Monday, June 26, 2006

One Soldier's Life.

Gilad Shalit
Photo: Reproduction:
Hagai Aharon (YNetnews)

Last night, after Maariv, our minyan said Tehillim for kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad ben Aviva (Shalit), hoping for his safe return. There were prayers said at the Kotel last night for Gilad, and I've received a few emails going around the internet as well. I suggest you take a moment today, either at davening, minyan, or even at your computer to say some tehillim or a tefilla for this soldier.

The situation concerning this soldier is very complex -- the IDF wants to immediately go into Gaza, if not for just sending a strong message to the PA that terror will not be tolerated. The political establishment is holding the IDF back (as they have been for the past 10 months from the Disengagement), hoping for a political solution. Frankly, if Israel had responded forcefully after the first Qassam rocket attack after the Disengagement, (as was promised by Sharon) I doubt we would be in this situation to begin with.

Fatah (remember them, the "moderates" everyone was very worried after they lost the PA election to Hamas?) has now threatened that if the IDF starts a serious ground assault in Gaza, they will use chemical and biological weapons against IDF troops.

"With the help of Allah, we are pleased to say that we succeeded in developing over 20 different types of biological and chemical weapons, this after a three-year effort," the group said in a leaflet it has distributed. "We say to (Prime Minister Ehud) Olmert and (Defense Minister Amir) Peretz: Your threats of invasion do not frighten us. We will surprise you with new weapons you have not faced until now. As soon as an IDF soldier sets foot on Gazan land, we will respond with a new weapon."

Israel responded that the massive use of force is on it's way:

The cabinet issued a message following the meeting saying, "Israel sees in the event Sunday morning at Kerem Shalom a most severe incident. The responsibility is on the Palestinians, on Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, the government and the PA. Israel will take all the necessary steps to return the captured soldier Corporal Gilad Shalit to his home. The cabinet approved the military ranks to carry out the necessary preparations to accomplish this mission."

However, if the soldier is successfully returned home (which we all pray for), I doubt the IDF will do much.

So many memories came flooding back to me last night; the tehillim we said was the same perek we used to recite daily in Yeshivat Hesder on behalf of IDF soldiers captured in Lebanon. I recalled the awful week 10 years ago when IDF soldier Nachshon Wachsman was kidnapped, and the entire Jewish world held their breathes, lit an extra candle for him on Erev Shabbat, and said tehillim around the world for him. And there was IDF soldier Madhat Youssef who was assigned to defend Kever Yosef, and the IDF decided to rely on the PA for his safe extraction. He died from loss of blood because the politicians didn't send in the IDF.

Trying to think of something positive, I recall the July 4rth USA Bicentennial celebration in 1976 when Israel shocked the world (and themselves) with the heroic rescue at Entebbe.

There's a drawing of the Entebbe Mission that sums it up for me -- a victorious IDF Airforce Hercules transport plane heading back from Entebbe towards Israel.

The plane was full of the rescued Israelis and the exhausted, but proud IDF soldiers.

And drawn simply underneath the plane, was a huge hand, helping it along.

IDF Soldier, Gilad ben Aviva -- we're hoping to see you back home safely, soon.

Wherever I am, my blog turns towards Eretz Yisrael


Anonymous said...

Its a nightmare.

The Palestinians can be trusted to do one thing. Lie, cheat swindle, decieve, manipulate and act dishonourably.

Why is Israel held accountable for every single action against the Pals, yet when ever there is a 'terrorist attack, assault, missile launch its not the Palestinian State its a rogue faction.

The Maxim of War used to be divide and conqueror, now it seems to be divide and avoid direct responsibility.

regards Aaron

Anonymous said...

This is not an incident.
This is not terrorism.
This is war.
Will we act accordingly?
So far all talk-no action.

Anonymous said...

This is not an incident.
This is not terrorism.
This is war.
Will we act accordingly?
So far all talk-no action.

orthomom said...

Amen. We all hopw to see him back home soon - but there is no such hope for his fellow soldiers who were tragically killed.

socialworker/frustrated mom said...

Tehillim is all we could do. This is the millionth blog I am reading about this. This is not in a bad way it is good that ppl have it on their minds.

Olah Chadasha said...

datingmaster, that's just disgusting and in poor taste. I can't believe you would stoop so low as to bring in your personal problems, especially in light of this event. Does it make you feel better to make jokes during a serious situation? Why don't you just keep it to yourself, just this once, m'kay?

Jameel, very moving post. May this brave young soul be returned safely. May out pathetic actually get a soul and decide to actually stand up and protect the country.

DatingMaster, Jerusalem said...

Olah Chadasha: You're right...

Sometimes I can be such a jerk...I just deleted the previous comment.

Anonymous said...

This is, indeed, a terrible situation. We all hope only that this soldier is safetly returned, no matter what the means of his return.

Anonymous said...


westbankmama said...

When Yoni Netanyahu died saving the hostages in Entebbe, were those who doubted the wisdom of acting on our own - or did the country realize that besides Hashem, we have to depend on ourselves alone?

JoeSettler said...

Don't worry, we'll all forget about Gilad in around 2 weeks when Olmert and Peretz plan to distract us with his brave expulsion of more Jews from their homes.

I guess he is living up to the maxim: "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em".

YMedad said...

We also said Tehilim here in Shiloh but I have to point out the true ramification of this incident: the fence hasn't stopped the Kassams and now it hasn't stopped the tunneling.

The Orthodox community in the US was shtum during the last disengagement (and I hope it's the last) becuase they thought Sharon knew better. Well, he didn't and Olmert knows even less and Peretz doesn't know anything about defense and security. The demographic issue/threat has been proven to be not as proposed by Olmert & Co. So, if the logic of a further retreat and the worthiness of a fence is disproved, will we revenants in Yesha finally get the support for our position no less than the concessionist polices of Sharon received the support of all the far-left groups in the US?

bec said...

how does olmert sleep at night? i really hope that somewhere deep inside, he realizes that his politics have caused this tragedy.

rockofgalilee said...

I think we should realize that it isn't politics that caused this tragedy, it's the Jewish people not behaving the way God wants them to that caused this tragedy.

Jack Steiner said...


I am not sure that you can really say that.

rockofgalilee said...

I can really say that.
I'm going to blog it today, if I can find the time.

Dot Co Dot Il said...

Sadly, many of these politicians don't do anything unless there is a dollar to be made in it.

JJ said...

Amen, Jameel. Was just skimming thru Haaretz and it says that the window of opportunity to rescue Gilad will be closing soon. When will our government WAKE UP????

Out of respect for your blog, I will not respond to Rock of Galilee's asinine comment.

rockofgalilee said...

God involved in tragedy?? You mean he doesn't just sit up in the clouds playing cards??? What was I thinking.
It sounds just as asinine to pray for his safety.

still realizing said...

While it is impossible to tell for sure, it seems like some of the responsible Palestinians really see the kidnapping as a bad idea and would return Gilad if they could. The kidnapping appears to be a move in the contest between different parts of the Palestinian society.

But we can't depend on that.

At the risk of uniting a Palestinian society that is splitting apart we should take firm and clever action. Take counter-hostages. But of course, anybody we take would be sacrificed by the Palestinian death culture. So take what they value more. Land.

The IDF should capture a large chunk of say, northern Gaza, and the Israeli government should stipulate that the land will be returned when Gilad is returned. And if Gilad is never returned alive then the land will never be returned. Period.

In this war over land, the Palestinians are willing to sacrifice lives to get land. But even they can't sacrifice land to get land.

Also, this way we may be able to get Gilad back without killing anybody. When the court of public opinion gangs up again, we might be able to say "But we didn't kill anyone".

the sabra said...

im with rockofgalilee

Fern Sidman said...



As the tension mounts between Israel and the plethora of Arab terrorist organizations that claim responsibility for the kidnapping of IDF Corp. Gilad Shalit, we sit glued to news reports of any developments. Our hearts go out to the family of Corp. Shalit and we lift our voices to Heaven and beseech the Almighty G-d of Israel to return Corp. Shalit, alive and well to his family and to his nation.

We offer prayers and supplications to Hashem for his speedy release and we ask Hashem to provide comfort and strength to Corp. Shalit's family and friends.

As "Operation Summer Rains" continue in Gaza, reports that, "Israeli aircraft sent missiles tearing through the office of Palestinian Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh on Sunday, in an unmistakable message to his ruling Hamas group to free an Israeli soldier.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said the military was ordered to do "everything" within its power to return the captured 19-year-old corporal, and cautioned that arrests of senior Hamas officials could spread to Gaza, the Islamic militant group's power base, a confidant said.

Defense Minister Amir Peretz, meanwhile, said Israel would go after "higher-caliber targets" in the future -- a reference to senior Hamas officials inside and outside of the Palestinian territories, a political ally said.

Israeli aircraft, tanks and naval gunboats have been pounding Gaza for the past week in an effort to win the freedom of Cpl. Gilad Shalit, seized in a cross-border raid. Thousands of troops were also sent into the coastal strip for Israel's first ground invasion since quitting Gaza nine months ago."

In addition, the Arab terrorists have issued news demands for the release of Corp. Shalit. According to further news reports from, "Palestinian militants holding an Israeli soldier issued a new set of demands Saturday, calling for the release of 1,000 prisoners and a halt to Israel's military offensive in Gaza. But Israel rejected the demands.

The militants called for the release of 1,000 prisoners, including non-Palestinian Muslims and Arabs held by Israel. The gesture appeared to be aimed at boosting support in the broader Arab world.

The statement repeated a demand made earlier this week for the release of all Palestinian women and minors held in Israeli prisons -- an estimated 500 people -- in exchange for information about Shalit. "

The Jerusalem Post (07/02/06) reported that, "Hamas's armed wing, Izaddin al-Kassam, on Sunday threatened to attack infrastructure facilities inside Israel, including schools, hospitals and universities. The threat, the first of its kind since Hamas won the parliamentary election last January, was issued in response to continued Israeli military strikes in the Gaza Strip.
"If they continue with these attacks, we will strike at targets in Zionist territory that we have not struck until now," said the organization's spokesman.

According to a report by Fox News on 07/02/06 that an anti-Israel and anti-American demonstrated was held in Sidon, Lebanon by Palestinians protesting the Israeli attacks in Gaza. "About 2,000 Palestinians protesting the Israeli military offensive in Gaza set fire to an Israeli flag and shouted "Death to Israel" Sunday as they marched in Lebanon's largest refugee camp.
Children, some in military uniforms, women and men took part in the protest in Ein e--Hilweh, Lebanon's largest refugee camp and home to some 70,000 Palestinians in the southern port city of Sidon.

The 90-minute protest was organized by the Fatah faction of Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas. Protesters trampled and tore Israeli flags and later set one aflame amid shouts of "Allahu Akbar" (God is Great), "Death to Israel," "Where are Arab rulers?" Intermittent cries of "Death to America" punctuated the march.

America is the source of this killing, destruction and racism," said Sheik Mahmoud Jishi, a moderate Islamic cleric. He called on people in Arab and Islamic countries to rise up "to defend the Palestinians ... and stand united in the face of the Zionist aggression that is supported by the American forces of terror and evil."
Col. Khaled Aref, Fatah leader in Sidon and Ein El-Hilweh, argued that the best way for Palestinians to confront the attacks was to close ranks behind Abbas. "As we face this Zionist onslaught, we say that national unity breaks this conspiracy."

Palestinian Islamic militant groups like Hamas and Islamic Jihad and other smaller factions did not join the protest. Speakers said nothing about the kidnapping of the Israeli soldier by militants, but focused on Palestinians' plight as a result of the military offensive on Gaza, which Israel said it launched to force the release of the soldier."

It has also been reported by CNN that, "In the midst of the standoff over Shalit, Israel opened two routes into Gaza on Sunday to allow for humanitarian aid to flow into the Palestinian territory, an Israeli army official said.

The Karni crossing in northern Gaza and a nearby fuel terminal at Nahal Oz were opened at midday to allow for the passage of food, medicine and fuel.

Israeli Defense Minister Amir Peretz said the Karni crossing would be open four days so trucks could carry humanitarian supplies into Gaza."

As we stand at the precipice of a potentially explosive war between Israel and her Arab enemies, it is appropriate at this juncture in time to pray not only for the welfare of Corp. Gilad Shalit, but we must pray that the leaders of the government of Israel do not accede to the demands of Hamas. We must pray that Hashem give the leaders of the government of Israel enough strength, courage and wisdom to understand that releasing Arab terrorists will not be a deterrent to further kidnappings of Israeli soldiers and civilians. Quite to the contrary, it will only embolden the Arab enemy and strengthen him in his quest to destroy the entire nation of Israel.

We must ask Hashem to guide our leaders in a fearless path of unremitting non-compromise with the Arab enemy. We must ask G-d to give the leaders of the government of Israel the strength to resist the pressures from the UN and internal groups such as Yesh Gvul which has demanded that the Olmert government release Arab terrorists from their prisons.

We must stand together in strength, faith and above all, trust in the Almighty G-d of Israel, for the survival and preservation of the nation of Israel is at stake. Let us remember and utter the words of the sweet singer of Israel, King David who said (Psalms, chapter 18), "I will love you Hashem, my Strength. Hashem is my Rock, my Fortress and my Rescuer, my G-d, my Rock in Whom I take shelter, my Shield, and the Horn of my Salvation, my Stronghold. With praises I call unto Hashem, and from my enemies I am saved."

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