Of Captives and Personal Honor, Gratitude and Love of Country
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We were struck today by The New York Sun editorial ‘Renounce the Deal?‘ wherein we were reminded that, in 1981, Ronald Reagan had had a free hand with Iran following the release of 52 American prisoners held 444 days by the Iranian regime. Israel likewise has an agreement with Hamas, one extorted under threat, and thus too, a free hand now that Gilad Shalit is home.
We are also reminded that Iran has recently released three newer captives back to America, Josh Fattal, Sarah Shourd and Shane Bauer – and one wonders at what deal may have been struck to secure their release.
We were also taken aback by the stark contrasts of personal honor and patriotism. Sarah Shourd, for her part, once told an Iraqi family she is “ashamed” every day off what “my country [United States], has done to [Iraq].” Her views on Israel, too, are less than sympathetic.
Approaching the Golan Heights from the east the first thing you notice is Jabal Al-Sheik. It stands tall on the horizon with its base tightly wrapped in a blanket of green and its snowy peak flashing in the sun. The mountain used to be an uncontested part of Syria. Then, in 1967, Israel seized control of it along with over 690 square miles of Syrian land, now called the Occupied Golan Heights.
Israel “seized control.” Right out of the blue, apparently just for kicks.
Bauer piled on recently at a microphone and said the only reason they were held in Iran was “because of the 32-year hostile relationship of the two countries,” and that he hoped for freedom for other “unjustly imprisoned people in America.” He wasn’t finished. America the “unjust,” is worthy of scorn and protest. (It gives one pause to ask just where it might be that Bauer, Fattal and Shourd find disagreement with Iran?)
Gilad, for his part, and Israel for hers are sharing a moment of joy and sadness and great pride. This “occupier,” this “seizer” of land and control is in the process of exchanging 1,027 terrorists, murderers and prisoners for but one, Shalit.
We feel constrained by libel laws and by codes of human decency to withhold our honest opinions of Bauer, Fattal and Shourd. (We do admit to feelings of resentment at having been played the sucker agitating for their release.)
If the sad irony of Bauer, Fattal and Shourd isn’t palpable, note this from CBS: News reports suggest Israel may offer 80 prisoners for return of one American.
Alas, in such things, Israel gives up much to uphold it’s value of “choose life” over choosing what is easy. Her hand may not be completely free. Liberty never is.
May G-d Bless America; Israel; and Gilad Shalit. Special thanks to our Liberty Belle, Maggie Thornton.