Gilad Shalit will not return. In any case, Gilad Shalit will not return insofar as it depends on the State of Israel rather than on his murderous captors in the Gaza Strip. For people who find my statements too harsh and perhaps even paranoid, I remind them that I was born in the land of the Nazis and my father committed suicide there. So it is no great optimist who speaks to you.
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Gilad Shalit will not return, at least not as long as our prime minister believes he has a strong majority in the coalition. And he has nothing much to worry about there, since that slice of the Labor Party; a truncated Meretz; the kibbutz movement, disintegrating ever since Menachem Begin's slanderous remarks about swimming pools and capitalist privatization, now reaching its height; and a few tens of thousands of hidden and manifest righteous ones in the countries of Tel Aviv and Haifa - all of these will not suffice. In any case, that is how things look today. And to this must be added that our prime minister has found a few allies in the world that will allow him to talk about negotiations until the end of days, and I do not know how much more time poor Gilad and all of us still have until then.
And why? Because a coalition of the "encouraged" and the "fearful" - fearful of the rod of the anger of He who dwells on high, but not of what is happening here on earth as long as they are part of the right-wing majority now in power - will not help any more than it helped those who burned in the crematoriums of the people of the land of my birth. And in fact, we, who experienced the previous dark century and are alive now, are the ones who should truly be fearful. And remember well what one of those people said then, that a man who walks between two women in the Knesset hallway is an ass. The saying, "He who saves a single life in Israel is regarded as if he saved an entire world" has already been forgotten by those who dig and rummage through the soil to "bear witness" to our right to the land. And those who do not believe are in any case condemned to hell in this lifetime.
Gilad Shalit will not return. I hope, of course, that I am wrong. But it is better to be wrong than to mislead others.
I wanted to say these and other things, but they will apparently not be heard. The reason is because I had actually been invited by a television network to be interviewed on the unfortunate subject of Gilad Shalit, but I am sure my remarks will not be broadcast after all, so I permit myself to publish them in the bastion of the free press in Israel. We will leave to the television all the religious programs that again and again penetrate our screens at all hours. And again, it seems that Gilad Shalit will not return. I hope I am wrong. But my father was also wrong. The one on earth, not the one in heaven.