One Thousand, Four Hundred Days

In the last one thousand, four hundred days…

  • We sold our house and
  • We moved to a new house, that we bought.
  • My oldest daughter got engaged and married, celebrated her first, her second, and her third wedding anniversary.
  • My oldest son entered the army, finished basic training, advanced training, a commander’s course.
  • He served in several combat locations and went to war against terrorists who were firing hundreds of rockets into our cities.
  • He finished his national service, returned his weapon and uniform and came back home.
  • My second son finished high school, did a year and a half of pre-military learning, and just entered the army.
  • My third son finished elementary school, entered junior high school and celebrated his bar mitzvah.
  • My youngest child left her baby years firmly behind and has watched her sister marry, one brother and then another and another enter the army.
  • My husband and I have celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary (our 23rd and 24th and 26th).
  • We expanded our business to include new services, new clients, new employees.
  • We opened a publishing house and began publishing several books.
  • We bought a car, sold a car, bought another car and another.
  • Our oldest dog passed away…and we got another.
  • We got new chairs for our dining room set.
  • We painted our house.
  • We celebrated our national holidays, mourned on other days.
  • We hiked in the north, traveled far to the south.
  • We swam in the Mediterranean Sea, the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and several rivers and streams.
  • My brother came to visit twice, my brother-in-law and sister-in-law came three times.
  • Many of my friends married off children, several became grandparents.
  • Our oldest adopted son got married and had a baby girl; our younger adopted son joined the army and now serves with our middle son.
  • We changed cellular phone carriers…and will likely change again soon.
  • My sons have gotten stronger and taller; my parents have gotten just a bit more frail.
  • We bought a new oven and a new microwave; a new refrigerator for our offices.
  • I got two new laptops; my husband got another; two of my sons as well.
  • I wrote over 522 blog posts about being a soldier’s mother and…

During that time, Gilad Shalit has been held captive by Hamas. For each of those days, I have told my children that I love them, I’ve held them, worried over them, cried for them, prayed for them…and in all that time, Aviva Shalit has cried, worried, prayed and loved…but not once has she been able to tell Gilad that she loves him, not once has she held him.

One thousand, four hundred days…beyond an eternity of suffering. It’s time for Gilad to come home. It’s time for Israel to act in Gilad’s interest. If Gilad is denied even the basics of human rights – we have the right to limit what we give to those who hold him.

No Palestinians are owed medical and humanitarian aid from Israel – let their own brothers see to their needs. Let their wounded, their sick and diseased go to Jordan or Egypt.

No Palestinians are owed the opportunity to earn advanced degrees while they sit in jail; they are not owed television, radio and newspapers.

No Palestinians are owed personal visits from their families – they must be allowed visits by the Red Cross to confirm their medical conditions…but we do not owe more than that.

What we must give according to international law, should be given…no more, no less.

For one thousand, four hundred days, Gilad has gotten less. At some point, the shame of what was being done crossed on to our leaders…the shame is now ours if we let this go on any further.

The US wants us to talk to the Palestinians. Netanyahu must answer Obama now – NO. No, we will not talk with people who hold Gilad. No, we will not give you more concessions and bend to your pressure. When did you last do anything, President Obama, for Gilad Shalit? When did you demand this boy who has grown into a man be given his freedom?

Before you speak to our leaders, President Obama – go to Gaza and speak to Gilad. Tell him that we have not forgotten him…that we will not negotiate…until Gilad comes home.

One thousand, four hundred days.



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