UPDATE: IDF apprehends terrorists overnight. Israeli bus pelted with stones near Hevron.
Yesterday was a thrilling day here in Israel. The first sight of Gilad Shalit, frail but alive, was an image that few of us will ever forget. It was followed by one fixating event after another: the bogus interview on Egyptian TV, the arrival in the Sinai, the arrival at Tel Nof, the departure for Mitzpe Hila, the singing and dancing of thousands in Mitzpe Hila with Israeli flags proudly flying, and Noam Shalit’s final comments at the end of an incredibly long day.
Your humble servant spent most of the day in Jerusalem–which I will describe tomorrow except to say that we had finally made it to Gan Sacher Park when the first pictures of Gilad Shalit were put up on the ultra large screeen TV that had been erected there.
Today’s long blog will be devoted to those your humble servant will term the ‘losers’ from yesterday. However, I would first like to say something about Gilad Shalit himself.
For most of the last 1941 days, Gilad Shalit was held in lightless solitary confinement by the Palestinian Islamic terrorists of Hamas. During this time, the shrapnel wounds he received when he was kidnapped went untreated. Up until the last month, he was denied adequate nutrition and was reduced to a bone-thin shadow of himself. Apparently, his terrorist captors allowed him the use of a small radio and a TV on occasion; however, they refused to get him glasses so that he could read, and as we all know they refused him contact with anyone in the outside world.
But in what can only be described a testament to the human spirit, Gilad Shalit persevered and survived. And he seems to have come out of his ordeal the same person as he was: sensitive, shy, optimistic, and proud. The famous Gilad smile was displayed in abundance yesterday as he was reunited with his family–and as he met Netanyahu, Barak, and Gantz. Israel is prouder than ever of Gilad Shalit this morning.
And now on to the israelstreet list of ‘loser awards’ from yesterday (in no particular order):
Loser 1: CNN News. Your humble servant watched a wide variety of TV news coverage yesterday after his return from Jerusalem: French 24, Fox News, all three Israeli news channels, Al-Jazeera, Skynews, Deutsche Welle and the BBC. By far, the worst was CNN. Citing Ismail Haniyeh’s “inspired leadership”, the CNN ‘reporter’ on the ground in Gaza (who shall rename nameless) breathlessly gushed about how not only was the Gazan mob chanting “We want more Shalits” but also that kidnapping (he used the word “capturing”) more Israeli soldiers was an excellent idea. CNN wins a Loser Award for being a pathetically biased excuse for a ‘news’ network.
Loser 2. The International Committee of the Red Cross. After doing absolutely nothing for the entirety of Gilad Shalit’s captivity, the Red Cross had the audacity to proclaim it would do “anything it could” to bring about the prisoner exchange. Then after it was completed, the Red Cross issued this statement: “Today’s events are a source of joy for many families who were reunited with loved ones”. No mention that Gilad Shalit was kidnapped from Israel and no mention that the vast majority of released Palestinians are convicted murderers of Israeli men, women, and children. The Red Cross wins a Loser Award for being a pathetic excuse for a ‘humanitarian’ organization.
Loser 3. The terrorists and their audience in Gaza. It was reported last night that as a result of all the celebratory shooting into the air–six people on the ground had been hit by falling bullets, and two of them killed. Another 84 were injured by being trampled and in fights that broke out over positioning on the parade route. Nothing surprising, but the Gazan celebrants win the Loser Award for most pathetic behavior.
Loser 4. The U.S. State Department. After Secretary of State Clinton had earlier in the week waxed metaphorically over the exchange, President Obama appeared on Tuesday to say that despite American policy of never negotiating with terrorists, it was good that Shalit had been released. By nightfall, the State Department had completely backtracked saying that it was concerned because the release involved terrorists who had killed American citizens. Not Israeli citizens apparently–just American citizens. The U.S. State Department wins the award for pathetically incompetent insensitive backtracking.
Loser 5. The French government. All day long, we were treated to statements ranging from Sarkozy’s “It was Shalit’s French citizenship that helped keep him alive” to the French Ambassador’s happiness in Mitzpe Hila last night that Shalit had been given the opportunity to watch the Tour de France on TV while in solitary confinement. The French government wins a Loser Award for pathetic nonsense.
Loser 6. Egyptian television and its interviewer Shahira Amin. The sight of Gilad being unexpectedly interviewed by Amin before he left Egypt quickly changed from happiness at seeing him to wondering what was going on as Shalit seemed under increasing duress to the point of having difficulty breathing and talking. In an interview with Israel’s Channel 10 later in the day, Amin claimed that she only interviewed Shalit because he wanted to be interviewed and that the two of them were alone in the room when the interview took place. Subsequently released still photos showed that a masked Hamas terrorist was standing behind Shalit during the entire interview monitoring everything he said. Egyptian TV and Shahira Amin win the Loser Award for pathetic self-serving mendacity.
Loser 7. Mahmoud Abbas. Abbas had all the Fatah terrorist murderers who were released taken immediately to the grave of Yasser Arafat to pay homage to their terrorist inspiration, and then to the stage in Ramallah that Abbas shared with Hassan Yousef, a senior member of the Palestinian Islamic Terrorist Organization Hamas. Abbas had this to say: “Your sacrifice and hard work were not in vein. We thank God for your return and your safety. You are freedom fighters and holy warriors for the sake of God and the homeland. You will see the results of your struggle with an independent Palestinian state with Jerusalem as its capital.” Your sacrifice and hard work? Terrorist murderers who slaughter children, women, and men are freedom fighters and holy warriors? Mahmoud Abbas receives today’s Loser Award for being the most pathetic leader on display yesterday.
Loser(s) 8. The Palestinian terrorist murderers who were released. Never was the contrast between such maniacal Palestinian murderers and a simple Israeli soldier more revealed. While Shalit’s only desire was to go home away from the crowds who wanted to express their glee at his release, one of the terrorist murderers said this as he entered Gaza: “Thank you to the forces of the resistance for returning us as liberated heroes.” As Netanyahu noted yesterday, they are also marked men–not only I might add by the Israeli government but also apparently by vigilante bounty hunters who will track them down in whatever territory or country they live. The prisoners win today’s Loser Award for pathetic egocentric short-sightedness.
Loser 9. The Palestinian people. Can you even begin to imagine the effect on Palestinian society of so many violent murderers being released into its midst? On every level including increased family violence, increased tribal-family clan violence, increased local violence, and increased violence within the Fatah and Hamas terrorist groups themselves, the prisoner release is an unmitigated disaster for the Palestinians–who are again left with nothing except their deeply ingrained glorification of violence and death. The Palestinians win the Loser Award today for pathetically doing what they do best–glorifying violence and death.
Loser 10. The Palestinian Islamic Terrorist Organization Hamas. For all of the accolades being heaped on this group by everyone ranging from CNN to PM Erdogan of Turkey, the simple fact is that Hamas humiliated itself and every Palestinian by signing onto a deal that equated the life of one Israeli soldier with those of 1027 Palestinians. A great achievement for the Palestinian people? Hardly. The Hamas deal has further exposed Hamas for what it really is–nothing more than a group of pathetic terrorist murderous thugs who abused and mistreated a young prisoner for 1941 days.
Addendum: Due to the length of today’s blog, terminology suggestions will be returning tomorrow.