Monday, June 25, 2007

Breaking news: A recording of Gilad Shalit

This is the first sign of life that we have from Gilad Shalit in a year.

You can hear the recording here on walla.co.il. Gilad Shalit's father confirms this is his son's voice.

There is a Hebrew transcript apparently here but I can't read a word of Arabic, so I don't know where to look for it.

Here's the English transcript I took from monsters & critics:



'I am the soldier Gilad, son of Noam Shalit, imprisoned by the martyr Izzadin al-Qassam Brigades.
'Mom and dad, my brother and sister and my friends in the Israel Defence Forces (IDF).
'I send you my greetings from prison and my yearning to see you.
'I have completed an entire year in captivity, my health continues to deteriorate and I need prolonged hospitalization.
'I am sorry at the lack of interest of the Israeli government and the IDF in my case and their failure to heed the demands of the martyr al-Qassam.
'It is clear that they must heed these demands to free me from my prison, and especially since I was on a military mission under military order and I was not a drug dealer. (Eds: reference to Israeli businessman Elhanan Tannenbaum who
was freed from four years of captivity by the Lebanese Hezbollah movement in a 2004 mass prisoners swap. He has since admitted that he had been dealing drugs at the time of his abduction.)
'And just as I have parents, a mom and a dad, so the thousands of Palestinian prisoners have mothers and fathers whose sons must be returned to them.
'I have great hope in my government that it will take a greater interest in me and will respond to the demands of the Mujahideen.
Corporal Gilad Shalit.'
This is a whirlwind of emotions for me. Gilad is alive. He needs help. Amnesty is completely silent about this (last news report on Amnesty's site with Shalit's name dates from June 2006). The ADL isn't silent about this (kudos to them, as usual).

In exchange for Gilad they ask that we release thousands of terrorists with blood on their hands.
I ask you, what is a tormented country to do in the face of this? For a parent there is nothing worse than to have a child held in captivity. Yes, it is worse than death. Because there is always the hope of seeing him again living side by side with the terror of what is happening to him every single second. But how can Israel release murderers who openly admit they'll go right back to doing what they were doing? They won't see this as a sign of peace offering. It will be a sign of weakness. And that means there will be more kidnappings of soldiers. And more terror.

Dan Gillerman said it very well: "These people are not in jail for some minor traffic violation. They are in jail because they planned, helped or participated in terror attacks on Israelis."

Israel is a country that is subjected to harsh criticism from organizations like Amnesty and the Red Cross and the UN. We get complaints that it's so hard for a terrorist's wife to come visit her murdering husband because he's in a jail 5 hours away from her. We get complaints that their cell phones are confiscated. No praise for Israel's doctors who take care of those terrorists. No word of praise for the normal jail conditions they receive. And what else? No criticism for Gilad's harsh conditions. He says he needs medical attention. This is the first time we've heard his voice, and look what they're making him say. An Israeli soldier would not say that of his free will.

Where's the balance? What did Gilad Shalit do that the world isn't outraged that anyone in the world might suggest that his freedom is equivalent to the freedom of thousands of terrorists??



Update: Here's a clearer video on youtube. You can tell he's being told what to say.

2 comments:

Miguel said...

Hi! I'm glad to find a blog like this one, where I've been able to find information about israel, from a young israeli boy. I'm Spanish, Hebrew student, I've always loved Israel and its culture...

Thanks for giving this point of view of a misunderstood country...

The Hermit said...

Anybody that falls into the hands of Islamists, North Koreans and that ilk is going to have to say what they're told. Our military code of conduct used to forbid making such statements, but after the Korean war we changed it. After all, what good is a signed confession to all kinds of b.s. when the rest of the world knows it was beaten out of you. So might as well make it as easy on yourself as you can. At least playing along lets people know you are still alive.
I've always said Israel makes a mistake in capturing terrorists. I grant you, they may have some intelligence value short term, but after that, they become a liability. You have to expend resources to take care of them, and other terrorists will constantly be doing the hostage thing to try to get them released. Of course, now we're doing the same thing with the scumbags we pick up in Iraq and Afghanistan.