03 August 2014

Rebranding a Kidnapping

7 Av 5774

About "rebranding," Wikipedia says, "[it] is a marketing strategy in which a new name, term, symbol, design, or combination thereof is created for an established brand with the intention of developing a new, differentiated identity in the minds of consumers, investors, and competitors.

Admittedly, it is mind-manipulation in order to create a new reality from the existing one which is viewed as unprofitable.

Well, this is what I see happening with regards to the disappearance of two IDF soldiers who were claimed by Hamas to have been kidnapped, admitted by the government to be missing, and then, suddenly declared "dead" by the IDF Chief Rabbi.


Sgt. Oron Shaul - On July 20th, the thirteenth day of the engagement, at around 11pm when Hamas first announced that it had kidnapped an IDF soldier and the government immediately denied it. Following that announcement, fighting was heavy and the numbers of dead and injured were mounting. It was not until July 22nd that the following report appeared:
Hamas is not wasting any time following its announcement that it is holding IDF Golani Brigade Sgt. Oron Shaul, the seventh soldier who was in the ill fated armored personnel carrier in Gaza that was blown apart. The terrorist organization made a point of being vague, not stating if it is holding a live soldier or his remains.
Hamas spokesman Mushir al-Misri, among the terrorists released in the Gilad Shalit deal announced Israel will have to pay a price for any tidbit of information, even to see a photo of the soldier for a second.
Senior Arab affairs analyst Ehud Ya’ari explains the situation is quite complicated and it is too early to make any real evaluation.
Senior government officials are not commenting as the IDF is undoubtedly studying the situation. It should be clear to all that the IDF is filtering information and clearly for Israel’s security interests as well as Sgt. Shaul, not everything that is known in the case is released to the public. (YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)
That evening YWN reported:
20:02: Sgt. Oron Shaul is listed as “missing” and not “dead” by the IDF for as long as there is no proof that he is no longer among the living.

20:09: Channel 2 News reports Hamas has just released a statement that it is not accepting the proposals on the table for a ceasefire. The terror organization adds that any and all negotiations for Sgt. Oron Shaul will be separate from a ceasefire agreement.
On July 23rd, it was reported..
Hamas claims Oron is their prisoner, not specifying if he is dead or alive. The IDF denies the accuracy of the Hamas claim.
On July 27th...
17:14: Responding to a request from the family, IDF Chief Rabbi Rafi Peretz has arrived at the home of soldier Oron Shaul HY”D accompanied by the nation’s chief pathologist. The family has placed sitting shiva on hold pending an explanation and additional information that led to declaring their son dead instead of missing in action.
19:38: After a two-hour meeting with IDF Chief Rabbi Brigadier-General Rafi Peretz and forensic experts, the family of IDF soldier Sgt. Oron Shaul HY”D has accepted Rav Peretz’s ruling and has begun to sit shiva for their son.
In a report in Israel Hayom, there were two telling statements:
On Monday evening, the head of the IDF's Manpower Directorate, Maj. Gen. Orna Barbivai, visited the Shaul family and told them DNA testing performed at the Abu Kabir Forensic Institute on the Golani soldiers who were killed in the APC incident did not confirm that Shaul was among the casualties.
"This is a strong family that trusts that the IDF and the State of Israel will do everything possible to solve this terrible uncertainty as quickly as possible," ....
2nd-Lt. Hadar Goldin - On August 1st, the afternoon of the 25th day of the engagement, came the first reports of a second soldier kidnapping by Hamas.
13:48: IDF fears a soldier was taken hostage by Hamas chas v’sholom.

14:02: Senior Hamas official Moussa Abu Marzouk confirms from Cairo a kidnapped soldier is in Hamas custody, explaining event took place around 7AM, before ceasefire.
IDF officials report a Hamas suicide bomber emerged from a tunnel near Rafiach and blew himself up near the soldiers, setting the scene to permit grabbing an IDF soldier.
15:50: The White House is calling on Hamas to release the captive Israeli officer.
17:50: Mr. Goldin, the father of captive IDF office Lt. Hadar Goldin announced “We trust in the IDF and are aware the IDF will do everything possible to bring Hadar back safe and sound”.
This is how things stood as we went into Shabbat in Israel. As soon as I read this statement by the father, my heart sank - "We trust in the IDF...."

Apparently, the UN's Ban Ki Moon also issued a call for the soldier's release:
19:16: UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon is demanding the immediate release of captured Israeli soldier Hadar Goldin. ”The secretary-general demands the immediate and unconditional release of the captured soldier,” his spokesman said in a statement.
Later Friday night, President Obama issued a second call to the kidnappers:
23:49: President Obama said that the captured Israeli soldier must be ‘unconditionally released as soon as possible’
Up to possibly 16 hours later, the fact of a kidnapping was unquestioned, even by the US President and UN Secretary General.

When Shabbat ended, I opened to a news site on my computer to see a press conference with the family underway, during which they begged the government and the army, to which the entire family had devoted its life and loyalty, not to abandon their son/brother.

(See Prior to IDF decision to declare Hadar as dead, Goldin family speaks out)

At 11:25 pm, Chief Military Rabbi Brig-Gen. Raffi Peretz, the same one who declared Sgt Oron Shaul "dead," now also declared 2nd-Lt Hadar Goldin "dead."

Ynetnews reported this morning...
...The army said the Chief Military Rabbi considered halacha, medical and other relevant considerations, as well as findings from the battlefield, before making the decision.
The family was told there were enough pathological findings at the scene to declare Hadar's death, and these findings also allow his burial.
Except... What is there to bury? "Pathological findings"? There hasn't even been time to get a reliable DNA result.


This whole affair stinks to high Heavens, from beginning to end.

No doubt, a political decision was taken never again to bargain for a kidnapped soldier and this is how it's being carried out.

Whether it will yet be shown that this charade was undertaken with true intent to safeguard the soldiers or the public is unknown, but it is clear that these kidnappings were  "re-branded." There is no other reasonable explanation.


  1. I was asking myself the same question - if they are basing the declaration on evidence and not an actual body then what are they burying? It reminds me of the incident a few months ago where the family dug up the grave of a soldier and found it was totally empty on the eve of Yom Hazikaron - http://www.israelhayom.com/site/newsletter_article.php?id=17269

  2. Even goldin twin brother said he feels his brother is still alive and not dead.

  3. BDE.
    If they are alive and the IDF declares them dead, hamas can release a small clip showing them alive and forcing a negotiation. Unfortunately, it seems they are dead.

  4. I was also wondering what they were burying.
    This post and the article about the empty grave are chilling.

  5. They may be dead, but we are still obligated to retrieve their bodies for burial.

    And to the anonymous who is submitting long Hebrew comments, I've decided not to post them. I already rejected some in Spanish and it's not fair to those who can't read them. This is an English blog. And I don't have the time to translate comments.

    I will say in response to anyone repeating the NEW story about how Hadar Goldin was perhaps grabbed by the bomber and blown up, that there has not been time to positively identify any remains and that initially, there was an eyewitness report by the platoon's commander saying he saw the terrorists drag the 2nd-Lt into the tunnel and he followed in hot pursuit only to come out into an empty mosque where some of Hadar's belongings were found.

    The story only began to change much, much later, as I've tried to show here.

  6. This just published at YWN:

    14:30: Racheli Gazit, relative and spokesperson for the family of fallen IDF soldier Oron Shaul HY”D. • The family has completed shiva but does not plan to remain silent • We will do what it takes so the IDF brings something that will permit a levaya for him • We embrace the entire IDF and its officers and daven for the speedy recovery of all the wounded. • We will no longer remain silent now that the shiva is over. • The IDF should not leave Gaza prior to recovering the remains of the soldier so a levaya can be held.

  7. But what if one case there really is no body yet a lot of blood, but in the other case, actual crucial body parts that can indeed be buried? I do not have any real information besides a rumour, but I'm sure halacha does have some red line about how many body parts are needed to decided on burying (needed nonetheless) and sitting shiva which is a final status.

  8. Josh - A man blew himself up and in the process killed two soldiers and some of the survivors fired back at the ones fleeing. (These survivors also reported witnessing the abduction of Hadar Goldin.)

    That's a lot of blood and body parts already. The only way to know if any of it belongs to Hadar is by DNA testing, which even if begun at a proper lab with the proper equipment ON THE SPOT, would still need no less than 24 hours and up to several days to process. The only sure way to know for a fact that he is dead without a body, is to find his decapitated head, God forbid! If they did, then it was long after the fact since neither the UN Sec-Gen nor the US Pres were informed of it. They were still calling for his release. BUT, the latest reports claim that he was identified through DNA testing. Go figure. But, even if there were certain identifiable parts, it still might not necessarily result in death. Witness the guys from Iraq qho lost arms and megs in IED explosions.

    What makes it all so suspicious is the speed with which the story changed and that the reported 'facts' don't fit well with reality.

  9. I had the same questions as you, cause when you read the news in english it sounds like there was a body that was taken in a tunnel. However i asked my husband and he says that eytan followed a trace of blood to the tunnel, not really a body. He also mentioned to me that in one funeral they buried only a tooth or teeth. Its pretty hard when you think about this. We should all pray for all these families to find some peace.

  10. Hodaya...

    Netanyahu asks Red Cross to assist in returning bodies of Oron Shaul, Hadar Goldin

    Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu asked The President of the Red Cross International Committee Peter Maurer to assist Israel in returning the bodies of Staff Sgt. Oron Shaul and Second Lieutenant Hadar Goldin.