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Below is a copy of the Statement I got from the White House, and while I appreciate the words, I can’t help but also ask, “Is this the best we can do?”
United States Mission to the United Nations
Office of Press and Public Diplomacy
799 United Nations Plaza
New York, NY 10017
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USUN PRESS RELEASE #170 September 7, 2011
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Statement by Ambassador Susan E. Rice, U.S. Permanent Representative to the United Nations, on Her Meeting with Noam Shalit, September 7, 2011
I was honored to meet with Noam Shalit today, 1,900 days after his son, Gilad, was taken captive. During this period, Hamas has held Gilad hostage and without access by the International Committee of the Red Cross, in violation of international humanitarian standards and basic decency. I expressed to Mr. Shalit the solidarity of the United States with him and his family, and I reiterated our strongest condemnation of his son’s detention. As I have said repeatedly in the UN Security Council, Hamas must immediately and unconditionally release Gilad Shalit.
For more than 5 years an innocent kidnap victim has suffered, and words are the best we can do? The United States is the most powerful nation in the world, and while I know that the fate of virtually no single person will be at the top of a nation’s priority list, our country needs to do more. Frankly, I believe that Israel does too, but that is a different conversation — one about how standing on principle gets dangerously in the way of saving this kid’s life. But let’s keep this close to home. What more could, and should, the United States be doing to secure the release of Gilad Shalit?