Al Jazeera has published my first piece, dealing with the Shalit prisoner exchange. I should add that this piece was submitted about two weeks ago so some recent developments aren’t covered there. Though the issues are still very pertinent (especially Israeli military censorship, which is at play here).
There is a hold-up in the final arrangements for this deal that apparently has something to do with Israeli demands for exiling certain freed prisoners. The notion of forcing a released Palestinian prisoner into exile is difficult for Hamas to accept and appears to involve introduction of a new condition by the Israelis (a common Israeli negotiating tactic which often can often serve to derail things). Matters are very tense now as the German mediator has threatened to quit if an agreement is not reached soon. I am hoping that this happens in the coming days or weeks, but who knows?
My good friend Sol Salbe seems to believe there will be a hostage rescue attempt for Shalit before the New Year. I don’t agree, but I wouldn’t put anything past this rightist government.
I want to pre-empt some of the know-nothing comments that I expect from my hasbara trolls. Al Jazeera is accessible in Israel as a cable news offering. If it’s good enough for Israel then it’s good enough for me. There are a number of sites where I would love to be published, which has not happened yet. Unfortunately, I don’t chose where I’m published, editors choose whether to publish my work. I’m delighted that Al Jazeera has done so.