Mission & Name
US Foreign Policy (Dr. El-Najjar's Articles)
The Case Against Those Demanding Shalit's Release
By Khalid Amayreh
PIC, Al-Jazeerah, CCUN, June 27, 2011
It would be dishonest not to acknowledge the strenuous efforts
that Israeli and pro-Israeli circles have made on behalf of
imprisoned soldier Gilad Shalit.
Outstanding among these
efforts has been the ongoing Shalit family campaign to set their son free.
The Shalits have left no stone unturned in a desperate effort to get the
Israeli government to release their son by hook or by crook.
Their perseverance and enduring vigor are really admirable in
more than one sense.
However, it is also true that all these
efforts have not achieved the desired goal, thanks to the resilience,
patience and determination of the Hamas movement.
days and weeks, a number of international figures made appeals on Shalit's
For example, French President Nicolas
Sarkozy issued an impassioned appeal, calling on Hamas to
release Shalit who holds dual Israeli and French citizenship.
time that those responsible for your detention make a decision and end your
intolerable and outrageous imprisonment," Sarkozy wrote
called Shalit's detainment a violation of international law.
cannot accept that you are forbidden from simple communication with your
relatives and from receiving messages from them in return, as if a simple
exchange of messages would be a sign of weakness on the part of those who
hold you," Sarkozy wrote.
"I urge those who are imprisoning you to
immediately permit the Red Cross to meet you and more than that to return
you to freedom."
Sarkozy's remarks would have deserved some
respect had the French president burdened himself with uttering a word
or two about the fate of more than 6000 Palestinian resistance and
political prisoners languishing in Israeli dungeons, bastilles and
The fact that he ignored them utterly
completely suggests that Sarkozy is dishonest, hypocritical, or that he
thinks that those people, who include democratically elected
lawmakers, university professors and medical doctors, are either sub-humans
or children of a lesser God.
Hence, Sarkozy's total embrace of
the Israeli side makes us Palestinians, as well as many honest men and
women around the world, treat his remarks with the contempt they
Besides, Shalit was not abducted as the Israeli lie
machine keeps repeating. Shalit was actually taken
prisoner in the middle of a battle. He is a prisoner of war.
Calling him any other name is a cheap lie and a cheap
More to the point, Israel keeps calling
Palestinian freedom fighters imprisoned in Israel "terrorists and
However, the truth of the matter is that these people
are freedom fighters and political activists who rose up to fight a
Nazi-like occupation that stole their country, destroyed their homes
and villages, and expelled their people to the four corners of the world.
This means that Israel is totally disqualified to lecture the
Palestinians on how they should resist their tormentors and occupiers of
The French, perhaps 10% of the French people, were
involved in the resistance against the Nazis. They too were called
terrorists and saboteurs by the Nazi occupation authorities. However, in
retrospect, most people in the world, especially in France, salute the
memories of those who would have scarified their lives for the freedom
of their country.
Similarly, those Palestinians who have
chosen to fight the Israeli occupiers should be compared
to the 10 % of French citizens who overcame their fears and
decided to fight the Nazis, often risking torture and violent death.
True, some of the Palestinian detainees languishing for
decades in Israeli jails may have been involved in killing some
Israelis. However, this fact must be viewed in the context of the
overall conflict in which the occupying power murdered thousands
of innocent Palestinians. In the final analysis, those Israelis
killed were not killed because they were Jews, they were killed because they
were invaders, occupiers and child-killers.
is hard to find an adult Israeli who has no blood on his hands.
Zionism, after all, has transformed the Israeli Jewish society into a
community of land thieves, child-killers and habitual liars.
fact, Shalit, too, may have been involved in killing Palestinian
children in Gaza or the West Bank . So, we are not talking exactly about a
little angel as the Israeli hasbara would caricature the imprisoned
Moreover, there is no doubt that under normal
circumstances Shalit has the right to be visited by representatives of the
However, there is also no doubt that Israel is likely to
take advantage of any Red Cross visit to Shalit to locate his
whereabouts in order to launch a "rescue operation" in which Shalit himself
and many other Palestinians would likely be killed.
Palestinians have learned the hard way that Israel is the ultimate venomous
snake that can't be trusted. This, and this alone, explains
Hamas' reluctance to allow the Red Cross to visit Shalit.
it is imperative to clarify some of the flagrant and callous
Israeli practices against Palestinians which are bound to generate tough
stances on the Palestinian side.
Israel has increasingly resorted to
dumping thousands of innocent Palestinians activists, including
intellectuals, behind bars. In 99% of the cases, the only guilt these
people are accused of committing is making a public
statement or giving a public lecture lambasting the enduring occupation of
Israel calls this illegal and immoral open-ended
incarceration "administrative detention." The detainees themselves are not
informed of the reasons for their detainment which may linger for
Moreover, there are hundreds of Palestinians who are kept in
jail six month per year, just because their names appear on the
Israeli occupation's computer screen.
In short, the wanton
abuse meted out by Israel to Palestinians leaves them with very few choices,
especially in the absence of a credible Israeli justice system that
would address real grievances and guarantee even a
semblance of justice. (end)