In a short session with ISL correspondent, Benji Cohen, much-maligned Defense Minister, Amir Peretz, described the months-long operation as intensely dangerous and complicated, involving dozens of agents, double agents , and double-double agents, all of whom were tasked with the mission of going door to door throughout the whole city of Gaza until they found someone who knew where the kidnapped soldier was held.
"After we found that out, the rest was easy" said Peretz as he relaxed in his office "we cased the house for weeks until we were certain of the timings and patterns of his captors, and then we sent in our best man to do the job – he walked up to the window of Shalit's room, nonchalantly flicked the piece of paper, and coolly walked away."
"I can see Shalit now, reading the note" continued Peretz "And reveling in the sure knowledge that we still care about him, and that we are doing everything we can to ensure his quick return home".
ISL: Can you tell the public what was in the note? Did you give him instructions on his escape? What hope did you give him and how soon do you think we'll be able to bring him back home? In fact, if you knew where he was held, why didn't you send in Israeli Special Forces and got him back?
Peretz: As one of our prophets famously said, "The last shall be first". So the answer to the last question is that freeing Shalit in such a violent manner would simply be counter-productive. If our history has taught us anything it is that violence achieves nothing except more violence, and of course all we want is to end this circle of violence, so we must not, under any circumstances, engage in violence. Besides, can you imagine what such an operation, if successful, would do to the esteem of his captors? How would you feel if you kidnapped a soldier and had him taken away from you by force? Can you imagine the disappointment, the feeling of failure, the anguish? Who knows what they would do, how many innocent Israeli civilians they would murder as a result of such a trauma, and who would we have to blame except ourselves? No, no, violence will never do my friend.
ISL: Even if we could have had Shalit back by now, safe at home with his family?
Peretz: Even so. After all, one mans happiness cannot be held hostage to the fate of the whole peace process, which is, actually, the fate of our nation.
ISL: I see. So, can you tell us what was in the note?
Peretz: Absolutely. Actually, it was a short note, with a concise message of hope from the Israeli government to our beloved, brave soldier. Our experts in Psy-Ops thought long and hard about this until we came up with the perfect wording, something short and precise that represents what this administration is all about, something all the ministers, and perhaps all Israelis, including Shalit, can identify with, and even use in their daily lives. Care to take a guess?
ISL: I don't now, maybe something from the Sages, or a quote from the Bible. I have no idea. In fact, I don't even see the point of such a note.
Peretz: Exactly! You're too tense, and caught up in the moment. You're thinking about soldiers and guns, and death, when all you really need are just four, ingenious words: "Don't Worry- Be Happy"
ISL: That's it?That's the message?
Peretz: Great, isn't it? Of course it sounds a lot better after a joint. Would you care to join me? (starts to roll himself a reefer).
ISL: (sighing) Oh, well. I guess if you can't beat them, you might as well join them.