Anyone who has viewed the horrific footage depicting the beheading of Nick Berg, the 26 year old from Pennsylvania, back in May 2004, or the murder of Daniel Pearl by similar means in 2002, knows that Muslim terrorist extremists do not share our values.
If we needed reminding of that, the heartless manner in which Hamas has tormented Gilad Shalit and his family ever since he was kidnapped from Israeli territory on June 25, 2006 is a grim reminder of the fact that our enemies do not always share our values.
By contrast, Palestinian prisoners held in Israeli jails are visited by The Red Cross, watch television and can even study for degrees through the Open University.
Appeals for The Red Cross to be granted access to Gilad Shalit have so far been of no avail. If you would like to add your name to such an appeal and, thereby, apply pressure on the Hamas to comply with this basic tenet of the Geneva Convention, go to http://www.mdavisitshalit.org/?utm_source=MDA+Newsletter&utm_campaign=d72440238f-Sept_eNewsletter6_1_2010&utm_medium=email
Hamas has just put out a short video purporting to show Gilad Shalit and his captors. The video ends with the sound of gunfire, clearly implying that this will be his fate if their demands are not met.
When we talk about making peace with the Palestinians, it is important that we always remember that Hamas controls the Gaza Strip and that, were long overdue elections on the West Bank to take place, there is every likelihood that Mahmoud Abbas would be ousted by them.
That is the background with which we in the Middle East have to contend – and all of us, not only in Israel, need to remember that.