Last week, Rev. Jesse Jackson arrived in Israel to act as an intermediary to help get abducted hostages back to Israel. Two Israeli hostages are now being held by the Hizbullah terror group in Lebanon, while one Israeli hostage is held by Hamas terrorists in Gaza.
Rev. Jackson arrived in Israel after had he had received assurances from the Hizbullah that their Israeli hostages in Lebanon are alive and well, and asked their families to be patient.
This reporter 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 Hizbullah in October, 2000 speaks for itself: For three years, the Israeli government and the Hizbullah 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 out that all three Israeli hostages had been murdered shortly after their abduction by the Hizbullah.
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 Hizbullah for concrete proof that the two Israeli hostages are indeed alive.
Today, after Rev. Jackson left Lebanon, this reporter reached his spokesman, who was changing planes in Paris, and asked him whether the Hizbullah had provided any proof that the hostages that they were holding in Lebanon were alive. His spokesman answered that the Hizbullah would not provide any proof that their two Israeli hostages are alive.
This reporter has therefore asked Rev. Jackson two further questions:
1. Will he issue a statement to the effect that the Hizbullah will not provide any proof that the two Israeli hostages are alive?
2. Will Rev. Jackson contact the families of the hostages to inform them of such?
Rev. Jackson has not responded. Instead, Rev. Jackson returned empty handed to the US, 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 the Hizbullah and that he had no basis to reassure loved ones of hostages held by the Hizbullah that they are “alive and well”.