In case you missed yesterday's Jerusalem Post article about Gilad Schalit, let me give you a little briefing. In case you don't remember, Schalit is an Israeli Army soldier who was captured in 2006 along the border of Gaza, an act orchestrated and executed by Hamas. We have been negotiating with Hamas to secure his release, but each time it falls through Hamas blames Israel. Hamas wants thousands of soldiers in return for our one man.
According to Abu Katab Doghmush, an Army of Islam affiliate with ties to al-Qaida, Gilad Schalit is alive and well, and is even having annual birthday parties. Here's his words quoted by the Jerusalem Post:
"He's not being kept in a closed room all the time - this would not be healthy. He can go out and take fresh air. Every year, a party is held to celebrate his birthday. Yes, there is a cake and candles, music, everything."
How kind of them! According to Doghmush, who has a ridiculous name, Schalit is being treated like a king:
"I can tell you that Schalit is living in a paradise. Our religion of Islam demands that we look after prisoners even more than we do our own people."
You gotta love those terrorists. And finally, the quote that really takes the cake for me:
"We won't let Israel blackmail us, and force us to lower the number of prisoners to be released."
I struggled with that one for a few minutes. I wondered if maybe I didn't know what blackmail actually meant. I decided to really be careful and look up the definition. Here's how Oxford American defines blackmail: "Demand money from (a person) in return for not revealing compromising or injurious information about that person." OK, now, if you switch "money" for "goods, services, or other valuable stuff," and "person" to "terrorist organization threatening the free world," then maybe we are trying to blackmail Hamas into giving us back Schalit.
OK, yeah, I'm still confused how us returning 450 terrorists in exchange for 1 soldier is blackmail. They want 1,000 to 1,500 terrorists instead of the 450 we're offering...
Yes, that must be the definition of blackmail. Moreover, is Doghmush (note his idiot name) saying that Israel has compromising or injurious information about Hamas or his Doghmush clan or the Army of Islam or al-Qaida? Maybe they're afraid we'll inform the people of Gaza how Hamas is ruining their lives by forcing Israel to blockade the Strip?
What strikes me as most amusing about this situation (if anything about it can be described as amusing, which, with exception to Doghmush, I'm not sure it can) is the inadvertent admission that one Israeli soldier is worth 450 of their guys.
They don't seem to value themselves or their own lives too highly. Then again, if everyone did value the brief lives we all have here, perhaps none of this would be happening in the first place.
Wonderful blog, btw.
Thanks for your comment Jitterbug. Good point about their inadvertent admission. Those guys really are quite inept, even if they are winning the PR war.
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