Last week, the Reverand Jesse Jackson arrived in Israel to act as an intermediary in helping to return abducted Israeli hostages to Israel. Two Israeli hostages are now being held by the Hezbollah terror group in Lebanon, while one Israeli hostage is held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Rev. Jackson arrived in Israel after receiving assurances from Hezbollah that the Israeli hostages in Lebanon are alive and well, and he asked their families to be patient.
The Evening Bulletin made a personal call to him at his hotel room, with one question. Since the Red Cross had not even been allowed to visit the Israeli captives, on what basis could he say that they were alive? The saga of three kidnapped Israeli hostages who were abducted by Hezbollah in October, 2000 speaks for itself: For three years, the Israeli government and the Hezbollah and all intermediaries assured the public that all three were alive. Only after pressure was brought to bear on the Red Cross three years later did the public learn that all three Israeli hostages had been murdered shortly after their abduction by Hezbollah.
Rev. Jackson's spokesman called to say that the message had been delivered to him. Rev. Jackson then made a commitment: To return to Lebanon to ask Hezbollah for concrete proof that the two Israeli hostages are indeed alive.
Yesterday, after Rev. Jackson left Lebanon, The Evening Bulletin reached his spokesman and asked him whether Hezbollah had provided any proof that the hostages being held in Lebanon are alive. The answer: Hezbollah would not provide any proof that the two Israeli hostages are alive.
The Evening Bulletin has therefore asked Rev. Jackson two further questions:
1. Will he issue a statement that Hezbollah has refused to provide any proof that the two Israeli hostages are alive?
2. Will Rev. Jackson contact the families of the hostages to inform them of Hezbullah's refusal?
Rev. Jackson has not responded. Instead, Rev. Jackson returned empty handed to the United States, after raising hopes of families who await the return of their loved ones.
The question remains: Will Rev. Jesse Jackson admit that he was misled by Hezbollah and that he had no basis to reassure the families of those hostages that they are "alive and well"?
©The Bulletin 2006