June 29, 2006
I am, pretty obviously, all riled up about the Corporal Shalit kidnapping. I feel like it’s a turning point in dealing with terrorists. So far it has been the case that a kidnapping earns some strong words from various world leaders, then a head is returned or a video of the beheading is found, and the world waits for them to do it again. I just have a feeling that’s not the way it’s going to go this time. Israel seems determined to burn the place down to find their soldier. I salute them in their goal and wish them success.
Curious what the Brits were thinking about the Corporal Shalit kidnapping, I did a little stroll through their newspapers. Most of the coverage is, for once, sympathetic to the Israelis but capitulation is still suggested just a little too often.
Talking about the captured soldier, Osama Hamdan, a Hamas spokesman, said: “It is premature to discuss this matter.
“If the Israelis want to trade them (Palestinian politicians) for the soldier then let them say it frankly and then we will react.”
He insisted the case of the Israeli Corporal Gilad Shalit who Palestinian militants were holding and the Hamas politicians was different.
“He’s an Israeli soldier, a prisoner of war, taken in a battle and falls under a legal category,” Hamdan said of Shalit.
“What happened yesterday were hostage-takings and acts of terrorism.”
Just so we’re clear, Hamas is the Palestinian government. So, the spokesman for the Palestian goverment just said that kidnapping soldiers is ‘legal’. Are you listening, Europe? THE SPOKESMAN FOR THE PALESTINIAN GOVERNMENT SAID THAT KIDNAPPING SOLDIERS IS LEGAL. Just making sure everyone is aware…..
The Guardian thinks that bombing the electric supply was just plain mean and also that Palestinians are more open to dialogue than those meanie Israelis who just continue the cycle of violence blah blah:
Bombing bridges may have some military logic, but the destruction of a power station seems intended solely to intimidate and inflict collective punishment. No other purpose is achieved by cruelly depriving hundreds of thousands of ordinary Gazans of their electricity supply (and shutting down water pumps) in sweltering heat. The international community, rightly alarmed at this dangerous escalation, can only call for restraint and back whatever diplomatic moves are afoot, through Egyptian mediation, to secure a peaceful outcome to a grave crisis.
Polling evidence consistently shows that a majority of Palestinians, many of whom voted for Hamas to protest against a corrupt and ineffective PLO, back negotiations with Israel. The obverse is true of Israelis. But there can clearly be no negotiations until the guns fall silent and the harsh cycle of attack, retaliation and vengeance is broken.
If Corporal Shalit is killed while in the hands of militants linked to Hamas, any prospect of a rapprochement between Israel and a Hamas-led Palestinian Government will vanish for years to come, perhaps for ever.
Israel will seek revenge against those it holds responsible — not only on the Hamas leadership in Gaza but also against the group’s more militant exiled leaders in Beirut and Damascus. But should Israel’s military pressure — or a deal to swap Palestinian prisoners for the soldier — persuade Hamas to release Corporal Shalit, surprising possibilities could open up.
The Scotsman makes you pay to read some of their pieces, including the one titled “Israel should pause for thought”. Israel has paused for thought. They thought ‘those bastards took our soldier and we’re going to do whatever it takes to get him back.” Here’s to hoping they stick with that thought.