Jun 24, 2007

Gilad Shalit - one year later

Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of the abduction of Gilad Shalit.

On June 25, 2006, Palestinian militants breeched the Israeli border and attacked a military outpost. They abducted Gilad Shalit and, in the process, killed two other IDF soldiers and injured three more.

Since the abduction, we have read in the news about offers for a trade. The terms of the deal as suggested by the ruling Hamas leaders has been ridiculous. They have demanded thousands of prisoners in exchange for Shalit, and they will not even give any information as to Shalit's condition prior to any deal.

We have occasionally been told, via the media, that a deal is imminent and we can expect good news "within 2 weeks." I can remember about 4 different times over the year that our government has counted on the promises of PA President Mahmoud Abbas to declare that the Shalit situation will be over in a matter of days.

The days pass, the weeks pass, the months pass, and all we are left with is more promises by Abbas and Gilad Shalit remains in captivity.

With the recent Hamas coup of Gaza, Mahmoud Abbas will obviously not even be able to make promises that he cannot keep. He will not be able to give us the hope and optimism we desire.

We like to fool ourselves.

We think that as long as the moderates are in control, we are ok. Everything will work out. Abbas will work it out and get us Shalit back under reasonable terms. As long as we have someone there making promises to us, even though those promises will never be kept, we remain calm. We remain optimistic that Abbas will come through.

Abbas will never come through. I say that loud and clear. He has never come through. He is not a moderate. He has done nothing for us and, even worse, he has done nothing to advance the goals of the Palestinian people. He has gotten a lot of goodwill gestures from Israel, but in the 2.5 years he has been President of the PA, he has not advanced their situation at all.

We have our hopes and desires. As long as Abbas was willing to make us promises, empty as they might be, we were willing to have expectations. The problem with that is that as the time passes, our expectations result in constant disappointment.

Maybe now that Hamas is in complete control of Gaza and Abbas does not even have the ability to make promises, we will stop taking hope from him. Hopefully we will begin to look for real solutions to obtaining Shalit's freedom (and Goldwasser and Regev in Lebanon, but that will be for another post) and stop relying on false hope and people who do not have the ability to come through.

And we, the people who cannot do anything except pressure the government, and even that does not help with the crowd of selfish politicians currently filling the seats of power who ignore the calls of the public, should keep reminding the government of its responsibilities, and keep pressuring the government in any way possible to bring this situation to its resolution.

But the fall of Abbas should also be a reminder that "we have nobody to rely on except our Father in heaven."

As long as Abbas was making promises, we could forget about Hashem and rely on Abbas and Olmert. Now that they can no longer make any promises, the time is ripe to remember that really we should be relying on Hashem to bring this to a resolution. There is nobody here reliable to rely on. We must increase our prayers and our good deeds in Shalit's merit.

(this post has been cross posted at the Free Gilad Shalit blog)


  1. The politicians are still talking about how we need to strengthen Abu Mazen and negotiate with him.

    It is amazing how blind they are. He has proven that he has no ability to deliver and yet they want to talk to him. The reason is very simple, otherwise their whole platform since Oslo is dead and buried.

  2. I often wonder how they can be so blind to what seems so obvious to us simple people. How can they keep making the same mistakes, when everyone else sees it as such, how can they not?

    Are they under such pressure from external forces that they have to ignore the realities? Are we wrong and only looking at the situation through distorted lenses of what the media presents us? Maybe they are right?
    Nahhhh... they are just blind and looking out for their own careers and pensions...

  3. amen, may HKB"H find it merciful to bring all the shi'vuyim home right away.

  4. Last week, June 11 and Chof Sivan respectively, was the 25th anniversary of the Capture of the 3 hesder yeshiva sttudents / soldiers (including an american) in the 1982 lebanese battle at sultan yakoub.

    Unofortunately, not too many peopel seem to care anymore.

    I hope the shalit family wont have to suffer the same.

  5. How does one even negotiate with people like this? People who have no regard for their own lives or anyone else's?

    I can only echo Shaya's thoughts...


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