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Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Gilad Shalit interview with Egyptian television

Yes, I disappeared on all of you again today. I took Mrs. Carl and three of our children to Tzfat (Safed) and Meron. The 12-year old and 9-year old sons (#'s 3 and 4; children #'s 6 and 7) immersed in the Ari's mikva (I passed because I'm still kind of groggy from yesterday, but I did it a number of years ago), and then at the end of the day, we stopped at Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai's tomb for the evening service on the way home. I'll have a story for you about Tzfat later on if I remember to post it.

Gilad Shalit was freed today, and after Israeli media had fought over the right to have the first interview (in the end they decided that no one would interview him today), the Egyptians upstaged everyone by interviewing him on state television (an Egyptian reporter claimed this evening that had he declined, they would not have pressed him - I find that hard to believe).

Let's go to the videotape and I will have more below the fold.

As you might imagine, the IDF was quite upset about that interview.
Israeli officials described Gilad Schalit's first interview after his release as "exploitative." They could have added amateurish, propagandistic, opportunistic and downright cruel.

Tuesday's travesty - carried live on state-run TV - was conducted by Shahira Amin, a leading Egyptian journalist who in February quit the channel for its skewed coverage of the popular protests that unseated president Hosni Mubarak. That Amin now appears to be doing Cairo's bidding bodes ill for hopes the "new Egypt" would usher in the first free media environment in the post-colonial Arab world.

The notion that Schalit agreed to give Nile TV an interview of his own free will beggars belief. Forcing him to do so immediately after his release from Gaza - before seeing medical staff, much less an Israeli representative or his family - is in itself an apparent breach of journalistic ethics.

That issue aside, more than a few of Amin's questions ran the gamut from fatuous to sadistic.
The video I showed you before was from Euronews. Here's Israel's Channel 2's coverage of the interview with English subtitles.

Let's go to the videotape.

JPost goes on to rip apart several of the interviewer's questions - it's worth reading the whole thing. But here's how they sum up:
Yonit Levi is the Channel 2 News presenter who throughout Tuesday's coverage waxed poetic over Schalit's every step, shunting aside the sensitivities of bereaved families or the thought that the lopsided prisoner exchange could spawn further acts of terrorism. In reacting to the Egyptian interview, however, she was spot-on: the "bizarre" spectacle, she said, "was borderline abusive."

On his Twitter feed, Adel Abdel Ghafar, an Egyptian graduate student based in Australia, summed it up better still: "After 5 years in captivity, Schalit has to go through one last form of torture: an interview with Egyptian Public TV."

When Israel Radio reported this earlier today, they suggested that it had been staged in cooperation with Hamas and they noted that Shalit tried to get up and leave the interview several times but was prevented from doing so.

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At 12:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

When she asked about the Palestinian prisoners still in Israeli jails, I wish he would have answered, I hope Israel changes its policies and starts treating Palestinian prisoners exactly as I have been treated by my captors.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Sasha Canadian said...

Why is a man behind him in the photo, garbed in the clothes of a terrorist? Didn't Shahira Amin think that odd and didn't she think it may not be that Gilad Shalit had a choice re the interview? If that man were behind me and Shahira Amin wanted an interview, choice was not an option for Gilad Shalit ... Susan Dykhuis, Montreal, Quebec, Canada


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