Thursday, October 20, 2011

Shalit suffered in captivity

We shouldn't delve into this nonsense too much. Nevertheless, whatever the nature of the  "harsh things" suffered by Gilad Shalit in captivity, it would do well to put them into perspective. 'Haaretz' reports:
"Noam Shalit, father of recently released Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit, said on Thursday that claims his son was not tortured during his time in Hamas captivity should be taken "with a grain of salt."

We might wonder as to whether the man who was captured in the uniform of an occupying army and an army that less than two years ago slaughtered almost fifteen hundred men, women and children has similar pyschological problems  to the "91.4 percent of children in the Gaza Strip who are suffering moderate to severe symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder."However, if he does, unlike some of them, the IDF soldier, does appear to have all of his limbs and his senses. Indeed, Gilad, who still has his uniform hanging in his wardrobe, might live to "fight" another day.

There are, of course, those who might deem the above to be an unfair comparison. Therefore, it might be useful to consider the following:
"Under Israeli military law, which prevails in the Palestinian territories, the crime of throwing a stone at an Israeli solider or even at the monolithic 20-ft.-high "security barrier" enclosing much of the West Bank can carry a maximum 20-year-prison sentence. Since 2000, according to the Palestinian Ministry for Prisoner Affairs, more than 6,500 children have been arrested, mostly for hurling rocks."
Moreover, on reading this we might quickly come to the conclusion that many of those released a couple of days ago are incarcerated for of not much more than failing to kiss the boots of their oppressors

However, it is the following statistics that tell their own story:
"7000 prisoners in the occupation jails, including: - - 35 captive- 337 children- 15 members of the Legislative Council- 19 in solitary confinement- 2000 prisoners needing medical attention- 16 prisoners suffering from cancer- 160 suffering from heart diseases, kidney and blood pressure problems- 80 suffering from diabetes- 12 suffering from Hemiplegia- 40 Palestinian prisoners suffering from mental illnesses because of the psychological methods of interrogation used by the Israeli jailers and the prison authorities which include torture."

We can all come to our own conclusions regarding Gilad's suffering. However, on putting it into perspective, the less myopic of us might at least treat the following comment from his father with the contempt that it deserves.
"Gilad felt the Israeli bombings on the Gaza Strip during Operation Cast Lead in 2008. "Gilad was in close proximity to the noise of the war," said Shalit, adding that "it's not a picnic to be in a building while above you there are F-15s and F-16s bombing [from above]." Indeed, we might be tempted to say to Gilad's father, "you have got your son back Mr Shalit, now just shut up and go away."

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