All posts tagged gilad shalit

Six Questions for Dr. Hanan Ashrawi

Hanan Ashrawi / Wikimedia Commons

I sat down with Dr. Hanan Ashrawi, member of the Palestine Liberation Organization’s Executive Committee, at her Ramallah office. We shared a plate of “healthy stuff,” fresh fruits and vegetables — in contrast to the cigarette smoke-filled rooms of the Palestinian Authority’s headquarters, the Muqata — and discussed the PLO’s strategies for 2012.

1. You were in Cairo three weeks ago for Fatah-Hamas reconciliation talks. How are the unity talks being affected by the Quartet’s January 26 deadline?

Dr. Ashrawi: I don’t even think about it as a deadline, because I would hate to link our own internal domestic issues to what the Quartet says. Frankly speaking, the Quartet hasn’t been doing anything. It’s just all show and no substance; all talk and no action. And I don’t see why we should adopt their deadlines knowing that they’re not doing anything, and all they’re doing is asking us to negotiate. And they should know better because they are seeing what’s happening on the ground…. We don’t have anything against talks. But we have something against talks that are used for a pretext to provide Israel with cover — legal cover, protection, and time to destroy the two-state solution…. Now either they rectify the negotiations, the so-called process, or we look for something else.

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Getting beyond Gilad Shalit, and learning from suffering

After Over Five Years: Gilad Shalit Reunites With His Father

The return of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit after 5 years in captivity is a cause for celebration.  Shalit’s capture and captivity were terribly painful for his family, Israelis in general, and the larger world Jewish community.  The Israeli ambassador to the United States, Michael Oren, eloquently articulated the pain suffered by Israelis during Shalit’s captivity.  Oren also talked about the risks that Israelis face daily, and the impact of the conflict on Israel.  He described the personal distress felt at the loss of a very close family member, an all too common occurrence for Israelis, and Oren described having a son who was shot.  No family should have to suffer the pain of such violence.

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Shalit deal presents Israel with opportunity in Gaza

After Over Five Years: Gilad Shalit Reunites With His Father

Sari Bashi, Foreign Policy - On the morning of June 25, 2006, I called an Israeli television reporter to suggest a story about students from Gaza enrolled in an occupational therapy degree program but unable to access their studies, due to an Israeli-imposed ban on travel from Gaza to the West Bank.  Something was going on in Gaza — excited radio announcers reported, every 15 minutes, “exchanges of fire” — but the military censor had not yet allowed details to be released.

“I empathize with your students, but it will be a long time before anyone will be open to hearing about them,” said the reporter. It was, of course, the morning that the Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit was captured by Palestinian militants from Gaza, and for the past five years, his captivity has overwhelmed discussion of Israel’s policy toward Gaza, especially its restrictions on movement of goods and people.

With last week’s release of Shalit, together with more than 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, the residents of Israel and Gaza have an opportunity for liberation, too — from a policy of closure that has stifled normal life in Gaza and isolated Israel, leaving it vulnerable at a critical time of regional volatility.

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