Rav Lau: I am Willing to Trade Places with Gilad

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rav-lauSome 15,000 people arrived at Tel Aviv’s Kikar Rabin today morning to attend a rally for kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. Ealier, thousands of marchers protested outside Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s home.

The soldier’s father, Noam Shalit addressed Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak saying, “Behold this great wave of citizens marching behind us in thousands and in tens of thousands. Look, and understand – this is the will of the people. Gilad’s release and his return home is not my family’s demand, it is the demand of the general public, it is the shared longing and will of the Israeli people, which marches behind us and supports us.

“The tens of thousands and hundreds of thousands of citizens that support us are not wrong. Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak – we put our trust in you, we expressed our faith in you. Who, if not you, knows that it is not talk that matters, it is not explanations, press conferences or excuses that matter – what matters is the end result.”

Tel Aviv Chief Rabbi and former Chief Rabbi of Israel Rav Yisroel Meir Lau also spoke at the rally, saying, “For Zvi, Noam and Aviva, I am also willing to trade places with Gilad, to have him go home and return in peace. I am not familiar with the details of the negotiations, but I do not understand why one youth has been carrying the weight of Israel’s security on his shoulders for four years.”

A bereaved mother told the camera in tears, “Terrorists have already been given instead of bodies. How can they let a soldier rot there and his family suffer? We must not be afraid of those wretched terrorists, just bring him back… We must bring him back while he is still alive, so that Aviva won’t have to be with bereaved parents on Memorial Day, so that she can see him and watch him get married.”

The march began shortly after 7:30 am at Glilot Intersection. The participants arrived at the defense minister’s house an hour later, and, using loudspeakers, called on Barak to “wake up.” The procession then continued to the Kirya army base.

The marchers were surprised when Minister Barak’s wife, Nili Priell, joined the rally outside the house. She explained to Ynet, “The fact that I am here says something.”

The protesters waved signs saying: “If it were up to us, you would already be back,” “Our march, your pain,” and “What if it were your child?”

The protesters tied yellow ribbons to palm trees near Barak’s apartment building. Security guards and policemen guarded Barak’s home while the marchers were there.

Roi Hazan, a handicapped IDF veteran, lingered in front of Barak’s house for a few minutes, and wondered, “What kind of security can the country have if the minister in charge of it is not doing everything, is not going out on a limb in order to bring one soldier back to his parents?”

Among the participants on Sunday was Rona Ramon, who lost her husband Ilan in the Colombia space shuttle disaster and her son Asaf in a military plane crash.

She told the audience: “In a place like this, words become small. I am saying a personal prayer that what can be changed will be changed. Gilad is still alive.” She received a huge round of applause from the audience.

{Ynet/Yair Alpert-Matzav.com Israel}


  1. This article and the demonstration play on our emotions, of course. It is truly tragic that the State of Israel has allowed Gilad Shalit to remain in captivity when it has the ability to get him out.

    In a previous Matzav article:

    Dovid Efune gave some practical steps towards that end:

    1. Inform Hamas authorities that until the release of Gilad Shalit, no visits will be allowed for Hamas prisoners in Israeli jails, except the Red Cross.

    2. The vast majority of the Hamas leadership directly has Israeli blood on their hands; Israel should pledge to begin assassinating them one by one until Shalit is released.

    3. Tighten the blockade of Gaza, yes, tighten the blockade of Gaza! The people of Gaza will need to be shown that there are consequences for supporting the leadership of a terror group that holds captive young Israeli men, meting out endless torment to their families.

    Enough kowtowing to our enemies! Israel can get the job done if it wants to “ein davar omed bifnei ha’ratzon” (nothing stands in the way of one’s will). The problem is, the ratzon isn’t there because it is more important to Israel what will be said about it than protecting Jews (even though no matter what it does, it gets condemned).

  2. Rabbosai, there is only one thing Israel needs to do. It’s to turn off the electric for one week. Let all their food spoil, let them roast for a week. They will come running with Gil’ad and anything else you want. Israel spoiled those reshaim. Give them the currency they understand!

  3. This should not be the responsibility of Israel to give up terrorist murderers. The demos and rallies should be in front of every embassy for them to scream and yell, human rights.
    Where is the UN? the red cross?
    Do you really believe that Hamas will release Gilad for EVERY SINGLE ARAB PRISONER, it is a fallacy, it will never happen, no matter what is offered? Cruelty and evil is the name of the game.

  4. So sad on so many levels…
    1) That a Jewish person is being held prisoner, and for such a long time

    2) That people can say: “Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Barak – we put our trust in you, we expressed our faith in you”

    3) That even for those not on the madrega to be daving to the right address, they are putting pressure on the Israeli govt (for what if not to release yet more murderers out into the open) instead of on the hypocritical umot haolam

  5. Shaul Hamelech chose death on his own sword to capture by the PALESTINIANS, we can now understand why, had Shaul been captured how many thousands would have died…

    I would hate to be the one to have to make this decision, each prisoner released will kill how many of ours? VS. A jewish life NOW!

    I don’t think we should be this hard on Bibi honestly.

    However, no visitors for palestinian prisoners and cutting water/power sounds like a good idea. How about giving them 2 hours a day of running water like the Jordanians did?

    Why allow even the red cross. Red cross can visit gaza prisoners on any day that red cross visits Shalit. Period.


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