UPDATE: Gilad Shalit is free and in Israel. Check israelstreet breaking news for more details.
The following blog was written before Gilad Shalit’s release several hours ago.
At this early hour, your humble servant is leaving for Jerusalem to be there as this momentous prisoner exchange plays out. Tomorrow’s blog will be a report of what I hear and see today.
What has particularly disturbed me in the last few days leading up to the exchange have been articles in the Israeli media suggesting that the main people in Israel who disagree with the prisoner release are those in the national religious part of Israeli society (always named by the media as “right-wing extremists”), and the proclivity of that same media to lump together those in the national-religious group with Islamic terrorists.
It is an abominable conceit* that is now being replicated and propounded by none other than the IDF.
For example, yesterday under a headline reading: “IDF Fears Terrorists Will Try to Derail Shalit Release”, two noted columnists for the Jerusalem Post penned these lines:
. . . on Tuesday, the army went on high alert, fearing terrorists or right-wing Israeli groups might try to torpedo the swap. The IDF Southern Command is concerned terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip that were not part of the agreement – such as Islamic Jihad – will increase rocket attacks against Israel in the coming days to derail the deal. And in the Central Command, the IDF is concerned that right-wing extremists might take steps to stop the convoy of buses carrying the prisoners from Ketziot Prison in the South, where they will be gathered before they are freed, from reaching their final destinations.”
The irony of this statement is that no one from the national-religious group has taken any physical action to derail the agreement. Many in that group (as many others) have spoken up to voice their consternation and disgust for the release of so many terrorist murderers; however, no one has been in the streets demonstrating or blocking traffic.
In any case, the idea that the actions of Islamic terror groups can somehow be equated with those of the national-religious segment of Israeli society is outrageous.
Who has led the protests against the Shalit deal? The Association of Bereaved Families of Terror–an association made up of people whose family members have been murdered by terrorists.
Who filed the petitions at the Israel Supreme Court to stop the exchange? Yitzhak Maoz, whose daughter was murdered in the 2001 Sbarro bombing in Jerusalem; Hovav Nuriel, whose father Sasson Nuriel was murdered by a Hamas terror cell in 2005; the Bloom family, who were critically injured by a Islamic Terrorist Hamas gasoline bomb; Ron Karmal whose daughter was murdered in a bus bombing in Haifa; Rabbi Shmuel Weiss, whose son died fighting terrorists; and Meir and Shmuel Schijveschuurder whose mother, father, two sisters, and brother were slaughered at the Sbarro.
These people have every right to protest the Israeli government’s decision–and do not speak for the national-religious sector of Israeli society. To suggest otherwise is simply fraudulent.
*In this blog, your humble servant is using ‘conceit’ in its original meaning: “an artificially constructed concept.”
1. Use ‘Judea and Samaria’ instead of ‘
the West Bank‘.
2. Use ‘Jewish community’ instead of ‘
3. Use ‘construction of Jewish homes, schools, and hospitals’ instead of ‘
s ettlement activity‘.
4. Use ‘new Jewish communities’ instead of ‘
5. Use ‘Jewish community member’ instead of ‘
6. Use ‘conservative politicians’ instead of ‘
7. Use ‘PLO’ or ‘Palestine Liberation Organization’ instead of ‘
8. Use ‘Palestinian Islamic Terrorist Organization–HAMAS’ instead of merely ‘
9. Use ‘Israeli men, women, and children’ instead of ‘
10. Use ‘Palestinian cities’ instead of ‘
Palestinian refugee camps‘.