Gila Shalit speaks about Ahmed al-Jabari
GILAD Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas. The Israeli spent five years in captivity. He was the only Israeli living in Gaza. He was freed on Oct. 18 2011. Israel swapped him for 1,027 Palestinians in Israeli prisons. Does he feel glad that the man who played a key role in his imprisonment, Ahmed al-Jabari, the Hamas military leader, was killed by the Israelis two weeks ago?
Der Spiegel asks him:
When asked about Gaza, he speaks quietly and hesitantly, struggling with almost every sentence. No, he says, he did not feel satisfaction when he heard about Jabari’s death, because he didn’t even know the man. “The killing has to stop,” he says. This is Shalit’s only message before his father interrupts the conversation. “The boy needs to be left alone,” says Noam Shalit. “Gilad isn’t a public figure.”
Can Shalit epitomise a complex situation in the region? No. He is no more a symbol of the situation than a picture of dead or injured child should be. The media should take care not to emote. They cannot select the image to press hearts. We should take care not to wonder to much how Shalit feels. His pain is not ours. We are the observers. What we need are facts.
Photo: Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, right, smiles during a Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona, Spain, Sunday, Oct. 7, 2012.