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]
[Hat tip: Jennifer Rubin]