Tuesday, October 11, 2011
The Return of Gilad Shalit
I want that kid home... tho, kid he is no longer.
As everyone who follows I-P knows, it looks as if there is some possibility that Gilad Shalit will be released sometime over the next few days. I find myself hopeful about this development, but I am not doing cartwheels.
For the moment we just have to hope for the best.
I have no intention of celebrating until I see that kid on the news, hugging his mom. And that is when I will raise my glass for the young soldier. But until that moment comes, I will wait and watch.
Also, I am one of those people who has considerable concern about the shear ratio of prisoners in this swap, as well as the nature of the Palestinians being released from Israeli jails and to just where they are being released. We know that Marwan Barghouti is being considered for release despite the fact that he was tried and convicted on 5 counts of murder.
This gives me pause. Who are the people to be released from the Israeli prisons? What was the nature of their crimes? And where will they be released to? These are all important questions.
Then, of course, some people are saying that this shows that Hamas is moderating itself and, perhaps, can be negotiated with. I think that that is a big mistake and that Israel would be foolish to try to negotiate with a vicious, genocidal Islamist organization like Hamas. We must not legitimize Hamas even as Hamas (and Fatah and their friends on the Left) seek to delegitimize Israel.
Having said the above, however, I remain hopeful.
If Shalit is released than perhaps we can, all of us, begin what will be the long, slow process of letting our guard down as peace begins to establish itself. The Israelis have a reputation as being tough as nails and some people think that part of the reason that there is no peace between Israel and the Arabs is because of Israel's stiff neck.
I think that if we get a series of positive developments, such as this one, then maybe Israelis will begin to feel like they might have a partner for peace.
So, I remain cautiously optimistic. I am actually an optimist by nature. I think that Israel has done remarkable things in a very brief period of time and has done so while under perpetual siege and harassment. Good for them.
Decade by decade, Israel's position in the world continues to improve while her enemies continue to deteriorate.
So? What more can I say?
God Bless Israel and God Bless Gilad Shalit.
Let's pray that he is home soon.