Thursday, April 30, 2009

Outrage! And I still remember Gilad Shalit

Today, Youssef Magied al-Molqui was released from an Italian prison after serving 24 years of a 30 year sentence. He was released for “good behavior.” Forget the fact that he escaped once and was then recaptured and sent back to Italy to continue serving his prison term. I guess “good behavior” translates differently in Italian than English.

Who is Youssef Magied al-Molqui? He was the leader of four Palestinian hijackers who, in October 1985, took control of the Italian cruise liner Achilli Lauro. The hijackers, these days we call them “pirates” apparently, shot and killed a disabled American tourist, 69-year-old Leon Klinghoffer, and threw his body overboard with his wheelchair. Why? They said because he “created troubles” as one of the terrorists later commented. A 69-year-old elderly man in a wheelchair caused four heavily armed terrorists “troubles?!?” So much so they decided to execute him in his wheelchair, then dump the body overboard? You must be asking yourself, “am I missing something here?” Oh, did I fail to mention Mr. Klinghoffer was Jewish? Read more about the Achilli Lauro story here.

So Al-Molqui is released and ordered expelled from Italy. I’m sure he’ll enjoy a hero’s welcome in any Arab country because, he did after all, kill a Jew. So heroic, executing a wheelchair bound 69-year-old. So for hijacking a cruise ship, executing a disabled man and escaping prison this man ends up with the penalty of 24 years in prison and expulsion from a country that has never been his home?
This brings me to Gilad Shalit. It is coming up on almost 3 years now that he has been held captive, without basic human rights afforded by the Geneva Convention, and denied all access to the Red Cross or any other human rights organization or medical attention which even the captors say he needs. And why, what is his crime? He’s a Jew, kidnapped from his army position by Hamas terrorists. You can read more about Gilad here in a blog post I made back in November of 2008.

My point? I’m tired. I’m tired of the double standard. I’m tired of Hamas and other such groups being given such carte blanche leeway by the EU and others. Mostly, I’m tired of the fact that Gilad Shalit is still being held captive, for no other reason than because he’s a Jew. Wake up, someone, anyone! It’s time for the U.S. to put its foot down and say, no more aid, no more food, no more weapons for any state that harbors terrorists. Instead, feed the starving here in the States, save our taxpayer dollars and let the world know we don’t just hand out carrots to anyone hoping they come around to being our friends in peace. It’s time to pay the piper world or the music gets turned off.

Where to start? Nothing more in aid for the Palestinians until they release Gilad Shalit, alive. How much less could we ask?

Peace and remembrance on this day and all days… -J.R.

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