The NYTM story exploring Israel's value on the freedom of Gilad Shalit is amazing, but before saying anything further on it -- wow, this passage.
If Jibril served as the inspiration for terrorist organizations, on the Israeli side it was Miriam Grof, the mother of one of Jibril’s Israeli captives, Yosef Grof, who became the model for the families of abductees. Without any experience in dealing with the media, Grof instinctively created strategies that have been used repeatedly by relatives of Israeli P.O.W.’s and M.I.A.’s. She grasped that public pressure on the government is a result of being aggressive and proactive: you make demands, not requests; you focus on what is important to you, not on the good of the country. One former high-ranking member of the I.D.F. recalled her saying that half the country could go up in smoke, just as long as her Yosef came home safe.
Eitan Haber, a respected military correspondent who later became a senior aide to Rabin, told me: “It is difficult to explain, but only someone who met that woman could understand how she filled everyone with a deep, blood-boiling, paralyzing sense of shame. We are speaking about three very tough men [Rabin, Peres and Yitzhak Shamir, the foreign minister] who had no problems saying no, but simply could not stand up to Mrs. Grof. What tipped the scales was not her tears or screaming or her teeth-grinding — all of which I remember clearly — it was the whole package. There was something menacing about her that threatened that the world was coming to an end. Her aggressiveness was not of this world. She broke them all down.”
I am certain every Jew who read this piece has a clear mental image of the Mrs. Grof in his or her own life.