Useful web sites

Twitter Updates

    follow me on Twitter

    « Alaa freed, but did the campaign help? | Main | To the BBC, he was just a "settler" »



    I agree, its pretty ambiguous.

    Surely part of the definition relates to what the soldiers are engaging in at the time. For example, the Iraqi General wasn't actually engaging in military operations at the time. By this rationale, though, the Israeli settler Eliyahu Asheri, was definitely kidnapped, so the omission of that word is surprising. However, I don't think "seized" carries the same aura of legitimacy as "captured" or "imprisoned".

    In the case of Cpl Shallit however, I imagine both sides have an interest in calling it a capture, and not a kidnapping. The terrorists who hold him will presumbably claim that they have seized him as part of a war, formal combat. And the IDF would presumably claim that Cpl Shalit was engaged in legitimate military actions against an enemy, no? If not, on what basis was Cpl Shallit in Gaza?

    None of this detracts from the fact that no good will come of this whole business. We can only pray for his safety, and hope that those who hold him see the value in showing their humanity.


    Reading a little bit of background on Cpl Shallit, I see James Reynolds calls him a "hostage" and Jeremy Bowen says he was "abducted". I rather think its Jon Williams who is getting lost in his self-righteousness.


    Gilad Shalit WAS NOT in Gaza when he was abducted but inside Israel.


    Here's a version of a comment I've already posted on SimplyJews:

    Many people have been saying that the Hamas attack on the tank and the capture of Gilad Shalit are particularly heinous in light of the complete pullout from the Gaza strip. I heard an Israeli on a BBC radio call-in discussion expressing utter outrage over the fact that the Hamasniks had CROSSED THE BORDER and attacked an IDF position that was NOT occupying Palestinian land. And many have condemned the Qassam attacks in this context (the Gaza pullout) as well.

    Now, I'm a passionate supporter of Israel. But it must be said the Gaza pullout didn't change anything about the moral context nor about the morality/immorality of any specific actions, for two reasons.

    1. Attacks on civilians are always immoral and illegitimate, they are just terrorism, and there is nothing -- no occupation, no settlements -- that can mitigate the moral depravity that. So the Gaza pullout has no impact on the moral considerations of firing missiles at Sderot, for example.

    2. But I'm also baffled by political comment that pretends that Gaza and the West Bank are separated in any way other than geographically. Hamas is at war with Israel, full stop, and one of the main reasons for that is the occupation (whether Hamas would make peace with an Israel within the "'67 borders" is a further question). As long as the West Bank is occupied, of course Hamas is going to take advantage of the new situation in Gaza to attack Israel from an area where it can now operate more freely; it can be expected to do that and there is no logical reason why it shouldn't. So why shouldn't Palestinian fighters cross the Gaza border to grab Israeli soldiers? War is war; soldiers are soldiers; and if you are already at war with a country, then you're not exactly going to worry about respecting its borders, are you. Nations at war don't respect each other's borders (particularly when the war is partly ABOUT borders). Now THIS is something that would be changed by disengagement, because disengagement would remove all justification for war. But disengagement hasn't happened yet. Disengagement will only change the moral situation when it's complete -- in other words, when the settlements and the IDF have been pulled out of the West Bank as well as Gaza. At that point, the Palestinians will have no further justification for waging war against the IDF. Until then, Hamas correctly considers Palestinian land to be occupied and it's nonsense to make some sort of artificial distinction between occupying a little bit of Palestinian land in Gaza and occupying much more Palestinian land in the West Bank.

    I hate terrorism with a passion, and on top of that I take terrorism against Israelis personally. I love Israel with all my heart. And I have enormous admiration and affection for the IDF. But let's keep our thinking straight: A small part of disengagement has been completed (Gaza). But by far the most significant part of it (the West Bank) hasn't even begun. The Palestinians are at war against Israel. Gilad Shalit, who was on active duty and in uniform when he was captured, is not the victim of a terrorist hostage-taking; he is a prisoner of war. I hope Israel succeeds in freeing him without any negotiation, compromises, or concessions.

    Shabbat Shalom



    "In the case of Cpl Shallit however, I imagine both sides have an interest in calling it a capture, and not a kidnapping. [..] And the IDF would presumably claim that Cpl Shalit was engaged in legitimate military actions against an enemy, no? If not, on what basis was Cpl Shallit in Gaza?"

    He wasn't in Gaza. He was in a military outpost in Israel, and the Arabs tunneled under the "border" to attack the outpost (probably from an Arab house like the one Rachel Corrie and her friends were trying to protect).

    He wasn't "captured" during a military engagement, he was "kidnapped" during a time of supposed peace. If it wasn't peace, why are the Arabs outraged by a military reaction?


    "The Palestinians are at war against Israel."

    Fine then, Paul.

    So Cpl Shallit is a prisoner-of-war.

    But if it is war, then Israel, as a warring party, is free to invade the enemy's territory - even if that imperils the lives of civilians.

    But these are Palestinian civilians who, by your statement, are therefore all enemy nationals.

    I don't recall Allied forces in World War Two opting NOT to enter Germany because it might well endanger German civilians...

    The comments to this entry are closed.

    August 2015

    Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
    2 3 4 5 6 7 8
    9 10 11 12 13 14 15
    16 17 18 19 20 21 22
    23 24 25 26 27 28 29
    30 31          
    Blog powered by Typepad