Don’t get me wrong; it’s great that the 42nd president made an “unscheduled” visit to North Korea to obtain the freedom of two journalists held by the psycho dictator Kim Jong-il. Two female reporters had been held on vague charges of spying, and sentenced to 12 years of hard labor.
But Bill Clinton buttressed his wife’s State Department efforts and showed up with a private plane to whisk the women to freedom.
Too bad no one will fly to Gaza and demand Gilad Shalit’s freedom. The Israeli soldier is entering his fourth year as a captive of Hamas, the murderous Palestinian terror group.
Shalit’s kidnapping and subsequent captivity is outrageous. It has brought untold grief to his family. Israel is frustrated.
And that’s the point.
Hamas has followed the lead of Hezbollah and others in kidnapping and holding foreigners, particularly Israelis. The family of Ron Arad, the downed Israeli pilot during the 1982 Lebanon War, has been put through pointless agony by Hezbollah, for a quarter-century. No one outside Lebanon knows what happened to Arad.
When the Arabs can’t defeat Israel on the battlefield — a consistent rub for the pan-Arab nation — they do what they can to inflict misery.
And the world does…not…care.
If you scan the news each day, you will not notice any diplomats anywhere offering to travel to Gaza to free Shalit. There are important groups pushing for his release. The International Christian Embassy in Jerusalem comes to mind. Kudos to them.
For the most part, though, Shalit languishes in some unknown location inside the immoral cesspool known as Gaza.
It is a hallmark of our immoral age that “statesmen” like Clinton, Jimmy Carter, and George H.W. Bush won’t lift a finger to free Shalit. In fact, Carter’s evident dislike of Israelis would of course preclude him from doing such a thing. But it doesn’t keep him from slobbering over Hamas terrorists during his trips to the region.
(Yehuda Avner’s fascinating recollections of the Carter-Begin negotiations are available from the Jerusalem Post online. Anyone interested in knowing how Carter dealt with the Israelis during the Camp David talks would do well to read Avner.)
In my review of Michael Oren’s extraordinary book, Power, Faith, and Fantasy (you can read the review at WorldNetDaily), I note those American presidents and diplomats who were true friends of Israel, from the beginning of our republic until now.
One can track the erosion of support for Israel from the liberal scholars who began to creep into American seminaries in the 19th century. Oren’s fascinating research traced the American elites’ support for the Arabs to…American missionaries in the 19th century. Frustrated by their lack of converts among Muslims in the Holy Land, these missionaries began to lay the groundwork for today’s social gospel work by jettisoning active evangelism in favor of work projects. They also paved the way for Arab nationalism, in an era when the whole region lacked borders and was loosely a pan-Arab nation.
Today, we have more than 20 Muslim nations in the area, practicing mischief on a daily basis.
All that to make this point: the seeds of American meddling in Israel’s affairs — while pressuring the Jewish state to suicide concessions — have now yielded a harvest of diplomats and statesmen who will fly to North Korea to give a photo-op to a psycho, but will always pass up a chance to free Gilad Shalit.
The Lord of History is watching.
Report: No progress on Shalit deal - Ynetnews
Shalit deal could be close - The Age
Israeli jets bomb Gaza tunnel in retaliation - AFP
Web site says deal to free Shalit close - United Press International