Testing Their Humanity


Beinart presses anti-blockade activists to demand the release of Gilad Shalit, the young Israeli soldier held captive by Hamas since 2006:

Were activists in Ireland and Malaysia and Turkey to take up Shalit’s cause, it would embarrass Hamas to no end. Hamas would likely reply that it cannot release Shalit unless Israel releases the Palestinians prisoners it holds, and perhaps Israel should release some of them. But the activists could answer that there is no justification for deliberately harming the innocent. That, after all, is what they say about Israel’s blockade. If you are for ending the collective punishment of Gaza (which is not the same as trying to prevent Hamas from acquiring weapons) regardless of whether Shalit is released, as I am, you should also be for releasing Shalit, regardless of whether the blockade ends or Palestinian prisoners are freed.