Saturday, December 5, 2009


Gilad Shalit, the IDF soldier captured at the Gaza-Israel border by members of 3 Palestinian factions in June 2006, may be the most famous captive in the world. If captivity were a dance club, Gilad Shalit would be popping Ecstasy in the VIP lounge while Aung San Suu Kyi (Myanmar), Karim Amir (Egypt) and Shi Tao (China) waited outside beyond the ropes. Had this young man joined the refuseniks in Shministim or Courage to Refuse (Ometz Leserev), his legions of new friends in Israel – the ones with “Free Gilad” t-shirts and posters and websites – would want him in an Israeli prison today. But he didn’t, so they filled him with the satisfying helium of Israeli victimhood and he ascended to the skies. Every icon deserves a quiz, and here is Gilad Shalit’s.

1) When he was captured, Corporal (now Sergeant) Shalit was: a) bringing medicine and toys to Gaza; b) remarking to Said Siyam and his son (who were still alive at the time) that while he disagreed with the choice of Hamas, he respected the right of the Palestinian people to select their own leaders; c) a tank gunner enforcing the Israeli-imposed “no-go” zone on the Palestinian side of the border.

2) Name any of the over 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody, other than Marwan Barghouti. Bonus points if the Palestinian is being held for “membership in an illegal organization” (plus an additional point if the prisoner is an elected Hamas parliamentarian); more bonus points if the prisoner is under 17; even more points if the prisoner is held without any charge at all.

3) Which parents have the best hope for a happy ending for their child’s tragedy: a) Noam & Aviva Shalit; b) Craig & Cindy Corrie; c) the (surviving) parents of the 9 children killed with Salah Shehadeh?

4) Although Israel objects to any characterization of Gilad Shalit as a prisoner of war, it complains that he’s denied access to the Red Cross (one of the rights of a POW under international conventions). Is this the same Red Cross that was denied access to wounded and dying Palestinians, including children, during Operation Cast Lead?

5) Which captive do you most want released (be completely honest - go with your Zionist gut on this): a) Gilad Shalit; b) Jonathon Pollard; c) Yigal Amir.

6) Israel hasn’t agreed to the terms of release for Gilad Shalit because: a) he’s consuming much of Gaza’s meager food supply; b) his living martyrdom helps sustain rejection of Palestinian aspirations; c) unlike previous releases, Israel would have to hand over Hamas prisoners; d) hostage prices tend to drop after the Islamic New Year.

7) Math challenge: express Gilad Shalit’s 3.5 years of captivity as a fraction of Mordechai Vanunu’s 11.5 years in solitary confinement in Israel.

8) After he’s released, if Gilad Shalit expresses any empathy for the Palestinians, he will immediately be re-branded as: a) a victim of Arab brainwashing and the Stockholm Syndrome; b) not worth a thousand Palestinian prisoners; c) a reason for the IDF to risk killing its own soldiers before they’re captured (the “Hannibal Procedure”); d) all of the above.

9) If Gilad Shalit persists in expressing empathy for the Palestinians after a brief recovery period, many Israelis will regard him as: a) a weak, traitorous self-hating Jew; b) there is no “b.”

10) True or false: after Gilad Shalit’s release, Israel will arrest or kill a whole lot of Hamas guys to re-establish deterrence and feel better.

Bonus question for ardent Giladniks – do you think his family might be tired of your shit?

Re Q2 (Name any of the over 10,000 Palestinian prisoners in Israeli custody, other than Marwan Barghouti), let me remind the Giladniks out there that it was the kidnapping by Israel Offence Forces (IOF) in the Gaza Strip of brothers Mustafa and Osama Muammar and the beating of their father on 24/6/06 that triggered the abduction of Shalit.
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