'World' is to Blame for Shalit, Says Rav Lau

Rav Yisrael Lau, Rabbi of Tel Aviv, says international bodies and governments host Hamas despite Shalit.

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Gil Ronen, | updated: 18:33

Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau
Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau
Israel news photo: Flash 90


Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Tel Aviv, said Monday that the world community, the United Nations and the International Red Cross are to blame for the situation of Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit. 
Speaking on Kol Chai Radio, the rabbi said: "When those who hold Gilad Shalit against all the Geneva Covenants and all the other human rights law walk freely and even appear at the halls of presidents, kings and prime ministers [of countries that are members of] the United Nations - how can you call them united when you see something like this?"
"I think they head the list of the guilty parties and they are the ones at whom the arrows [of blame] should be aimed, because I do not doubt that the government of Israel and those who are in charge of the security branches are doing what they can to free the young man."
Rav Lau said that he met Sunday with the head of the International Committee of the Red Cross in Israel, Juan-Pedro Schaerer, who is in charge of contacts with Hamas. He gave Schaerer a package with a Passover Haggadah, grape juice and matzot, in the hopes he could pass the package on to Shalit.
Regarding the probability that the package would reach Shalit, Rav Lau said that the storm that has recently been sweeping through the Arab world "could be something negative that brings about positive things." It could, he speculated, cause the Arabs "to want to put on a nice face for the world to see," and this in turn could cause them to let him receive something or let him write to his family.