Gilad, the fifth son
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On Monday we will sit down for the Seder meal, marking the start of the festival of freedom. But there is one man for whom there is, still, no freedom, and no Seder. For Gilad Shalit, Monday will begin a fifth Pesach in captivity. There are reports that Hamas could be about to release a new video of Sergeant Shalit, the first since October 2009.
For his family, that will be some comfort. But the idea that the terrorist outfit might be thought worthy of credit for such a move is ridiculous. Every day that he remains in captivity is an outrage, worsened by Hamas' refusal to allow any access to check on his wellbeing, even by the Red Cross. Sgt Shalit's captivity is a standing refutation to those - astonishingly including some amongst our community - who push Hamas' cause as a legitimate negotiating partner. It is important that the level of outrage does not lessen the longer Sgt Shalit remains a prisoner of Hamas. That is one reason why the Gilad Shalit – Fifth Son project is so worthwhile. As the Board of Deputies rightly says, for our generation the fifth son is Gilad Shalit. In that respect, he will be at all our Sedarim next week.