Guardian Letters Editor abets distortion of Gilad Shalit’s comments about Palestinian prisoners

The televised interview with Gilad Shalit by Egyptian Nile News TV presenter Shahira Amin was both abusive and illegal, as it was conducted under duress in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention and without Shalit having been examined by a representative of the Red Cross beforehand.

On the day of the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal thought it appropriate to rely upon the translation of Shalit’s responses by a Hamas apparatchik and rushed to publish the distorted version on the Guardian’s Live Blog.

Despite all that, it seems that the Letters Editor at the Guardian is not up to speed with any of the above and hence found it appropriate to publish a letter on October 28th from one Benedict Birnberg. 

As we noted previously, here’s what Shalit actually said:

“I will be very glad if they [Palestinian prisoners] will be freed but they should not fight Israel anymore, it should be as part of a peace process and there should not be more wars.” [emphasis mine]

Birnberg is of course a Guardian letters page ‘frequent flyer’. He is company secretary for the charity ‘War on Want’ which is infamous for its anti-Israel campaigns. He is also a trustee for the ‘Free Vanunu’ campaign and a supporter of BDS.

It comes as no surprise that Birnberg would attempt to reap political capital by twisting the words uttered by Gilad Shalit in an abusive situation, surrounded by armed and masked Hamas terrorists, and before he gained his freedom.

It is, however, totally inappropriate that the Guardian Letters Editor should be aiding and abetting Birnberg in adding to the abuse by exploiting the deliberately misconstrued words of a prisoner. 

2 replies »

  1. They obviously tried to humiliate Gilad Shalit.

    Gilad Shalit was transferred from Hamas to the Egyptian ”authorities”-making Egypt an accomplice,and therefore,as guilty of violating the UN Convention on Hostage-Taking as Hamas is.

    ”Any person who participates as an accomplice of anyone who commits or attempts to commit an act of hostage-taking likewise commits an offence for the purposes of this Convention.”Article1,paragraph2,International Convention Against the Taking of Hostages,UN General Assembly,June 3,1983

    Many newspaper accounts refer to Gilad Shalit as having been”captured”by Hamas,as if he were a legitimate prisoner of war…indeed some news accounts actually refer to Shalit as a POW.

    Gilad Shalit was not”captured”on a battlefield he was kidnapped from inside Israel and spirited across the border into Gaza by Hamas

    By way of illustration,a person captured by police in the commission of a crime is a ‘prisoner.’An innocent person kidnapped for the purpose of extorting ransom is a ‘hostage’.Under any reading of any of the relevant international charters,infiltrating another country is an act of war and taking hostages is a war crime

    In addition,under any reading of the relevant international charters,Israel is a member state of the United Nations.

    But Gilad Shalit apparently doesn’t qualify under the law as a ‘person’…evidently because he is a Jew.Therefore according to Hamas,he is worth a thousand Palestinians.

  2. Not only is a Jew, which already makes him an Untermensch, but he is a Zionist occupier of sacred Arab land, which makes him fair game for anything.

    The Arabs and their fellow travelers make me sick. And that includes the International Red Cross which besides harboring Arab terrorists in their Jerusalem offices for years made NO real attempt to see Gilad Shalit. They give us lip service and did nothing substantive. Disgusting.