Monday, December 3, 2007
How about 429 + 3 ?
If you follow Israeli news, then surely you know about the 429 Palestinian prisoners that were released from prison as a "goodwill" gesture to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud
Abbas from Ehud Olmert's government over the weekend. This is supposed to further the peace process in the wake of last week's Annapolis Summit. Somehow.
So Israel makes yet another concession and the world likely will see it as "not enough" flexibility from the Jewish state. But I ask you this: in all the reports of this latest prisoner return, why isn't more mention being made (if it's being made at all) of Israel's need to have its own sons returned? What of Ehud Goldwasser? What of Gilad Shalit? What of Eldad Regev? All missing for well over a year since being captured by Hamas and Hezbollah.
Where are Abbas' words – better yet, actions – to help secure the release of these three IDF soldiers/sons/brothers/husbands/fathers? There are none. Their families have no idea about their state of being. The Red Cross hasn't been given permission to, at the very least, ensure they're being treated with some measure of humanity. Simply put, no one knows. This is contrary to the Palestinian prisoners, whose families knew where they'd been kept and were sure of their relative safety with the Israeli authorities. The captured Israelis continue to be MIA, their families left in the dark.
The emotional anguish that must accompany each parent and sibling as a result, cannot be imagined.
If Annapolis is supposed to secure a peace between Israel and the Palestinians, then it sure looks like Israel, once again, is the sole party bending over backwards to make it happen. It's time the other side showed some goodwill of its own.
If all the Arab nations that attended Annapolis – ostensibly in the name of peace with Israel – were truly committed to that principle, then Goldwasser, Shalit and Regev would already be home. It's time for that to happen in order to move forward with any trust.
Let them go.