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Jun 23, 2014

who should be blamed for the kidnapping?

Who is at fault for the kidnapping?

Personally I am loathe to the idea of assigning blame or otherworldly reasons while the operation to retrieve the boys is underway. There will be plenty of time later for blame.. for now it is just divisive and distracting.

However, the Jpost has an article in which they quote the Chief Rabbi of Tzfat, Rav Shmuel Eliyahu (though VIN calls him the "chief cleric of Tzfat", whatever that is) in which he blames the Shalit family for the kidnapping because of their attitude of whining and playing on emotion and sentiment...

One of the major factors contributing to the erosion of Israeli society was the atmosphere of ‘me as the individual’ and the loss of national identity,” Eliyahu wrote.
“The Schalit family and the group that put in motion the campaign around it [for the release of their son] enhanced this erosion,” he wrote. “It adopted an attitude of whining and playing on sentiment.

They blamed everyone [and] perpetuated the culture of ‘I deserve it.’ It was as if the only important thing to consider is today, not what happens tomorrow. As long as they get their son back, damn the consequences, even if it means that innocent civilians will pay the awful price. And the awful price has come. Three young boys were kidnapped.”

Eliyahu drew a comparison between the Schalit family and its vocal public relations campaign to pressure the government for their son’s release after five years in captivity, and the reaction of the families of the kidnapped youngsters who went missing 11 days ago.

“Today, a new spirit is blowing,” the rabbi wrote admiringly of the families of Naftali Fraenkel, Gil-Ad Shaer, and Eyal Yifrah. “It is a spirit of might and heroism, a spirit of responsibility, a spirit of unity.

It’s a more responsible, healthier, more moral spirit. This spirit is alive and well in the army and the government, the Knesset and the entire public.

It’s a spirit of remedying the defects of the past.”

“This spirit is being fostered by the families of the young people,” the rabbi added.

“With quiet conduct, they have managed to tug on the heartstrings of the Israeli society and to rehabilitate it.

There are no accusations of guilt, no whining, no public pressure, no bitterness. What they do have is belief.”
I think it is crass to blame the Shalit family for this. They just wanted their kid back, and did whatever they could to get him back. It was the government that made a deal, and agreed to certain conditions, such as the ratio for the prisoner swap - not the Shalit family.

Even if their methods were not to my liking or your liking, they do not bear the blame for the recent kidnapping. Blaming them now is just cruel.

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  1. The government, not the Shalit family, negotiated and agreed to the Shalit deal.

    Me personally, I blame Hamas and Fatah, the terrorists who do and support these kinds of things.

  2. There is halacha and daat Torah about saving people and choosing some over others, or instead of others. The Torah says that it is a great mitzvah to save prisoners, and I think it is 'valid' for our leaders to send countless soldiers (messengers) to try and save prisoners, but is a private person allowed to save his relatives and choose that others are endangered or die instead?

  3. I wouldn't use the word blame, but Shalit's family behaved disgracefully and have contributed to the terrorist motivation to kidnap Jews. Yes, they just wanted to get their kid back whatever the cost. This is wrong. A soldier should be ready to die on the battlefield or in captivity fighting for his country.

  4. I think if we track the causal chain back farther we should blame Israel's response to the MIA situation after the first Lebanon war. The Schalit family only needed to look at families suffering for 30 years with little serious action on the part of the government to even obtain proof of life or death to know that their only hope was to make a public fiasco out of it to pressure the government. The moral failure is that the Israeli government did less to recover soldiers taken on the battlefield than it is doing to recover three hitchhikers.

  5. Cruel?

    I can't blame the Shalit's for doing whatever they could to get their son released.

    To be critical of them now, why not? This is EXACTLY what the Maran me'Rotenberg would happen, and why he refused to allow himself to be redeemed through a ransom.

    Why is it not ok to remind each other that our choices affect our neighbors in one way or another, whether we like it or not? Do the Shalits now feel guilty? Do they have confused feelings about the consequences of their actions? Then good. Maybe this will help prevent the next kidnapping, if the parents of these three boys think a little more about their strategy than the Shalits did.

    OTOH, could the Shalits care less about "some settler boys who shouldn't have been roaming around dangerous areas in the first place."

    All Jews are equal, but some Jews are more equal than others. :-/


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