Earlier Friday, Shepard Smith interviewed the father of one of the kidnapped Israeli soldiers. Transcript follows…
Smith Voiceover: It was the end of last month, a young high school student, just out, had made the decision that he was going to go in and join the Israeli army. As most here do. His country needed him, and he was ready and willing for the challenge. Now he’s gone, and has been for the better part of the month. Imagine, your family in that situation. Your family in the middle of a world turmoil, that no one could have ever have even predicted a month ago. Well, that’s the situation for the Shalit family who lives just to the north of us here. Today, there is one reality, to which they firmly claim.
Mr. Shalit: He’s alive.
Smith Voiceover: That is this Father’s prayer. Noam Shalit’s youngest son, Gilad, taken by terrorists. His family devastated.
Mr. Shalit: His mother, my wife, she suffers very much from this period. It’s a nightmare for her . . .
Smith Voiceover: The nightmare began on a sweltering still morning, Gilad Shalit, with three others on a tank crew, running surveillance on the border with Gaza when suddenly a rocket propeller grenade, and explosion, two comrades dead, another and Shalit injured, the young soldier just out of high school captured, dragged away.
Mr. Shalit: Well, I don’t know who to beg. We don’t’ know who keeps him. Who are they? Gangs or militants, or whatever. The Hamas say they have nothing to do with this gang, or they don’t know who keeps him.
Smith: I’m guessing these people have a television set
Mr. Shalit: Yes, that’s what I said. I would like to call them to end this crisis, because there is no use of this many Palestinians suffering, being killed, being injured by them because of these stupid actions.
Smith: You speak Mr. Shalit as a diplomat almost. I wonder if there’s a father in you that wants to jump through and say send me my son home, this is a nightmare beyond belief.
Mr. Shalit: Well, I’m saying whatever it takes to bring him back. I call on the people who keep him — come to some solution. It’s not logic to keep a young boy as hostage and bring so much suffering for many people. For us as a family, and for many other innocent people
Smith Voiceover : Yet suffering envelopes his life and his nation like a blanket. It pollutes young Palestinian boys and girls; it paralyzes his neighbors in Lebanon. At times, suffering is all they have.
Mr. Shalit: We’re trying to survive every hour.
Smith Voiceover: He told the Prime Minister just that when he met with Ehud Olmert in his office in Jerusalem.
Mr. Shalit: We gave him Gilad’s picture, to put on his desk, and he accepted it, and I believe it’s on his desk right now, in front of him.
Smith Voiceover: Olmert offered private assurances that work is in progress to Gilad Shalit. He offered hope and comfort. This father wants but one wish granted,
Mr. Shalit: The only thing I want to do is bring my son back. This is the main ideal. Tomorrow, not in a year or two.
Smith Voiceover: Tomorrow, not in a year or two, bring my son back alive. A plea he’s been making for the better part of a month now. Originally not understanding the power of the television, not willing to come to it, now, almost desperate, in hopes that his son will at some point come home, understanding the misery of the Palestinian people, understanding the misery in his own life. The misery across a region, a fear that it could eventually envelope the entire world.