For too long, by allowing themselves to be led by our deranged media, Israeli citizens and governments alike have ignored the fact that the answer to every question is not more concessions.
Caroline B. Glick
29 June '10
To the roaring cheers of the local media, on Sunday the Schalit family embarked on a cross-country march to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s residence. They set out two days after the fourth anniversary of IDF Sgt. Gilad Schalit’s captivity.
Outside their home on Sunday, Gilad’s father Noam Schalit pledged not to return home without his son. The Schalit family intends to camp out outside of Netanyahu’s home until the government reunites them with Gilad.
The only drawback to this dramatic, newspaper- selling story is that it is wrong. Gilad Schalit is not a hostage in Jerusalem. He is a hostage in Gaza. His captor is not Netanyahu. His captor is Hamas.
And because the story is wrong, the media organized cavalcade of ten thousand well-intentioned Israelis is moving in the wrong direction. And not only is it going in the wrong direction, it is doing so at Gilad Schalit’s expense.
The truth that Yediot and Ma’ariv’s marketing departments ignore is that Schalit’s continued captivity is a function of Hamas’s growing strength. To bring him home, Israel shouldn’t release a thousand terrorists from prison.
To bring Gilad Schalit home a free man, Israel must weaken Hamas. And this is an eminently achievable goal. Noam Schalit knows it is an achievable goal. That is why last week he was the most outspoken critic of Netanyahu’s decision to abandon Israel’s economic sanctions against Hamas-controlled Gaza. That is why over the past four years, the Schalit family has staged countless protests against Israel’s massive and continuous assistance to Hamas-controlled Gaza. If anything positive is to come from this march, then when the Schalit family arrives in Jerusalem they should abandon the newspapers’ demand that Israel surrender to all of Hamas’s demands. They should acknowledge that doing so will only guarantee that more Israelis will be kidnapped and murdered by Hamas and its allies.
If the Schalits wish to criticize the government, they should criticize Netanyahu and his coalition for the steps they have taken to strengthen Hamas. The Schalits should demand that the government reinstate and tighten Israel’s economic sanctions against Gaza. They should demand that Israel end its supply of electricity and gasoline to Gaza and take more effective action to block smuggling through the tunnels along the Gaza-Egypt border.
All of these actions will weaken Hamas, and so contribute to the prospect of it being forced by the Gazans themselves to release Schalit to his family.
(Read full article)
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