When I was a young man, I took the “Queen’s shilling”, donned the khaki and there was me, “Nelly the elephant packed her trunk and said goodbye to the circus, off she went, trumpty, trump …. The head of the herd was calling far, far away …. They met one night by the silver light on the road to Mandalay.” Never quite made it to Mandalay but I did get myself to the BAOR (British Army of the Rhine) and that was, indeed, a bore. Of course, it was not long before I realised, in those days before PC, that this was just not politically correct. Escapism is fine and might be applauded if it had have meant me going down to Marrakesh with the warm wind blowing in my hair. However, here was me with almost no hair and carrying a 7.62 mm SLR, a lethal bloody weapon. No, I did the only thing a young man with any intelligence and morals can do; I got a “services no longer required’. In other words I worked hard at convincing the British Army that, come a crisis, I would be more of a threat to them than the enemy.
Now, that is why I have no sympathy for Gilad Shalid. This is a young guy who also has a French passport, who could have remained in France and have done what any other normal young Frenchman does. However, not our Gilad; Gilad, you see, is a Zionist and he wanted to fight the Zionist cause and so he donned the uniform of an army that has just killed innocents and believe me if Gilad had have been around to kill, he would have been killing too. Moreover, even if this was just some innocent nice young chap who had been kidnapped, I would still have to put it into some perspective. Of course, I would be upset for him, of course, I would hope that he would be released. Nevertheless, I would still be a little more concerned about the little children who are being slaughtered in Palestine, I would still be a little more concerned about the wholescale massacres that are an everyday occurance in Africa south of the Sahara and, indeed, elsewhere. Of course, Gilad, as I have already stated, is not some innocent who has been kidnapped and for me the only reason why he should be released is quite simple and it is stated in ‘Haaretz” today, “….any deal would include the release of women and children, as well as a number of Palestinian lawmakers and ministers.”(1) Now could anyone please tell me, why Palestinian women and children, lawmakers and ministers, are rotting in Israeli jails?
Perhaps, I can take this opportunity to thank those young Israelis who are worthy of my sympathy; namely those young Israeli Jews who refuse to fight for the Zionist war machine and Gilad, it will be nice to see you reunited with your family, because that will mean that hundreds of Palestinians will be reunited with theirs. Perhaps, when you get home, you will waken up the same way I did some thirty five years ago.