Bereaved parents battle gov't censorship of exchange deal
While the prime minister and defense minister plead for quiet on the progress of the Shalit exchange deal, and even use military censorship for this purpose, a group of bereaved parents who have lost children in terrorist attacks plan to appeal to the Supreme Court to force full disclosure of the deal.
"The government must report to the public and allow a public debate," said Dan Sion, a member of a group of officers from kibbutzim who joined the bereaved parents and the Almagor terror victims organization in the battle against the government censorship.
"It's not fair that everyone - the enemy, the mediators, the government - know the names of the terrorists to be released, [everyone] except the Israeli public," he said. "You can't ignore the fact that to ease the process, it's being carried out without the public knowing it's going to pay a price."
"They're leaving the public [just] 48 hours to speak its mind. This is what the government is doing, [drafting] the agreement by stealth," he added.
Ron Karman, a member of the parent group appealing to the Supreme Court said "They're only publishing the names when there's no more time to discuss it. I suppose if the public knew the names, there wouldn't be such support for [the deal] in the media."
Karman, who lost his daughter in the suicide bombing of bus no. 37 in Haifa in 2003, said "I would do anything to get my daughter back, or my son, if he should be captured, god forbid. But I'm not appealing against the Shalit family, I'm making a request of the leadership. The government of Israel is responsible for the safety and lives of 7.5 million people.
Gilad Shalit was sent to the front lines by the State of Israel, and it should do everything it can to release him, but not at the price of risking the lives of everyone else."