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An Anonymous Backpacker Turned Israeli Hero

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A new Gilad Shalit has been born: Naama Issachar. An unlucky Israeli backpacker, who was found in possession of a drug that made her the victim of an international plot. She has become our latest national heroine.

A moment ago nobody would have cared what happened to her, although she has been rotting in a Russian jail for a few months; in a moment from now, when the media loses interest and moves on to the next hero, she’ll be forgotten.

Meanwhile she is our girl, she belongs to all of us. “Fingers crossed for Naama,” “the army of Naama’s friends,” “the war room for Naama,” Naama is exhausted, Naama is weeping, Naama is dreaming, Naama hopes, all Naama all the time. The president and the prime minister are vying to see who cares about her most. The rally for her release is already being organized.

Supposedly moving and heartwarming. Solidarity, brotherhood, all for one. It’s hard to think of another country where an anonymous backpacker who was punished more than she deserved turns into such a national hero, without even being a prisoner of war in an enemy country.........

© Haaretz