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The Schmooze

YouTube Video Mocks Gilad Shalit Campaign

Here in Israel, there are stickers and signs everywhere backing the campaign for a prisoner exchange agreement with Hamas to bring Gilad Shalit home. As the Forward has reported in the past, not everyone is so enamored with the campaign. Critics say that releasing prisoners with blood on their hands will lead to further civilian deaths in Israel, and that a deal will prompt further soldier kidnappings. But it’s a message they have had difficulty expressing.

The issue of Shalit’s freedom has become a very emotive one. Many remember his pained parents, and Israeli mothers and fathers fear, in the back of their minds, that they could be in the Shalit family’s predicament one day, therefore making it difficult to oppose a deal in this case.

Now, however, one anti-exchange activist has found a way to get the message to the masses — through an animated movie. A video posted by a 31-year-old Israel subscribed to YouTube as “chirdap” (nothing more is known of him or her) mocks the Shalit campaign and Israeli public for raising Hamas’ price. Through its characters, the video promotes the arguments against a prisoner exchange. It also takes aim at what “chirdap” sees as the sentimental terms for the public discussion. While past attempts to rally the anti-exchange lobby have attracted small numbers, this has almost 150,000 viewings. The animation is in Hebrew, with English subtitles.

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