In the International news I see NO mention of the drama which is gripping Israel this week: the expected return of Gilad Shalit (held in captivity by hamas for over 5 years) on Tuesday. For every Israeli, no matter what their political stripe, the hope that Gilad’s parents will soon see their son, and that he will be free, is very sweet indeed. Because we all know (especially those with sons serving in the army), that “There but for the grace of G-d, goes I”.
But unfortunately, this deal is VERY sour as well. Over a thousand terrorists are due to be released from Israeli jails in exchange for Gilad. The pain of their victims’ families is also ours. In addition, the fear—no, the CERTAINTY, that these released animals (apologies to the animal world) will in large part return to terror, the knowledge that this exchange increases the chances of further kidnappings, makes all thoughts of CELEBRATING Gilad’s release too hard.
I would love to CELEBRATE. But I can’t. I do not blame Gilad, nor his parents. Gilad, I pray, will go on and have a happy life, if his captivity has not traumatized him too much for that. But if we as a country hope to go on and have a happy life, the time has come to end this madness of making kidnapping Israelis so valuable. The time has come for a change. We need to stop giving college degrees to the terrorists in our jails, but instead to start giving the death penalty to those who wantonly murder our citizens.
And I ask, why does this human drama not make the news, but Turkey’s talk of reprisals against the soldiers who boarded their ship does? Simple. Israeli captives are not news. The hamas’s ignoring of the Red Cross is not news-worthy. It does not fit in with the Israel-as-evil-occupier script.