Gilad Shalit Is Still In Captivity – Because Of Us


gilad-shalitBy Moshe Feiglin

The lineup of former generals and security officials who over the past few weeks have demoralized the country by urging us to roll up our sleeves for the cyanide shot – hundreds of murderers to be injected straight into the bloodstream of Israeli society in exchange for the release of Gilad Shalit – raises some grave questions. Is there some sort of ideological filter on the way up the ladder to the senior command posts in Israel? How could it be that so many senior security officials hold views that are so antithetical to Israel’s security?

We all know that the hundreds of terrorists released in the 2004 Tannenbaum deal have sown death and destruction in Israel. So how could supposedly responsible people looking out for our security encourage the same scenario yet again?

Plainly, Gilad Shalit’s release is not a military issue. It is simply a question of Israeli society’s willingness to pay the price. The army may not know where Shalit is – a damning admission in and of itself. But it does know the whereabouts of the Hamas leaders responsible for his captivity.
We could make those Hamas terrorists desire to release Shalit. But we do not want either a rocket war here or international pressure. That is why Shalit is still in captivity. We could cut off Gaza’s electricity, but we do not want demonstrations throughout the world and pictures of Gaza’s hospitals working by candlelight. We do not want to pay that price, so Shalit is still in captivity.

We do not want to face off against the bleeding hearts in our justice system, so Israel’s Hamas prisoners will continue to receive visitation rights, academic studies and deluxe conditions that they could never dream of getting elsewhere. That is why Shalit is still in captivity. And possibly the most amazing fact of all is that we insist on continuing our payments and monthly salaries to Shalit’s captors. That is why Shalit is still in captivity.

With just a bit of creativity, we could employ countless actions that would bring Shalit home without firing a single shot or endangering a single Israeli soldier. But every action bears a price, and Israel’s leaders assume that our society is not willing to pay it. That is why Shalit is still in captivity.

The easy solution is to surrender and release terrorists. It seems, though, that Israeli society is beginning to wake up and understand that the release of terrorists also carries a price that it is not willing to pay.

The Shalit campaign has finally come to understand that they must change their strategy. We are beginning to see some of those changes in the demonstrations that they hold, and we can only hope that they will not stop. After all, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz has already clearly stated that it is possible to stop the cash flow from Israel to Hamas. He even stopped it for a short period of time after the unity agreement between the PA and Hamas.

Steinitz should now explain to the Shalit family why he does not withhold that money on a permanent basis until their son is released. Is it because of some sort of Hamas ultimatum? Maybe their threat to continue to fire missiles at Israel?

Can our leaders explain what price they are not willing to pay to free Shalit?

The time has come to switch strategies. Block the Brinks trucks carrying money for Gaza. Cut off the electricity to Gaza. Cut off the water. Protest against visitation rights for jailed terrorists. Publicly announce these measures and encourage the huge crowds that participated in pointless marches to get involved. This is the type of activism that the entire nation – both Right and Left – will join.

When Israel’s leaders begin to understand that the people are willing to pay the price of Shalit’s release, but are not willing to send hundreds of others to their deaths in his stead, we will finally see real action to bring him home.

This column, translated from Hebrew, originally appeared on Maariv’s NRG website.

{The Jewish Press/ Newscenter}


  1. A great point overall. The problem is that Hamas knows that Israel would not be able to stand up to international pressure and continue with such a policy indefinitely, therefore they would have no incentive to free Schalit rather than wait it out. They could also threaten to kill him, ch”v, if they felt like they had nothing to lose, and Israel would eventually be forced to return to its current policy.

  2. Before, during, and after doing anything else, we must be mispallel for Gilad ben Aviva, and then other hishtadlus may bring peiros.