Wednesday, March 18, 2009

To Be or Not To Be - that is the question

The ongoing saga of negotiating for the release of cpatured soldier Gilad Shalit is taking up lots of media space here in Israel.

As a parent one can only sympathise with Gulad's parent who by this weekend will have suffered 1000 days since their son was captured on Israeli soil.

However, the price Hamas is demanding for his release is so high that to give in to these demands would mean the release of some of the most despicable Hamas terrorists who would offer absolutely no quarantee that their acts of terro would not be repeated. Once again the big unanswered question is; would we get him back alive?

And so we are in the middle of a media war once again, a war of the type Hamas knows very well to exploit.

It is all very well that 13 members of the UK parliament "calls for the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli soldier, Corporal Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas and other Palestinian militant groups in a cross-border terrorist attack inside Israel on 25 June 2006; welcomes Egyptian efforts to bring about the soldier's release; notes that 21 March 2009 will mark the soldier's 1,000th day in captivity; further notes that, despite repeated requests, the International Committee of the Red Cross continues to be denied access to the kidnapped soldier; recognises that the soldier's continued detention is an obstacle to peace between the Israelis and the Palestinians; condemns the kidnapping of Corporal Shalit by Hamas; and urges the Government to do all it can to bring about Corporal Shalit's release."

BUT one has to ask "where are the international demands for the Red Cross to visit Gilad?" Whilst in Israeli jails, the terrorists have full medical care, TV sets with access to Arabic stations, newspapers, food and even the opportunity to study for degrees. Plus the Red Cross can make unlimited visits. Are we crazy or not? Why not limit these conditions?

Yesterday the Israeli cabinet received a specific report on the identity of some of the prisoners on Hamas's list, some of whom Israel had refused to release, and some of whom it had agreed to release on the condition that they be barred from Judea and Samaria. The representative list that was presented underscored both Israel's willingness to show as much flexibility as possible and pay a heavy price on behalf of Gilad Shalit's release, as well as its red lines and its obligation to prevent severe harm to its security.

According to the security officials' assessments, if Israel had released all of the murderers that Hamas was demanding, this would have caused severe damage to national security, including regarding the rehabilitation of strategic terrorist infrastructures and the return of senior 'terrorist engineers', who had planned and put into operation the most murderous terrorist attacks that the State of Israel has ever known. This would have also dealt a mortal blow to pragmatic elements in the region whereas the extremists would have been significantly strengthened.

Just when are we going to stop behaving like good little boys. Hamas only understands tough actions and tough language, that is their culture.

It is time to stop pussyfooting with the Hamas terrorists in Israeli jails.

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