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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Two former IDF POW's find Shalit tape encouraging

Two former IDF prisoners of war say that they found Gilad Shalit's audio tape 'encouraging.' While making the tape may encourage Shalit to persevere, and certainly should bring some comfort to his family, it's questionable whether the tape's existence will hasten Shalit's release.
“Gilad Shalit received an enormous motivational boost, now he knows he’s going home,” Lieutenant Colonel (res.) Tzvika Vered said Monday.

Vered, a former Israeli air force pilot, spent eight months in captivity during the Yom Kippur War.

“Shalit knows now that a huge step was taken and it’s only a matter of time until his release. No matter how long it takes, the most important thing is that he is alive.”

“I was considered missing for four and a half months, and I was disconnected, I didn’t even know how the war ended. The minute the Red Cross came, I knew it would be alright.

“I’m sure the thing that has worried him most until now was whether anyone even know about his situation. Now he knows for sure. The question of whether he’s coming back or not has been answered for him,” he said.


He said the most positive sign in the tape was the fact that Shalit did not stutter.

“Anyone speaking to his family for the first time, injured in prison, battered and bruised, can’t speak without stuttering. The unhesitant message is definitely heaven sent, and a tremendous consolation to his family, it is a very important sign of life,” Vered said.
Yes, but.... Vered was held prisoner by a state (Syria, which was not as bad then as it is today) and not by a shadowy terrorist group. And Ron Arad also sent back tapes and was certainly alive for the first few years he was in captivity. It has now been more than twenty years and there is still no sign of him.
Effie Talbi, a paratrooper who fell captive during the first Lebanon war and managed to escape after 10 days, said a prisoner’s greatest wish is to contact his or her family.


Talbi continued to say that “the problem is that we’re dealing with scoundrels who do not abide by international law, including the Geneva Convention.

“From the message I could tell that they are pressuring Shalit to pressure the government into moving things forward.”

As for Shalit’s mental state, Talbi said, “Even if captivity is hard, the will to live and the hope that a prisoner exchange deal is near will keep him alive.”
Yes, to a point. But unless the IDF happens to operate in the area where Shalit is being held, he has nowhere to escape. When Talbi escaped, there were still IDF troops in the area where he was being held.

Shalit is a long way from being free. He still needs all of our prayers for his safety.


At 6:16 AM, Blogger Lois Koenig said...

I hate to be a pessimist, and I will keep on praying, but do not feel very hopeful.

Gilad Shalit is so achingly young.


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