In the first clear criticism of the government since his son Gilad was kidnapped eight days ago, Shalit said on Monday that it was “delusional” that the state of Israel would attempt to reestablish its deterrence at the expense of his son.
Shalit was responding to comments made by Construction and Housing Minister Meir Sheetrit, who said Israel must restore its level of deterrence.
“Israel should have done that before the attack, when there was intelligence on tunnels being dug in the region. Despite this, we will not rush to conclusions and wait for the findings of the Eiland Commission [established to investigate the Kerem Shalom attack],” Shalit said.
Despite the fact that Israel’s acceptance of the ultimatum could have raised the prospects of his son’s return home, Shalit said he approved of Israel’s response that it would not yield to blackmail.
When asked if he had confronted the government with the fact that hundreds of prisoners had been freed in return for Elhanan Tennenbaum and the bodies of the three IDF soldiers who were kidnapped by Hizbullah, Shalit only said, “The Tennenbaum precedent is known. I don’t need to remind our leaders of the recent history.”
Noam Shalit, father of Gilad, was interviewed on Channel 10 on Monday afternoon, and said that “it seems strange to me to say that the State of Israel can retrieve its power of deterrence on the back of my son Gilad, it seems completely strange to me.” The father made the comments in response to statements by Minister Meir Sheetrit.
“The minister said that Israel must retrieve its power of deterrence after the (Elchanan) Tenenbaum episode. So I want to say that the State of Israel won’t be able to retrieve its power of deterrence to my sorrow on the back of Gilad Shalit because his back is not so wide, and if it wants to retrieve deterrence, it has to do so before the incident when there were all sorts of warnings on tunnels, and there was room to gain deterrence,” he said.
What Mr. Shalit seems to be addressing is the price of appeasement; i.e., had deterrence been in place, had the tunnels been destroyed, if the adversary would know the extent of the stiff price that would be extracted by an unequivocal Israel for an action such as kidnapping an Israeli citizen or victimizing Israeli communities with Kassam blitzes, his son could well be safe and free today and this entire affair would never have happened.
What he perhaps overlooks is that an unequivocating Israel is a faith-based Israel where there are no doubts as to our inalienable divine right to Jewish Land and Torah-based sovereignty. MB