A friend drew my attention to the extraordinary fact that the ‘UK in Israel‘ Facebook page (the British Embassy in Israel’s official page) had adopted the captured Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit as their current political mascot (see the upper left and corner of the Facebook page above). Saturday 25 June marked the fifth anniversary of his capture and he has since been held by Hamas in the besieged Gaza strip. Before noting this, I had got into a fruitless discussion on the Palestinian academic and cultural boycott of Israel with an administrator of the page:
Eleanor – We should also add that the British government does not in any way support boycotts of Israel – particularly not in the fields of academia or cultural relations. In fact, we believe that boycotts are counter-productive and do not help in any way to get the sides back to the negotiating table.
To my knowledge this public expression of solidarity with Shalit has not been ‘balanced’ with similar efforts on the part of the thousands of Palestinian political prisoners in Israeli jails.