I haven’t written much about Gilad Shalit in a long time – mostly because there is very little to tell. Amazingly enough, the Israeli media is honoring its promise to leave Gilad alone and let him heal. That alone is an amazing story. The family slowly releases bits and pieces. Last week a recording of Gilad thanking those who fought to bring him home, telling them that he would always be a prisoner – a prisoner of gratitude.
Before that, we heard that he underwent an operation to remove shrapnel not treated from the time of his kidnapping. He isn’t ready to come out among people in large crowds, but he’s doing well. A few weeks ago, I saw this sign on a bus – there were many of them, all over the country.
It’s message is simple: “Gilad, we are with you for the length of the journey.” Simple but true. I disagree with releasing 1,026 for one. But above all, I am so grateful that the choice was never mine. I did not have to look into Aviva and Noam’s faces and say no. I didn’t have to tell them that the cost was too high, for a son that was priceless to them…and to us.
I fear what will come from the 1,026; and what will come from the dangerous precedent it set. I know that today we released another 550 prisoners – the last of this agreement. I know that among these 550, more than 370 were convicted of attempted murder. It isn’t that they didn’t want to kill Israelis – only that they failed.
But I can’t argue about the wonderful part of this – Gilad is home and yes, we are blessed that we can be with him, and he with us, all the length of the journey we all take into the future.