The right to have bread, says the Arab prisoners in Israel – is a human right. They feel that just because Jews don’t eat bread for seven days, substituting it for matzoah, why should they suffer? They forget that they are in prison, convicted of all manner of crimes – from violent acts of murder, attempted murder and more, to stealing all manner of property. Unlike Gilad Shalit, they had their day in court. Unlike Gilad, they have lawyers who represented them, media that covered their story, and families that can visit them.
So these prisoners think it is their right to have bread and in fact, in all Arab prisons, they do. Only in the prisons that are mixed with Jewish and Arab populations are the entire prisoner base served matzoah in place of bread. There are issues in religion of choice and obligation. Muslim prisoners have the choice to eat bread or not on Passover; Jews do not. They will not violate their religious practice if they eat matzoah for a week while our prison, Gilad Shalit, held captive for almost four years now, will violate his religion if not supplied with matzoah.
After reading about the Arab prisoner demands, I thought of Gilad – what of his right – to lawyers, to his family – even to the simple right of fulfilling his religion’s tradition of eating matzoah on Passover. Let the Israeli government answer – until we know that Gilad be able to fulfill his obligation to eat matzoah, don’t talk to us of your “right” to have bread.
And to a much larger sense, Passover and matzoah are symbols of our being free – denying Gilad’s freedom is an international crime. If Arab prisoners, charged, tried and convicted…are entitled to bread, Gilad should be entitled to so much more.
Free Gilad Now!