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Thursday, July 01, 2010

Liveblog: Netanyahu's address on efforts to free Gilad Shalit

Netanyahu says that Shalit family's reaction is natural as is the reaction of those who want to help them. He reminds everyone that his brother died in Entebbe and that he was wounded freeing the hijacked Sabena plane in 1972.

He reminds everyone of the Jibril exchange (1985) and that many of those terrorists went back to terror.

He mentions the 400 terrorists freed in the Tanenbaum deal in 2004. He lists specific terrorists from that exchange who carried out terror attacks. Among the terror attacks from that deal were terrorists who carried out the Beer Sheva bus attacks, the Stage attack in Tel Aviv in 2005, the Dimona attack in 2008 and one other from 2005. 27 people have already been murdered by people released in the Tanenbaum deal.

He says that other governments - including the US - won't negotiate with terrorists and that he refused to make a political issue of it when he was in the opposition (a backhanded slap at Kadima).

Since he became PM, he appointed Hagai Hadass as envoy, agreed to German mediator, got video of Gilad Shalit talking and walking in order to verify his condition and show the World Hamas' responsibility for his condition, and he agreed to a deal for Shalit while protecting Israel. That deal included the following: Previous government agreed to 450 Hamas terrorists and 550 terrorists as a 'gesture' to Fatah. Netanyahu could have dropped the deal or tried to revise it so as to maintain Israel's security. He agreed to free 450 terrorists from a list named by Hamas (as proposed by German mediator) and a total of 1,000 terrorists overall. But there are other things he won't do and he insists on two principles:

1. Dangerous terrorists (as defined by security forces, and as were freed in Tanenbaum deal) cannot return to Judea and Samaria but only to Gaza or abroad. It's too easy for them to get from Judea and Samaria to the center of the country. And that's why Hamas insists that they be released to Judea and Samaria.

2. Not to free super-murderers because they will strengthen the Hamas leadership. This includes those who planned the mega-terror attacks in which tens of Israelis were murdered.

Subject to that, Netanyahu agreed to German mediator's proposal and Hamas has not answered since. The decision is in Hamas' hands. All of us want Gilad back but Netanyahu also has a national responsibility. He looks at the Shalit family and at the terror victims' and future terror victims' (who may God forbid be murdered) families and has to weigh all the factors. We cannot repeat past mistakes.

The demand to pay any price is a natural cry for family members - parents, siblings, grandparents - but a Prime Minister has to look at the security of all the people and not just at the Shalit family. He cannot agree to "any price."

We will continue to do all we can to bring Gilad back but we will do so with vigilant care for the security of all Israelis. God willing we will be calm enough to make the best decisions for all Israelis.

End of speech.


I thought this speech was excellent. I hope it calms down the 'march' and that many of them will go home.

He did not say that this was the final offer (the one he accepted from the German mediator), but it certainly seems that way.

End of post.


At 6:49 PM, Blogger nomatter said...

Great speech. Netanyahu made incredible points. All that aside, I truly understand the passion of the Shalit family. The nation should get on their knees for every son who gives their lives to serve their country. Without them there would be no Israel. Period.

I can not imagine how it would feel to have a son kidnapped and held by savages. We lose sight of the fact that every parent who waves good-bye as their son or daughter goes off to the military is nothing short of a hero.

I think it was Danny Ayalon who said,"the only humanitarian crisis in Gaza is holding Gilad Shalit captive."

Bottom line, we have no statesman in this world with the inner capacity to stand up for Israel (except in words) and end this situation. Mind you with the power they have this could have ended in mere days.

NEVER FORGET when Shalit was taken and how very very much the Palestinian people had been rewarded for it.

When that picture comes into view, you know we stand alone.

At 6:52 PM, Blogger Paul W said...

My heart really goes out to Shalit and his family. I simply cannot imagine what it must be like to be a prisoner in fear of your life and/or torture, nor the family member of such a person.


Many people as good and decent as Shalit have been killed outright in wars or by terrorists. They paid the ultimate price. They cannot be rescued or recovered, only mourned.

In the event that multitudes of Paleoswinian terrorists are released, Israel will have guaranteed many dozens of deaths and hundreds of injuries - at a minimum. Further, the kidnapping of Shalit would have been shown to be successful, and such would encourage more such incidents in the future. Finally, how will any future government in a similar situation resist the argument, "But we exchanged people for Shalit, why not for my husband/son/father X?" Are those guaranteed future victims (as yet unidentified, but no less real) of any less worth than Shalit individually, let alone collectively? I don't know anyone, or even know OF anyone, who could say such a thing.

It truly pains me to say this, but I think that Netanyahu's responsibility to the nation of Israel (and, perhaps, to Jews worldwide) requires him to let Shalit go. Act as if he's dead, and deal with it accordingly...such as by massively attacking key Hamas sites and people of value, and perhaps with a REAL blockade of all of Gaza - let the bastards starve in the dark for a while, that'll put things into perspective for them. The only possible way to deal with people like Hamas is to make it so painful for them to continue a course of action that they beg you to stop what you're doing. Such will stop kidnappings for 10 years, so long as successive governments credibly state that any kidnappings will end up with similar results.

At 6:57 PM, Blogger What is "Occupation" said...

start executing "super murderers", one a day..

tell hamas release gilad at once..

if the answer is no?

continue executing all convicted murdering hamas members...

offer bounties on the head of any and all Hamas members...

start fighting a war already...

At 7:11 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sounds like he said all the right things. An interesting side point - if the PA wanted to show that they were sincere in forging a peace agreement with Israel, they would refuse to be any part of this. And yet more than half of those would might be released are essentially of the PA.

At 7:13 PM, Blogger NormanF said...

I was surprised. Of course, Carl the test is not in what Netanyahu says but what he does. He has a history of talking tough and then caving in when the pressure is piled on.

Let's watch what the government will do rather than what it says.


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