Israeli Soldiers Still Captive, Must Be Returned

The organizations that took Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev captive in June and July have showed their true character. Withholding doctors, withholding Red Cross or Red Crescent visits, withholding basic communication with their families; these choices show what kind of men run Hamas and Hezbollah: They're religious but they're deeply immoral. They're self-righteous but they're profoundly cruel. They're blustery and proud but they're sneaky and manipulative. Decent human beings don't act this way.

Decency doesn't depend on international law or multilateral agreements, nor does it depend on nationality. And I'm not aware that withholding medical care or basic contact with the outside world is a requirement of either Shia or Sunni Islam, or any of the world's great religions.

This kind of brutality and malice is, unfortunately, typical of these organizations, and of their sponsors, Syria and Iran. Syria is thuggish dictatorship which believes its appetite for the Golan Heights legitimizes any crime or any cruelty. Iran's repressive theocracy is both the world's leading supporter of terrorism and its most dangerous proliferation threat.

We cannot compel these parties to release Gilad, Ehud and Eldad any more than we can force them to understand the difference between right and wrong. You can not disgrace someone incapable of shame.

But we can stand by our ally, the State of Israel. We can express our sympathy and our concern for the captives and for their families.

We can let the perpetrators of this barbarism know that we have not forgotten what they have done, and what they are continuing to do. We can bear witness. And we can add our voices to all those saying "Enough. Enough. Let these men go home.