Noam Schalit: 'They are abandoning my son'

By JPOST.COM STAFF
December 20, 2010 12:06

Captive soldier's father to gov't: "Stand in front of Hamas and say: 'One soldier of ours is worth thousands of yours.'"

1 minute read.



GOING NOWHERE. Gilad Schalit’s father Noam, pictured at the protest tent outside the Prime Minister’

Noam Schalit 311. (photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)

The father of kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit delivered a speech on Monday saying, "The government of Israel has abandoned my son, there are no words ...to describe this."

During the speech, given at a conference for the Yad Labanim organization at the Dan Panorama hotel in Tel Aviv, Schalit criticized the government and specifically Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

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"The government of Israel and the head of the government do not have the courage to admit in their failure to release Gilad through alternate options, and on the other hand do not display the integrity that is required in paying the price necessary today for an IDF solider who is still alive, in so far as it does not stand behind its responsibility to bring a captive home."

Schalit said he believes that the government's failure to bring Gilad home will hurt the morals and values of Israel, and could cause problems for youth who will be less willing to risk their lives during military service.

"A country that forfeits her citizens - in the end will be forfeited; a country that abandons its citizens- in the end will be abandoned," Schalit said, adding that "this is true on the battlefield and also in other areas invovlving risk and disaster."

The soldier's father also criticized the leadership, saying it is easier to deal with a soldier who fell in battle than with a live captive because of the risk and the effort involved in assuming prisoner exchanges.

Schalit concluded by saying that "I am standing in front of you and crying out the cry of Gilad, the mute cry from the darkness of the hole where he has been held for the past four years. Stand in front of Hamas and say: 'one soldier of ours is worth thousands of yours, because that is our strength.'"


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