Guardian Letters Editor abets distortion of Gilad Shalit’s comments about Palestinian prisoners

The televised interview with Gilad Shalit by Egyptian Nile News TV presenter Shahira Amin was both abusive and illegal, as it was conducted under duress in violation of the fourth Geneva Convention and without Shalit having been examined by a representative of the Red Cross beforehand.

On the day of the interview, the Guardian’s Chris McGreal thought it appropriate to rely upon the translation of Shalit’s responses by a Hamas apparatchik and rushed to publish the distorted version on the Guardian’s Live Blog.

Despite all that, it seems that the Letters Editor at the Guardian is not up to speed with any of the above and hence found it appropriate to publish a letter on October 28th from one Benedict Birnberg. 

As we noted previously, here’s what Shalit actually said:

“I will be very glad if they [Palestinian prisoners] will be freed but they should not fight Israel anymore, it should be as part of a peace process and there should not be more wars.” [emphasis mine]

Birnberg is of course a Guardian letters page ‘frequent flyer’. He is company secretary for the charity ‘War on Want’ which is infamous for its anti-Israel campaigns. He is also a trustee for the ‘Free Vanunu’ campaign and a supporter of BDS.

It comes as no surprise that Birnberg would attempt to reap political capital by twisting the words uttered by Gilad Shalit in an abusive situation, surrounded by armed and masked Hamas terrorists, and before he gained his freedom.

It is, however, totally inappropriate that the Guardian Letters Editor should be aiding and abetting Birnberg in adding to the abuse by exploiting the deliberately misconstrued words of a prisoner. 

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