Briefly, before Shabbat…
Israel is continuing its operation, and the Kassams keep flying. Five Kassams have hit today and three people have been wounded — including one person who had been forcibly expelled from his Gush Katif home less than a year ago. Questions persist in terms of what will be enough to change the situation. More than what we are doing now, for sure.
As to the kidnapping, I offer a prediction: Olmert’s insistence to the contrary aside, ultimately, one way or another, likely disguised or rationalized, will come a trade — release of some prisoners in exchange for Gilad Shalit. Suggestions of this possibility are coming from a variety of sources, including unnamed military personnel and Avi Dichter. There is a solid Jewish position for the ransoming of captives, but with a proviso that the ransoming should not incur additional damage at an unacceptable level. Releasing of many terrorists puts other Israelis at risk even as Shalit’s life is saved.
Olmert is saying there will be no cease fire until Shalit is released alive and well.
The world is beginning to rally against us as our operation gains steam. This was fairly predictable. This is the way of the world. No attention is paid to the care we take to avoid civilian damage, or to the infringement of human rights we are enduring at the hands of terrorists. The newly constituted UN Human Rights Council (surprise!) has come out squarely against us and is sending a team to investigate . See http://www.eyeontheun.org/ for Anne Bayesfsky’s comments on this Council. Other NGOs follow suit, and for more on this see http://www.ngo-monitor.org/.
And here the question must be asked, again and again, as to how much we need to pay attention to the protests of the world. Rabbi Abraham Feder, writing an opinion piece in the Jerusalem Post magazine today on this very subject suggests that it is not just Shalit, but all of Israel that is hostage to the terrorists.
The good rabbi offers this stunning quote from historian Paul Johnson: "…self-imposed restrains by a civilized power are worse than useless. They are seen by friend and enemy alike as evidence not of humanity but of guilt and a lack of moral conviction."
This posting can be found at: https://www.arlenefromisrael.info/current-postings/2006/7/7/posted-july-7-2006.html