Sunday, July 04, 2010

Gilad Shalit

I don't even know where to begin this. Fact is, I really hope this boy sees his parents and home soon. He's been in solitary confinement for over four years, with no contact with the world he left behind on June 25th, 2006. He's probably endured mental hardships none of us will even come close to experiencing. And yet, what I'm seeing on TV with this march demanding his return doesn't sit with me well. Now don't get me wrong, if I was Gilad's father I'd probably be doing the same exact thing. But this still doesn't sit well with me.

Gilad cannot come back at any cost - especially if that price will include jailed terrorists who will continue to be active. If they kill again, are we willing to tell those newly bereaved parents that Gilad's life was worth more than the lives of their loved ones? Pidyun Shovyim is an important issue here, but I feel its importance is lessened in this situation as it increases the desire of our enemies to take hostages. If I was Noam or Aviva Shalit, I wouldn't care about the last paragraph I've written. As a father myself, I respect and understand that is their way is the only way the parents should be thinking. But as an Israeli with no 'family' attachment to Gilad, I cannot allow myself to think that way, or to expect my government to act that way.

As a soldier, I struggle with this 'what if' scenario all the time. I think however that once in uniform, our life becomes 'less important' than that of our civilian population, and hence, we shouldn't endanger it in any way. I'd never want to be in Shalit's position, but I'd rather not be the potential reason civilians die if I was. I'm sure it would be the opposite if I was sitting in the same room as Gilad is now, but this is where I stand without that horrific reality being a part of my decision making process.


gidon said...

As for many people participating on this march and those who talk about it and the non-stop posts on Facebook, it seems to me people are naive about this in a certain manner.
As you mentioned any prisoner released is a future threat to other lives and potential for future kidnapping by terrorists, on the other hand any attempt to free him from his captives will most likely put other lives in danger.
So why do I say naive? Well many of those who comment about the fact that Israel needs to bring Gilad home prefer ignoring any kind of consequences. Ask many of those people; should Israel release prisoners? their reply will be 'no', so ask them this; should Israel risk other soldiers for this manner, some may say yes others again 'no', then the following required question is; is Gilad's life any more important than the soldiers who may very likely be killed in action, and could you face the parents of the fallen? 'no comment'
Any parent (or future parent) and any person who cares for others understands the struggle the Shalit family is going through, they will not give up nor should they and with the help of others.
People are willing to rally, argue, protest and speak out as long as they don't have to face the reality and burden of making the final decision.
I don't think people should stop assisting and supporting the Shalit family but I do believe people should consider matters they protest after considering all consequences.
Any soldier in this country risking his life is aware of the possibility he\she may be in that position and all hope that the saying "no one shall be left behind" will apply to them, on the other hand ask many of them and I do believe you will get the impression that they will see it as part of their duty and pray to be freed one day but not guaranteed at any cost.

Avram said...

Interesting point Gidon.

But as a soldier, wouldn't you prefer we at least 'risk' our lives in an operation to save Gilad? That to me satisifies "Loh mavkirim achim ba'shetach"