Summary of Editorials from the Hebrew Press

(Israel Government Press Office)

All of the papers discuss various issues related to abducted IDF soldier Gilad Shalit:

Yediot Aharonot reminds its readers that “The Americans stopped the abduction of their soldiers in Iraq with the assistance of a refusal to negotiate with terrorists. The author adds that “I believe that we must negotiate but not at these prices.” The paper believes that “We have gone astray in navigating between strengthening the Palestinian Authority and strengthening Hamas, the true significance of which can be measured in human lives. We have gone astray because we ascribe more importance to the life of one soldier than to the lives of many other soldiers and civilians. We have gone astray between the genuine pain of a noble and hurting family, and expressions that are the result of advice from media companies. We have gone astray between hours, days and perhaps years of an isolated soldier or two in captivity, and the existence of the people and nation for many years.”

The author asserts that while the State of Israel “sees a single soldier in danger, and he has a name and he has parents, it must also see the certain quantities of those who would pay the price of his release.” The author, a former GOC Personnel, concludes: “In the IDF, I educated thousands of soldiers and commanders. We promised them that if they fell captive, we would do everything in our power to bring about their release. We never promised them that we would do everything.”

Ma’ariv declares that “The Shalit family is the only one that is – for now – behaving as it is supposed to. It is fighting for its son, launched a public campaign and is mobilizing all resources in order to bring Gilad back home. This is exactly what a family is supposed to do. Unfortunately, everyone else has gone off the rails. First, there is the media, most of it. Because this is a story with more than a little emotion, they are stoking emotions. Because this is a story that can create ratings, they are making ratings. Because this is a story that demands much responsibility, they are shirking it completely. Because this requires sagacity, there isn’t any. ‘At any price’ cried one of the headlines in this newspaper last Friday. Bring the boy (who is a combat soldier, in the armored corps, but who cares?) home already. And who will pay the price afterwards? The Press Council? No, we will pay the price, as individuals (since there will be a price in blood) and as a nation (since we will continue to be a regional joke).” The author also criticizes the Government: “It has also failed completely. The Government could decide to carry out the deal, and that is legitimate. The Government could also decide that it is unwilling to carry out the deal in its current format, and do you know what? That is also legitimate. But what is the Government doing? You guessed it – nothing.” The paper says that “It is already wearying to cite the many reasons against capitulating to Hamas’s insane demands in exchange for Gilad Shalit,” but asserts that if Israel agrees to the deal, “The message will be that every Palestinian youth who sets out to butcher Jews will, in the end, be released. The message to the Palestinian street will be that Hamas’s way wins. The damage to Abu Mazen, and to everyone who believes in a settlement, will be tremendous. And then, of course, there is the next abduction.”

Yisrael Hayom discusses the level of public support for the campaign on behalf of Gilad Shalit’s release and believes that “The reason that the public is showing such great involvement on this issue is that it can take a position without angering anybody.” The author ventures that “The four years since he was taken captive have proven one of two things: Either not enough has been done to release him or Israel is uninterested in paying the price necessary to do so,” and adds that “It is unnecessary to point out that all those involved want Shalit’s release and are working to that end; however, the kind of popular protest being organized is not really prodding them and this is exactly the kind of protest in which Israelis love to take part.”

The Jerusalem Post discusses the “agonizing Shalit debate” the country is currently going through, and notes that the 1 to 1,000 ratio, apparently offered by the government, would be the most disproportionate in Israel’s long history of asymmetrical prisoner swaps. The editor states that “Israel has offered far more than would logically be expected to try to secure the release of Shalit,” and adds that what is needed is “concerted US and European pressure on Hamas.”

Haaretz criticizes the intention of Interior Minister Eli Yishai Interior to join the march for captive soldier Gilad Shalit, and notes that a member of the forum of seven senior ministers, which is responsible for deciding on a deal for Shalit’s release, “cannot be both a party to decision-making and a concerned citizen protesting against the government of which he is a top member.” The editor states: “Yishai has to decide whether he is a minister or a demonstrator. Being both is intolerable.”

June 28, 2010 | 1 Comment »

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