First a HURRAY! Then: NEW ways to release Gilad Shalit
Take-A-Pen Letter-Writing Call
October 2, 2009*
Let's cry first a big HURRAY: Gilad Shalit is living and well !
The video gained recently in an exchange for twenty released Palestinian prisoners shows clearly that the young kidnapped Israeli soldier, Gilad Shalit (Schalit) lives and is physically and mentally OK. His family and a whole country are happy for a moment - and immediately after start to think about the next step: how and when can Gilad be finally released and return home?
Every normal person, certainly all Israelis, wish from all their heart that Gilad Shalit, abducted by Hamas in 2006, be released. Nationwide rallies have been expressing this wish ever since. Israel has been ready to exchange hundreds of Palestinian prisoners for Gilad. But Hamas's demand has been unreasonable, actually almost suicidal for Israel: they demand 1000 prisoners, listed by name, released, many of them convicted terrorist murderers of civilians.
Months ago a Hamas anniversary mass rally revealed again the lawless cruelty and inhumanity of Hamas. Gilad - who all these years has been denied by his kidnappers and keepers any visit of Red Cross or family, and all other elementary human rights - was humiliated publicly. (Read Khaled Abu Toameh's Israeli Prisoner Ridiculed at Hamas Rally in Jerusalem Post) This rally was not a heated mob lynch, but an organized war crime by Hamas leadership.
WE HAVE TO DO MORE FOR THE RELEASE OF GILAD SHALIT, BUT HOW? DEFINITELY IN NEW WAYS!
NOT by telling more about the pain of the young man and his family - this is well-known, and makes his sadistic keepers only more cock-sure about their abnormal demands. BUT by declaring in every forum and at every instance that Hamas commits war crimes in this case: when they deny Gilad all visits, Red Cross supervision and other rights of prisoners - rights what Israel gives to all prisoners, even to convicted murderer Palestinian terrorists.
Diplomacy must act in this direction. All supporters of Palestinians - governments and humanitarian channels alike - must be reminded to this, and requested that their help to Palestinians in any sense, and particularly in Gaza, be conditioned to all human rights and finally to the release of Gilad.
We, all pro-Gilad volunteers, must tell, write and repeat - always when Gilad Shalit's name only arises - letters declaring that Hamas leaders are War Criminals. We should initiate international legal processes into this matter. Such pressure may lead faster to a reasonable agreement of exchange than undeserved tolerance and appeasement towards Hamas. An unreasonable demand by Hamas can't, and mustn't be accepted. Gilad's life is most precious, but those of the future victims are not less so.
If Hamas' criminal practice continues, their leaders deserve the same treatment what leaders of piracy received, when Europe once eliminated that pest.
(See actual samples to this CALL: Letter to the Editor: ‘New Ways to Release Gilad' or ‘Hamas Leaders Are War Criminals'
* Update of former Take-A-Pen Call on the same subject, now after Video about Gilad has ben received