Ynet commentator talks sense; then shoots the wrong way

Posted: March 15, 2009 by Jonathan Boyko in Cast Lead, Gilad Shalit, Israel, Politics

Ehud Olmert, personally looking for Gilad Shalit

Ehud Olmert, personally looking for Gilad Shalit

Shaul Tzedaka’s commentary on Ynet is a good sense many in Israel need so badly. Nothing much left to say, just read:

Today, Israel cannot be taken seriously at all. While Hamas is engaged in a chess game with major regional players, Israel is playing backgammon with itself. Its entire being is enlisted in favor of Shalit, as if the future had been outlawed. Seven million people are mortgaging their future for the day we shall watch Gilad’s return to his parents, and to hell with the rest.

The current government’s suicidal conduct does not require needless commentary. Kadima’s term in office had been characterized by endless corruption and two military failures (and no, don’t tell me that Operation Cast Lead was a glorious victory.) What cabinet ministers are left with, before they head home, is the need to finish their term with some sort of “achievement.” The long-awaited-for photograph of the prime minister returning the captive to his family has become the only thing that matters. This will enable him to present his tenure as a great success story.

Shalit has become the refuge of the scoundrels, and Olmert, as the one who heads them, will do everything in order to be registered in the annals of history not as a failed politician, but rather, as one who “freed prisoners.” It is not the concern for Shalit that guides Olmert and his ilk, but rather, their desire to register an “achievement” that would cause us to forget three years of resounding failures.

The deal that saw the murderers of children being released in exchange for coffins and a drug dealer will seem like a bargain in the Arab bazaar by tomorrow. In addition, the en masse release of murderers will turn Hamas into the West Bank’s “Hizbullah” and deliver a deathblow to Mahmoud Abbas’ regime, the last hope for an agreement with the Palestinians.

The “deal” being formulated also constitutes a spit in the face of bereaved families. It is also akin to giving the finger to the courts that sent the killers to the place where they deserve to stay at. And how would Israel appear in the eyes of the nations of the world? Will the “state that never surrenders to terror” continue to preach to those who release Muslim terrorists? Don’t government officials realize this is a step with international implications?

Just like in every struggle, the saga we are witnessing is undergoing a privatization process. The current PR protest, which has taken an embarrassing infantile nature, places the family vis-à-vis the wellbeing of society. I am not criticizing the Shalit family, yet they too need to understand that their son may be remembered in the future as part of a lethal cocktail we shall regret for eternity with infamy.

But then, reaching the apogee, Tzedaka shoots the wrong way:

In a reality of ongoing armed struggle, we must reconcile ourselves to the ongoing captivity of soldiers. Britain has dealt with five captives in Iraq for more than two years now, yet despite this the country manages to go on.

Okay, does this really need explaining? I do not know about Britain – their situation is tougher as the Brits have a huge territory to search, like looking a needle in ten haystacks – but in Israel, we have ways to find our soldiers. Israeli military has deep roots within Palestinian society; there is a lot of intelligence. It is possible to find the soldier, even though it is hard. As a last resort, the freed terrorists could be re-captured or annihilated as soon as the exchange has been made. Israel has to force terrorists to understand: we take care of our soldiers; we bring them back – not by releasing terrorists, but by fighting for our people.


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