrifice lives rather than fall into captivity, and about the issue of capturing terrorists alive in order to try them in Israel, knowing that the verdict is temporary until the next abduction.

The media has chosen to serve the Shalit family and not the public interest. But good journalism is tested in difficult times, not easy times.

It’s tested in its ability to stimulate a debate, to protest, to fuel an argument, raise doubts and create cracks in a monolithic public opinion. The same goes for peace times as in times of war. Journalism has a decisive role to play in a democratic society. Its role is not to move hearts.

(Cross posted on Cosmic X in Jerusalem)

Read More......