Reservists Charge PM With Inaction on Shalit

Dozens of reserve Israel Defense Forces officers and soldiers signed a letter last week charging Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu with failure to secure the release of kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit.

Gilad Shalit

"Your actions to date have failed to deliver the goods," the letter, addressed to Netanyahu, stated. The letter was seen as taking a more aggressive stance than previous protest messages.

In addition to a call for pushing the negotiations process forward, its authors emphasized that there has been inaction in operational levels and said that Israel has been unable to create real pressure points on the Hamas leadership in the Gaza Strip.

"On the military level we would have expected the IDF and the security services to have created more out of a four year window of opportunity," they wrote. "For someone who declares a no holds barred war on terrorism ... We would have expected more effective action."

The letter was signed by 36 officers and soldiers who are members of the "Reservists for Gilad Shalit" group. Among the signatories are two brigadier generals and two colonels.

The authors expressed "great concern at the failed conduct of the government of Israel since Shalit was abducted. It is not possible for the government of Israel to continue ignoring the situation Gilad is in. All its responses are forced and reflect the lack of genuine willingness to bring an end to this affair. The soldiers of the IDF are prepared to endanger their lives to protect the state and the people, but also, and especially, their comrades in the unit."

The authors continued that Netanyahu has not delivered on his promise to bolster the nation.

"Is it possible that a few kilometers from Tel Aviv a few militants hold an IDF soldier, buried underground for four years, and no one is doing anything?" they asked. "Where is the government of Israel in this equation? We don't accept a government policy which states that the IDF soldiers are at the bottom on the national order of priorities ... With your policies you are causing our children to lose faith in the abilities of the IDF and the government of Israel to rescue them in times of trouble and will not want to be conscripted."