Australia/Israel & Jewish Affairs Council

AIJAC statement on reported deal to release Gilad Shalit

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Media Statement - 12 October 2011

This is a very hopeful announcement, given the many years of effort by successive Israeli governments, with the full support of the Israeli people and all with a genuine concern for morality. If Gilad Shalit is released this will indeed be a joyful end to a terrible violation of basic human rights. Of course, as Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has noted, there is an inherent tension between the obligations of Israel to redeem captives and the need to maintain the security of all Israeli citizens by punishing and deterring terrorists who seek reward for acts of kidnapping and terrorism.

The Israeli Government has come to the conclusion that now is the opportune time to make the difficult trade-offs needed to gain Shalit's release. Despite the high price that Israel has been forced to pay for Gilad Shalit's safe return, it is a tribute to the supreme value, based on Jewish tradition, that Israeli society places on individual human life - including that of its soldiers.

Mark Leibler AC, National Chairman, AIJAC

Dr. Colin Rubenstein AM, Executive Director, AIJAC

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