Perspective: Betancourt, Shalit…, the Muamar brothers (?) and 10,000 Palestinians held hostage by Israel (?)

I’d like for a little perspective to be observed here.  Ingrid Betancourt was just rescued after six years of being held hostage by the FARC of Colombia.  Details about her can be found here:

Noam Shalit, father of captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, uses the event (Betancourt’s rescue) to remind the world that his son still remains in captivity under Hamas and President Sarkozy of France pledges to do everything to secure Gilad’s release.,7340,L-3563390,00.html

Everyone who takes at least a passing interest in world events knows the names of the two aforementioned captives and their plights. 

Now, I ask you this:  Does anyone know what is happenning to the Muamar brothers?  That would be the two brothers who were abducted from their homes in Rafah June 24, 2006, the day before Shalit was captured.  For that matter, who is advocating for, and making the news almost daily in their advocations of, the 10,000 Palestinians kept prisoners by Israel?  Of these 10,000, several hundred are women and children and about 1,000 are so-called administrative detainees, charged with no crimes and held indefinitely.

Who is advocating for the prisoners tortured in the ultra-secret Israeli prison, “Camp 1391,” where Palestinian or Hezbollah prisoners are tortured and in many cases dissappear forever?

Noam Chomsky writes of the Muamar brothers capture as follows:

The latest phase began on June 24, when the Israeli army kidnapped two civilians, a doctor and his brother, from their home in Gaza. They were “detained” according to brief notes in the British press. The U.S. media mostly preferred silence.4 They will presumably join the 9,000 other Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails, 1,000 reportedly in prison without charges, hence kidnapped — as were many of the rest, in that they were sentenced by Israeli courts, which are a disgrace, harshly condemned by legal commentators in Israel.

He then notes that the next day Shalit was captured by Hamas and Hamas-related groups and notes that the following severe reactions from the Israeli side:

The next day, June 25, Palestinians kidnapped an Israeli soldier just across the border from Gaza. That did happen, very definitely. Every literate reader also knows the name of corporal Gilad Shalit, and wants him released. The nameless kidnapped Gaza civilians are ignored; international law, while rightly insisting that captured soldiers be treated humanely, absolutely prohibits the extrajudicial seizure of civilians. Israel responded by “bombing and shelling, darkening and destroying, imposing a siege and kidnapping like the worst of terrorists and nobody breaks the silence to ask, what the hell for, and according to what right?” as the fine Israeli journalist Gideon Levy wrote, adding that “[a] state that takes such steps is no longer distinguishable from a terror organization.” Israel also kidnapped a large part of the Palestinian government, destroyed most of the Gaza electrical and water systems, and committed numerous other crimes. These acts of collective punishment, condemned by Amnesty International as “war crimes,” compounded the punishment of Palestinians for having voted the wrong way. Within a few days, UN agencies working in Gaza warned of a “public health disaster” as a result of developments “which have seen innocent civilians, including children, killed, brought increased misery to hundreds of thousands of people and which will wreak far-reaching harm on Palestinian society. An already alarming situation in Gaza, with poverty rates at nearly eighty per cent and unemployment at nearly forty per cent, is likely to deteriorate rapidly, unless immediate and urgent action is taken.”

It should be noted that capturing a soldier who is stationed at an outpost that has been shelling the people of Gaza mercilessly for the last few weeks and along with other outposts, had probably caused the deaths of roughly 30 Palestinian civilians in the preceeding weeks.

What I would like to see is some perspective here.  If you give Palestinian administrative detainees

equal time per capita in the press then I will be happy.  This means we need 1000 more articles on Palestinians than on Shalit.  Include other Palestinian prisoners and then lets make it 10,000 times more press coverage on Palestinians than on Shalit.  Let’s free all of these hostages and give each person equal time in the press.  There, that sounds like the kind of perspective that I can accept.


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