Steinitz: Marches won't free Schalit

Minister says decision makers can't act only from the heart.

yuval steinitz 298 88 (photo credit: Knesset Channel [file])
yuval steinitz 298 88
(photo credit: Knesset Channel [file])
Gilad Schalit will not be freed by public opinion or marches on the street, Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz said Saturday.
Steinitz, speaking at the weekly Shabbatarbut conference in Beersheba, was referring to plans for a mass protest march planned on Sunday from Mitzpe Hila, Gilad’s home, to Jerusalem.
“We all pray in our hearts to have Gilad with us,” Steinitz said. “But being a decision maker also means not making decisions just from the heart but from the head as well.”
Steinitz clarified that he did not criticize the Schalit family. “If he were my son, I would act as Noam and Aviva have,” he said. But he added that “freeing hundreds of terrorists with blood on their hands into Judea and Samaria would have dire consequences on Israel’s ability to deal with terrorism.”
In a second Shabbatarbut event in Rishon Lezion, Deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon said the government should do everything in its power to bring Gilad back but “without hurting Israel’s security interests.”
Aviva and Noam Schalit announced Friday that they would begin a protest march on Sunday from their home in Mitzpe Hila, to Netanyahu’s residence in Jerusalem.
“My son has been wasting away for four years in Hamas dungeons,” Aviva Schalit said in a video released on Friday night. “I haven’t touched him in 1,460 days – I haven’t hugged Gilad, I haven’t spoken with Gilad. Four endless years, four years of prolonged suffering,” she said in the video. “I believe that after four years in which an entire country was unable to bring a captive soldier back home, it must pay the price before it is too late.“