Gilad Shalit (Archive photo)
Sadly, it is very difficult to see a ray of light and hope for an end to your years of captivity at the hands of Hamas, in difficult conditions of isolation and grave uncertainty. This is a result of the Israeli government’s reckless and irresponsible conduct; this government recently took several decisions that directly pertain to your fate and future, while ignoring you in an insulting and frightening manner.
Only a few days ago, the government decided to boost Mahmoud Abbas by releasing, for no rational reason, about 200 terrorists, including two murderers and dozens of heavy-duty terrorists who failed in their murder quest. There is no reason to waste words on the twisted logic of freeing despicable murderers as a means of boosting a regime that is supposed to make peace with us. However, this foolish decision to break the taboo on releasing murderers with blood on their hands without being forced to do so has crucial influence on your future and the prospects of your release.
As we know, Hamas demanded the release of terrorists who murdered hundreds of Israelis in exchange for you, yet now it’s clear that your price went up. After the latest release of terrorists meant to boost Fatah and weaken Hamas, it is clear that Hamas will undertake a significant effort in order to prove that it is stronger than Fatah, and therefore it shall greatly boost the price it seeks for you: More prominent murderers, further humiliation of Israel, and additional power to be accumulated by Hamas at your expense. These are the rules in any market in the world, and certainly at the bleeding Mideastern bazaar.
Regrettably, the exchange of fallen IDF soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser for a prominent terrorist such as Samir Kuntar also worked against you and boosted the price for your release at the bloody stock exchange of our cruel region. Olmert, Livni, and Barak knew with almost complete certainty, since the first moment of the abduction up north, that the captives are no longer alive, yet they kept this information from the public.
The overwhelming majority of Israel’s journalists who voluntarily enlist on behalf of any objective that weakens the State of Israel also maintained the conspiracy of silence around this fundamental issue, and ceaselessly babbled about the return of the boys, until they arrived in coffins, as expected.
This government of spin and failure agreed, just like that, to shatter yet another basic Zionist value that is both moral and humane – we do not exchange murderers for bodies, and certainly not a despicable murderer such as Kuntar. The moment this deal was finalized, the price of your release grew tenfold.
No red lines
You must be puzzled over the blindness and folly inherent in these decisions, which show complete disregard to you, and it is indeed difficult to explain them. We can superficially explain that the Israeli government is so desperate to show some kind of success, even a short-term one, that it is willing to pay almost any price. Even if by doing so it puts your release at risk and undermines the country as a whole. Yet this is an insufficient explanation, as we are dealing with a much more fundamental problem.
This government, just like most of our governments since the Oslo Accords, is devoid of any moral dimension, and therefore it has no red lines. The Oslo deals turned, in a moment, our enemy into a friend, mass-murderer Arafat into a peace-seeker, and holy Jerusalem into a needless real-estate asset.
Even the last holy principle of not recognizing the right of return became more flexible recently as Olmert rushes into a shelf agreement with the Palestinians. The only principle left intact is that there are no holy principles, and therefore yesterday’s holy principles are no longer important today.
On the other hand, Gilad, perhaps this is where your great hope lies: Hamas will indeed keep on boosting the price demanded for your release. However, a weak and spineless government will apparently not want to continue objecting to such deal, and therefore will ultimately agree to pay the exaggerated price demanded for your release.
Therefore, do not let your spirits sink. Hold on, because apparently there is no price that is too high for the Israeli government to ultimately pay.