Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Debate Over Gilad Shalit Continues

Shmuel Rosner has a post on Contentions about the ongoing debate in Israel about Gilad Shalit--about what the Israeli public itself can do:
Simply put: there are those who believe that Israelis should have demonstrations and rallies demanding the release of Schalit, captured by a Hamas faction in Gaza three years ago. And there are those saying that a public outcry makes it more difficult for the government to deal successfully with this delicate topic.
Deputy Defense Minister Matan Vilnai and Ehud Barak have come out saying that public rallies will only encourage Hamas to raise their demands in exchange for Shalit's release. On the other hand, former Shin-Bet head Ami Ayalon spoke at one of those rallies, emphasizing the importance of telling the government what they think and that the same government that sent Shalit into battle must also bring him own.

In the aftermath of the Samir Kuntar deal, the situation is even more delicate.

Rosner concludes:
Strategic considerations aside, the public is sick and tired of hearing excuses as to why Shalit is still in Gaza. Since it has no way of demonstrating effectively against Hamas, it goes after the Israeli government. Problematic–but also encouraging, because means that Israelis still care for the soldiers they send to battle, that there’s still a sense of responsibility for their fate.
The question now is how to act responsibly.

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