On the eve of his grandson’s fourth birthday in Hamascaptivity, Tzvi Schalit published Tuesday a brief but strongly-worded missiveto Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu in which he said that if Gilad Schalitwere to die in captivity, the responsibility would be Netanyahu’s.
“Every day, you endanger the life of my grandson, GiladSchalit,” wrote the grandfather, who also lost a son in the Yom Kippur War. “Youare not working on his release. You do not listen to the multitudes of Israeli whodemand his release. You do not listen to your own defense leaders…who say thatthe release of prisoners as demanded by Hamas is not a security risk for thestate of Israel.”
“You do not respect the military ethos upon which you wereraised, that you do not abandon soldiers in the field,” continued the elderSchalit, a veteran of the War of Independence. “The day will come and theprison gates will open and the Hamas prisoners will be released becauseanother, brave prime minister will reach an agreement with the regime in Gaza, but my grandsonmight no longer exist.”
Schalit concluded the letter with the warning that “if mybeloved grandson dies in Hamas dungeons, it will be your responsibility.”
In recent days, the Schalit family has launched aletter-writing campaign in advance of Gilad’s birthday to try to move talks forhis release forward from their current stalemate.