Even before he saw a doctor; before he was able to embrace his parents after more than five years in captivity, Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was paraded before cameras in Egypt for a televised interview.
The Associated Press reports that despite the fact that the 25-year-old Shalit, kidnapped out of Israel and held against his will clearly under terrible conditions by Hamas monsters since age 19, was struggling to breathe and having trouble talking; and despite the fact that he was still in a foreign country with masked Hamas gunmen in the room, the “journalist” conducting the interview had the chutzpah to suggest he wasn’t coerced into it.
Israeli officials harshly criticized the whole event, which took place “minutes after Hamas militants freed him in a prisoner swap Tuesday, saying the questioning was inappropriate and insensitive,” the report said.
He was asked, for instance, that knowing as he does what it’s like to be in captivity, and with “more than 4,000 Palestinians in Israeli jails. Will you help campaign for their release?”
His answer, which was uttered after a long pause, was that he would be happy if all those prisoners were freed so that they can go back to their families and loved ones. He reportedly also said the Palestinians shouldn’t try to hurt Israelis anymore. A brave thing to say, considering he could not have been totally convinced of his safety at that point.
It may be worth noting to major differences between the Palestinians being held by Israel and Shalit’s captivity.
Israel’s prisoners were captured plotting or carrying out terrorism in Israel against Israelis, and they were held in relatively normal prison conditions.
Shalit, on the other hand, was an innocent kid with no blood on his hands, kidnapped from his own country and dragged into Gaza injured, and apparently held in darkness and solitude for more than five years with no contact with anyone.
An Israeli official reportedly questioned the ethics of the journalists involved.
“We are all shocked that a so-called interview was forced on (Shalit) before he could even talk to his family or set foot on Israeli soil,” the official said.
The good news is that Israeli security officials reportedly told Israeli YNet News the interview was a violation of the deal for Shalit’s release.
That’s great news.
Now that the other side has violated the terms of the deal, the Israeli government can and absolutely should, not follow through on the remainder of its side of the bargain. It should not release more than 500 additional terrorists.
They should not do that, anyway, if you ask me.
Why should Israel keep its word to terrorists? So they’ll believe our negotiators next time? This agreement pretty much guarantees a next time. It’s imperative a next time be prevented. And besides, I’m not sure there’s a moral obligation to be honest with murdering criminals. They’re not playing by the same rules, anyway.
And for those concerned that this might undermine the chance of productive peace talks with “moderate” Fatah chief Abbas, no need to worry.
A.P. reports “Abbas praised the released prisoners as ‘freedom fighters’ and ‘holy warriors.’
When the terrorists complain that Israel reneged on the bargain, Israeli officials can simply say the equivalent of “we lied. So sue us.”
These are child killers and cold-blooded murderers. Who cares what they think?
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