By Daniella Peled
March 9, 2009
Gilad Shalit's family have set up a protest tent outside the Prime Minister's residence in Jerusalem. This is a time-honoured method of Israeli dissent. The spot has been previously occupied by bereaved parents, single mothers, Holocaust survivors and a whole host of others who have felt disenfranchised or ignored by the Israeli leadership.
In recent weeks, the Shalit family have witnessed the deal for Gilad's release get very, very close - only to founder through a combination of government intransigence and political expediency. Now, obviously, they feel they have no other recourse but to camp outside Olmert's house.
Things used to be different, according to Ha'aretz's Amos Harel:
"When Yitzhak Rabin was defense minister, and later prime minister, he would meet with the families of missing soldiers every two weeks.
'Why are you doing this?" his aides asked. 'It's not like you have something new to say to them at every meeting."
'I may not have anything new to say to them,' Rabin would insist, 'But I'm sure they have a lot to say to me.'"