Monday, June 25, 2007

365 days of despair for the Shalit family

(English translation of my previous post in French)

Today we mark a year since the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

This happened less than a year after Israel removed 8000 "colons" from the Gaza Strip, because the Palestinians complained that they were an obstacle to peace. No. I don't like that word. They weren't "colons". They had nothing in common with colonies as we know the from the French history in Algeria. No. In 2005 Israel evacuated 8000 human beings whose only fault was being Jewish. Jews cannot live under the Palestinian Authority. 8000 Jews living in the Gaza Strip were supposedly an obstacle to peace. I think that the unwillingness of living with 8000 Jews is an obstacle to peace. How many Muslims live in Paris?

One year since armed terrorists from Gaza infiltrated Israeli territory through tunnels, killed two soldiers and abducted Gilad. But the obstacle to peace is the "settlers". One year since we haven't heard any news from Gilad, and the UN lends a deaf ear to the family's and Israel's demands to release him. But this is all surely again because of the "settlers". A whole year without news, and neither the Red Cross Red Crescent society, nor Amnesty International have made a single effort in order to give us an update on his state. This is surely again the "settlers'" fault. Is Gilad still alive? Has he been tortured? Is he aware of all that we've tried to do to free him since last year? Is he aware of this deaf world we live in, this world that is more outraged by the kidnapping of Alan Johnston (BBC reporter who had daily contacts with terrorists, who was in the Gaza Strip and who we know is alive) than by the abduction of a young soldier who was in Israel proper? Gilad, you have a double nationality, you are French also. Where is France who should be fighting for you?

This is a letter I've received by mail. I don't know if it's written by his father or a father. The message, however, is right there.

It is to my son that I send this letter.

Soon it will be one year that the God-crazed, hate-lovers and liberty destroyers have abducted you. Soon it will be one year since your gaze, that of a young man barely even 20, calls to us and tells us: "Come, free me. I can't stand it any longer. I want to see my parents again. I want to go home, and leave this inferno in which I am"".

Your gaze, Gilad - this is a father telling you this - is haunting me day and night. I think of you as millions of Israelis think of you, every single day.

At first I thought we could secure your liberation through negotiations. But today, as the terrorist army of the Hamas, at the orders of Tehran, has launched a ballistic offensive against the State of Israel, I become more and more worried.

This morning, while we were being informed of the death of a young Israeli, murdered by a Kassam missile in Sderot, your abductors announced that they were ready to kill you. A hateful blackmail that they threaten to put to action if Israel doesn't cease from its military response, which is after all no more and no less than that of a legitimate defence when faced with daily acts of war.

My little Gilad, you have been abducted a second time today: The terrorists use your name and what you represent for an entire population in order to make us feel guilty of being a country who defends herself and can't continue being attacked without

It is a dirty war which we are leading against the integrist Islam. I don't believe that they believe in God as they claim. I do not think that it is Islam that is guiding them, but an appetite for death and destruction that knows no limit. They are strong only because they know our weaknesses.

What I call a weakness is our love for life, our respect for our children - I should say all of the children with no distinction - while they at any moment are ready to put theirs in peril or even worse, to use them as human bombs. I still remember those 12 or 14 year old children who would show up at army checkpoints with a bomb ready to explode in their school backpacks. This bomb had been placed there, without their knowledge, by an older friend.

Gilad - I almost want to say "my child" - hold on, stay strong! Today your destiny is ours. A destiny in which, once again, the Jews is imprisoned, threatened only because he is the symbol of unique nation, of a unique history. If the leaders of Hamas think that by using your life they will change the course of history, they are once again mistaken. We love our children but we also have another quality: We never forget...

I call onto the leaders of Hamas and their sponsors to think deeply about the disastrous consequences - for them as well as their protectors - in the even that Gilad's life should be taken. War is one thing. Cruelty and barbarism are another. The State of Israel is with you my son. And know that even when the situation seems unclear, your abductors shouldn't mistake restrain with weakness.

Gilad, this letter that I am sending you is both a letter of respect and of love. Even if you think you are alone in this sea of extremism and violence, our eyes, our thoughts and our actions are all turned towards you.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As tough as it is, seems like Shinbet or Mossod could do something to get the young guy back. I've got a 19 year old son, and I can hardly imagine what it must be like to have your son in the hands of subhumans like these.