Students Nix Shalit Deal

Students at six of the largest pre-military academies, religious and secular, ask the government not to release terrorists for Gilad Shalit.

Hillel Fendel , | updated: 12:49

Gilad Shalit
Gilad Shalit
Israel news photo

Students at six of the country’s largest pre-military academies – three religious and three not-religious – have asked the government not to release terrorists for Gilad Shalit.

In an open letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak, the students wrote, “The confidence we have in the government is not contingent upon the release of Gilad Shalit in exchange for terrorists.” This was their response to the theme oft-stated by Barak and others, that soldiers need to know when they enlist in the army that the country would do everything possible in order to achieve their release from enemy hands.

The students wrote that “the rising outburst of feelings” in favor of a deal for Shalit is “sometimes that is likely to be a bad advisor… Though this is a painful issue, we believe that a country that loves life must not give in to the worst terrorists and bow before them in response to the brutal emotional blackmail they are using against us."

The students at Bnei David in Eli, the oldest of the pre-military yeshiva academies, took a vote, and only five out of 200 students were against writing the letter.