Israel opened the border to Gaza on Sunday to a limited supply of fuel and food, while Prime Minister Ehud Olmert repeated that his military would turn to ever stronger actions to gain the release of a 19-year-old Israeli soldier captured last week.
At a cabinet meeting Sunday, Olmert said he had instructed the government and military "to do everything in order to bring Gilad back home," referring to the captured solider, Corporal Gilad Shalit.
"And when I say everything, I mean everything," the prime minister said, according to the official transcript of the meeting.
Me? I hear resolve and determination. I do not hear a lot of indecision here; it seems quite plain and very simple. There is no waffling, no flip-flopping, and no wishy-washiness of any kind.
What's the message? Give back the soldier. And, give him back now.
A recent commenter here named Mustang (Social Sense) made this recent statement:
Remember that the Israelis withdrew from Gaza ten months ago. Without any conditions. And how did the Wahabbists respond? They responded by firing more than 750 missiles into Israeli territory. What would we have the Israelis do? We must expect the Israelis to act in their own best interests. We must also expect the Wahabbists to act against their own best interests – as they have done for so long now.
For ten months, they allowed the rockets to be lobbed in, without resorting to this kind of action. Ten months of patience, ten months of restraint. How many other countries that have the military power, equal to or better than the Israelis, would actually put up with what they have to put up with, without getting a little upset? Russia? China? Europe? America? How long would they bear with a condition such as this, how long would we?
Now we have this article reporting, they are stopping this action long enough to allow some resupplying of vital necessities. They have given a brief reprieve. So, it only makes reasonably decent sense to use this as an opportunity to release the hostage unharmed and do it immediately before the next round begins. Two things this accomplishes:
- It demonstrates that the Israelis do not wish to be viewed as uncaring towards the people that really do want peace. I believe there are at least some people (maybe more) that are sick of war, sick of living in a war zone. But, they are afraid. They are scared because of the brutal consequences of being against the thugs.
- It allows Hamas one more chance to cough up Cpl. Shalit. It's quite plain that this is all the Israelis want and will stop at nothing to get. Knowing the Israelis as they do, you would think that most would see it as wise, to utilize this opportunity to rectify the situation, speedily and without further losses. Then the assault can stop, the elected Hamas officials can be let go, and things can turn back to normal (if you can call it that).
To Hamas and the citizens of Gaza:
Is the destruction of your homes, schools, and other infrastructure worth one Israeli soldier? I ask this because, the Israelis firmly believe the same soldier is worth expending far greater resources than have already been used. All of this is well worth it to them.