Friday, June 25, 2010

Gilad Shalit: Hostage of Hamas

by Micael Oren

In a small Jerusalem café, I sat with Noam Shalit and tried to discuss his son, Gilad. I say tried because each time Noam, a soft-spoken, bespectacled man, began a sentence, the owner of the café rushed over with complimentary plates of humus, salads and desserts. Passersby, glimpsing Noam through the window, burst inside to embrace him. “We are with you,” they cried. “We will get our Gilad home.”

That our is the key to understanding the devotion that Israelis feel for Gilad Shalit. The Israel Defense Forces is a citizens’ army in which most young men serve for a minimum of three years, followed by several decades of reserve duty. Young women serve for at least two. Our soldiers are literally our parents, our siblings, our children. Israel is also a small country with few if any degrees of separation between families. Even those who have never met the Shalits know someone who has. And all of us have loved ones—a brother, a son—who could suffer the same ordeal that Gilad began four years ago today.

Early on the morning of June 25, 2006, Hamas terrorists—using a tunnel secretly excavated during a cease-fire with Israel—infiltrated across the Gaza border and attacked an IDF base. Firing rocket grenades and automatic weapons, they killed two soldiers—Lt. Hanan Barak and Sgt. Pavel Slutzker, both 20—and kidnapped the 19-year-old corporal, Gilad Shalit. The IDF promptly launched a massive manhunt in Gaza, suffering an additional five fatalities, but failed to find the abductors. Hamas, meanwhile, demanded that Israel release more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, most of them convicted terrorists, in exchange for Gilad’s freedom.

Since then, Gilad’s parents, Noam and Aviva Shalit, have only received three letters from their son as well as a brief video showing an emaciated hostage with a haunted expression and lightless eyes. Hamas has refused to allow the Red Cross or other NGOs to visit Gilad, or to permit mail or aid packages to reach him. And to mock the Shalit family’s suffering, Hamas has staged re-enactments of the kidnapping, most recently in a Gaza summer camp, and plays in which actors portraying Gilad beg for their release. An animated Hamas film depicts an aged Noam Shalit grieving over his son’s coffin.

The plight of Gilad Shalit poses painful dilemmas. Should Israel negotiate with Hamas, a terror organization sworn to its destruction, and unleash hundreds of terrorists, many of whom will quickly return to murdering? Or can Israel leave Gilad to languish alone indefinitely, prolonging his family’s agony and undermining the faith in which other families send their children to battle?

There are no easy answers. Yet Israel has consistently sought to secure Gilad’s freedom through the good offices of intermediaries, all the while striving to reconcile the nation’s security needs with the time-honored Jewish principle of pidayon shivuyim, the redemption of prisoners.

The struggle to bring Gilad home has become a national passion for Israelis. His birthday and the anniversary of his abduction are both commemorated with dramatic public events. In one such rally, some 2,000 young people sailed a “freedom for Gilad” fleet of homemade rafts across the Sea of Galilee. Photographs of Gilad as a whimsical teenager loom from public walls and flutter on flags from car antennas. His name is emblazoned on bracelets popular among Israeli youth and the days of his captivity are displayed on a booth near the prime minister’s residence.

But the campaign to free Gilad Shalit is hardly limited to Israel. The mayors of Miami and New Orleans have made him an honorary citizen, as have the cities of Paris and Rome. President Nicolas Sarkozy has declared Gilad’s release “a top French priority,” and President Barack Obama has further condemned his “inhumane detention.”

Nevertheless, Gilad Shalit remains in solitary confinement—in spite of the protests and his parents’ unflagging appeals to the international community. Lost in the recent tumult surrounding Israel’s efforts to block Iranian and Syrian arms shipments to Hamas, which has fired 10,000 rockets at Israeli civilians to date, is the unending nightmare of the Shalit family. Their pain is shared by countless Israelis and well-wishers worldwide. We must not rest until our Gilad is once again safely at home.

Mr. Oren is Israel’s ambassador to the United States.

First published in The Wall Street Journal.

"Bring Him Home," performed by Dudu Fisher for Gilad Shalit

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

More brainwashing of Palestinian children

In February 2007, Hillary Clinton, then Senator from New York, held a press conference with Itamar Marcus, director of Palestinian Media Watch, to highlight the problem of Palestinian incitement in school books and media glorifying martyrdom and killing Jews:

As you have seen from this blog (here, here, and here) and many other forms of media (blogs, newspapers, etc).

Below is another music video further glorifies martyrdom and asks children to give up their childhood "for the sake of Palestine."

If you're as outraged as I am, write to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (click here) and include this link and remind her that the children of Gaza (and the West Bank) are still being taught to hate!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bollywood goes..... Hitler?!

There is nothing wrong with doing a film about Hitler's last days; however, in Bollywood, a film is raising a few eyebrows: Dear Friend, Hitler. The title comes from two letters that Ghandi wrote to Hitler:
The first letter requested Hitler to stop the war while the second posed to him the unique preachers of non violence. He wrote that we seek to convert our enemies not defeat them on the battlefield.

According to the news feed from Time magazine (click here) the film, according to it's director Rakesh Ranjan Kumar:
"[The film is focusing on] Hitler’s love for India and how he indirectly contributed to Indian independence. … It aims to capture the personality of Adolf Hitler and his insecurities, his charisma and his paranoia during the last few days of his life."

According to Nalin Singh, one of the writers of the script, claims the movie will be about the contrasting ideologies of Hitler's violence and Ghandi's non-violence (see full article here).

There is something terribly wrong with Bollywood. India's Jewish community is outraged:
"Whoever is making this film is doing so with ignorant, if not more sinister motives," Jonathan Solomon, the chairman of the Indian Jewish Federation, told Reuters, adding, "They are hurting the feelings of a community that has suffered a great deal." (Source)

As of right now, the star of the film, Anupam Kher, withdrew from the project, saying:
"I wish to withdraw from the film because it is creating ill feelings among my fans and I respect their sentiments. I was never affected by commercial considerations but social opinions always matter to me." (Source)

If anyone knows the production company, write to me at and I'll put up the information so the production company in Bollywood knows how the world feels about this film.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Thank you Elton John!

Many attempts have been made to attack and slander the Jewish State, almost all of it based on anti-Semitism. One of these attacks is to boycott, divest, and impose sanctions (aka the BDS Movement). While there are some who have decided to cancel their performance in Israel for those reasons, one person saw the ridiculousness in this argument and saw Israel as it is: an open, free, and vibrant democracy in the Middle East. That person's name: Elton John.

Thank you Elton John for coming to perform in Israel and for your voice of support!

Elton John's "Your Song."

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Thank you for making us #3 on Google!

Thanks everyone for helping make this blog the #3 link when searching "anti semitism report!"

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Shocking Photo!!

Relatives take photos of toddler outfitted

Relatives take photos of a toddler outfitted with a mock suicide vest, at an anti-Israel demonstration outside the United Nations headquarters in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, Tuesday, June 1, 2010. A few thousand protesters chanted anti-Israel slogans and waved flags representing Turkey, Lebanon and numerous Palestinian factions in front of the United Nations headquarters in downtown Beirut on Tuesday, while Pro-Palestinian activists sent another boat to challenge Israel's blockade. Writing in Arabic on placard at top right reads 'Gaza'.
(AP Photo/Ben Curtis)

Source: Yahoo! News

New Revelations from Op-Ed piece by Ambassador Michael Oren Re: Flotilla Lynching of Israeli Navy soldiers

Israel's Ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, has made some interesting revelations regarding what has been found on the flotilla, revealed in an Op-Ed piece to the NY Times. Here are some of the major discoveries made by the IDF's investigation:

1. "About 100 of those detained from the boats were carrying immense sums in their pockets — nearly a million euros in total."

2. "Israel discovered spent bullet cartridges on the Mavi Marmara that are of a caliber not used by the Israeli commandos, some of whom suffered gunshot wounds."

3. "Also found on the boat were propaganda clips showing passengers 'injured' by Israeli forces; these videos, however, were filmed during daylight, hours before the nighttime operation occurred"

4. "They also rebuffed an Israeli request to earmark some aid packages for Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier held hostage by Hamas for four years."

For those who wish to read the article, click here.

I like his final sentence and I it is something I believe in and in Israel's best interest: "The real peace activists are those who support our vision of a two-state solution, not those supporting the terrorists bent on destroying it."

Makes sure to read my blog post about what happened on the flotilla here.

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