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article imageOp-Ed: Gilad Shalit and the height of hypocrisy

By Allon Sacks     Oct 19, 2011 in Politics
The world completely ignored Egypt and Hamas "hitting the man" while he was down.
A forced interview, on a person in a fragile mental state, is a crime.
I find it hard to understand how the world ignored one of the biggest atrocities yesterday.
I call it a crime against humanity.
Gilad Shalit was captured at the age of 19 and held in captivity for almost 5 and a half years.
I am going to refrain from talking about the legitimacy of capturing him or even the terminology, Israel called him a hostage while the Palestinians saw him as a prisoner of war. Israel calls Palestinian prisoners terrorists, Palestinians call them soldiers. It is besides the point here.
Gilad was held in hostage conditions, saw no sun for 5 years, was basically held in a hole, had no access to doctors that we know of, and in any case, the red cross had no access to him and the world was given no indication of his condition, his family did not know if he was alive or dead.
Only one video released by the Hamas 2 years ago proved he was alive and had his arms and legs attached. This happened only once. Israel released dozens of prisoners just for this video.
His wound from his capture, shrapnel, was not properly treated. He lived with these wounds for 5 years.
For gods sake he wasn't even given a fresh pair of glasses. He probably spent 5 years unable to see anything, suffering from headaches from the eye strain. But to Israel, it could have been much worse.
Probably worst of all was the mental torture, not knowing if or when he would ever be released. If he would be killed, tortured or worse. There was no international supervision, no one to make sure international laws and basic human rights were upheld in his imprisonment.
Palestinian prisoners in Israeli prisons get to hang out with each other, get to study and earn a degree, get to see all their family, get to see the light of day. The world knows where they are and what their condition is.
Now again, I realize the Hamas had to take special precautions otherwise they would lose their valuable prisoner, my point is Gilad Shalit. His mental state, his predicament.
After landing in an IDF base  Gilad Shalit was reunited with his father  Noam
After landing in an IDF base, Gilad Shalit was reunited with his father, Noam
Israel Defense Forces
Once a deal was finally made for his release in exchange for 1027 Palestinian prisoners, which included Israeli Arab prisoners who committed terrorist acts, Gilad Shalit was to be moved from Gaza to Egypt and straight to Israel.
No, Egypt decided they had time to interview him on International news.
They sat him down, Hamas members behind him, a masked man at his side, cameras in front of him, an Egyptian woman reporter opposite him, and had a quick nice little interview. The guy hadn't seen a human unmasked face for 5 years!
He had not seen a woman for 5 years!
He had been alone and in anguish for 5 years!
He is known to be a shy and quite person. Any picture of him shows that he is and always was a shy, closed person who in a normal situation would probably not feel comfortable being interviewed.
Oh no that's OK lets interview him quickly...
He suffered so much, one last pin prick won't do any harm.
Lets ask him and I quote Shahira Amin who interviewed him: "You know from experience how hard captivity can be, what about the 4000 Palestinian prisoners still in Israeli prisons, will you now fight for their release?"
Yes, like this is now his number one goal in life.
She asked him how he felt and he said was feeling bad from the whole experience and the translator said he feels fine. All this on live TV. No shame, anyway, they knew the world would not pay attention to these "little" details. They were correct.
Shahira Amin, the reporter who interviewed him, when confronted about this afterwards, said that she asked his permission to interview him and he shrugged. Well, his captors were right next to him, I don't think after 5 years of fear he has any ego left to say no. What does she expect?
And to anyone who saw the interview it was obvious he was having trouble concentrating, was short of breath and scared. I would have wanted to let a doctor check him, not a reporter from a hostile country. He could have had a heart attack for all she knew. Wow.
Shame on her, shame on Egypt, shame on the world press for not making an issue out of this!
An article containing a video of the interview:
More information on the Shahira Amin interview:,7340,L-4136868,00.html
Pictures of the masked captor making sure Gilad submits to the interview can be seen on that page. Shahira claims she did not know he was forced, maybe she is blind...
Another article of the subject, of course also only on an Israeli website:,7340,L-4136728,00.html
Both articles contain the picture and the interview itself.
Another article containing the interview:
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of
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