Why have all the efforts of the lobby to free Gilad Schalit not succeeded? Because they are all aimed in the wrong direction.
1. Who kidnapped Gilad five years ago, Israel or Hamas?
2. Who is holding him incommunicado for five years, Israel or Hamas?
3. Who is preventing the International Red Cross from ever visiting him, Israel or Hamas?
4. Who keeps his family from knowing whether he is even alive, Israel or Hamas?
5. Who demands release of over 1,000 terrorists for him and refuses to budge from its positions even a millimeter, Israel or Hamas?
So aiming all the pressure against Israel to give in to all the Hamas demands, doesn’t bring Gilad’s release any closer, but pushes it further away. It proves to Hamas that their strategy is working. Either Israel will surrender to all their demands, or Israel society will unravel more and more. A win-win situation for Hamas.
So what should the Gilad Schalit lobby do to free him? Make a 180 degree turn.
A. The protest tent should be moved from the Prime Minister’s residence, to the International Red Cross headquarters in Jerusalem. A second tent should be placed at the border crossing to Gaza.
B. The demand should not be that Israel bow to every demand of Hamas, the kidnappers, but that every terrorist who appears on the Hamas list should immediately be denied all Red Cross visits, all family visitors and kept in solitary confinement, just like Gilad.
C. The lobby should demonstrate to halt all Israel assistance to Gaza until Gilad is returned. If he must sit in the dark, then let all Gazans sit in the dark.
D. One Hamas leader a week should be given the Osama Bin Laden treatment until Gilad is returned. The higher up, the better.
E. Turn the tables on Hamas in every way. Make their kidnapping and holding of Gilad a liability for them, not an asset.
The Gilad Schalit lobby has been doing it their way for five years, without any success. It is time to try the opposite way.