Noam Shalit responds to NetanyahuOn Thursday night, Prime Minister Netanyahu addressed the State of Israel by radio and said that while he was willing to pay a heavy price - 1,000 'Palestinian' terrorists - to bring about Gilad Shalit's release by his kidnappers, there had to be a limit to what he would pay. Netanyahu said that he would not release 'mega-terrorists' - people who planned some of the worst terror attacks in this country's history - to Judea and Samaria, where they could rebuild the Hamas infrastructure that has been destroyed over the last eight years since Operation Defensive Shield. Netanyahu cited studies that have been done that show a high recidivism rate among terrorists released from Israeli prisons.
The reaction from the Shalit family was not long in coming.
Netanyahu's speech drew a prompt response from Noam Shalit, the father of the captive soldier. "The tens of thousands of citizens marching with us this week to Jerusalem . . . are aware of the price that is required to free him," he said. "But they also know the price of abandoning Gilad, a soldier of the Israel Defense Forces in enemy captivity."Are they aware of the price? Are they willing to go beyond what Netanyahu has already offered? I'd call that unclear.
A poll published last week in the Yediot Ahronot newspaper showed that 72 percent of those surveyed favored a deal to release Shalit, even if it meant the release of "hundreds of terrorists," including those who had killed Israelis.Like so many other polls in the Israeli media, that one is slanted to come out the way whoever commissioned the poll wanted it to come out. Personally, I am opposed to releasing murderers in exchange for Shalit, but if you asked those 72% whether they agree with Netanyahu's caveats, I would bet that a sizable percentage of them would.
JPost adds a report from the march led by the Shalit family:
In an interview with Channel 2 News, Aviva Schalit expressed her surprise at the amount of people participating in the march. "We are walking at the front and we cannot see an end to the followers behind us," she commented in the interview. "The amount of people participating is above and beyond what we expected for," added Aviva. "I understand the considerations of the Prime Minister, but the security apparatus can handle a rescue from an area with terrorists."So does that mean that Aviva Shalit would be okay with the IDF going in and trying to rescue her son? I'd be all in favor of that (in fact, it's what should have been done four years ago and it's what should have been done during Operation Cast Lead when we knew where Gilad was being held - the basement of Shifa Hospital in Gaza City), but the rumor here is that Noam Shalit - Gilad's father - vetoed (please don't ask me who gave him veto power - probably Olmert) an operation to rescue Gilad four years ago because he feared a result like Nachshon Wachsman HY"D (may God avenge his blood).
Or perhaps, Aviva Shalit only meant that it would be okay to rescue other people's children that way, but not her own.
I don't blame the Shalit family - anyone in their position (God forbid) would react the same way. But Netanyahu and other decision makers have to have the country's best interests in mind and not just the best interests of one family.