The Euphoria Prevails – Shalit Day Dominates Israeli & International News


Undoubtedly, Jews around the world are pleased, happy perhaps, over the return home of Sgt. First Class Gilad Shalit, who only a number of hours ago had his first taste of freedom in over five years and four months, held by Hamas terrorists, presumably in Gaza.

The release of the lone soldier by Hamas has made international news, with UN Secretary-General releasing his benign pathetic message, signaling he hopes the act advances peace-making efforts in the region. Hamas on the other hand vows to continue striking out against Israel until every last terrorist is set free from Israeli prisons.

Gilad Shalit and his parents, Noam and Aviva, arrived home in Mitzpei Hila moments ago. Hundreds of well-wishers, many waving Israeli flags, lined the roadway into the community, interspersed with police and other security personnel. The vehicular convoy made its way up the approach road and the community spontaneously began singing, seeking a way to express their joy over seeing their neighbor Gilad return home, a regular soldier who has become a symbol for so many. For the Shalit family and the Mitzpei Hila community, the joy is real, undiluted, personal, but collectively, for the State of Israel and the Jewish People, the joy may be short lived.

News analysts pointed out earlier in the day that the fact officials had Shalit wear an IDF uniform was most symbolic, showing the world that Israel does not leave a soldier abandoned in the field, brining him home at all costs.

In this case, the cost was extremely high, too high according to many. To the credit of the mainstream Israeli media, the dancing and celebrating taking place in Gaza, PA (Palestinian Authority) autonomous areas, Nachal I’ron (Israeli Arab citizens), eastern Jerusalem (Israeli Arab citizens) and other areas was not given coverage, seeking to minimize the bitter pain, the pain that words cannot describe, the pain being endured by the thousands of bereaved family members and victims of terror around the country, the pain felt 24 hours a day seven days a week, the pain some refer to as the Oslo Peace Plan pain, referring to that horrific agreement signed ceremoniously on the White House lawn on September 13, 1993, the very same plan that resulted signaled Nobel Peace Prize decision makers to grant the prize to Bill Clinton, Shimon Peres, Yitzchak Rabin and Yasser Arafat.

There is also the reality that will linger long after today’s celebrations end, the fear of the imminent attacks, of Hamas making good on its threats to abduct more soldiers, vowing to empty the Israeli jails, to free all prisoners from Israeli incarceration. For Hamas, there is no recognition of the Jewish state, no concessions, no gestures of peace, no good-will, just a tenacious struggle to actualize its goal, the removal of the State of Israel from the regional map.

For today, Shalit remains a hero. There is no more talk over the fact that he and his fellow soldiers were fast asleep on that fateful day over five years ago, permitting the Hamas terrorists to abduct him. A fellow soldier was wounded and two were killed in the cross-border attack at Kerem Shalom, but this is no longer relevant. Shalit has paid a heavy price, one that has led to a chain of events, including a major IDF anti-terror offensive, and of course today’s release of 1,027 terrorists.

Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak enjoyed their photo op today, making good on their promise to bring the soldier home, but they will also have to explain the price being paid if chas v’sholom the terrorists make good on their word to continue striking out against residents of Israel as opportunity presents itself.

(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)


  1. i guess i am of the lonely wolves, (i know though that i am not alone) that although obviously i am happy he came home and we must feel the past pain of his parents and him and their happiness now, but still i feel the price paid is way too high!!!!!

    if till now the governemnt always said there is no negotiations over ‘blood’ terrorists, so what changed now??? why were they let out????.

    sadly this only serves as an incentive to those blood thirsty terrorists ym”s to do this again.

    sadly i feel they should NOT have paid this price, because so long as they see that Israel has a red line that will not be crossed then they will know they have limitations.

    as things stand now Israel is a puppet in the hands of Hamas who are controlling and deciding middle east politics.

    sad whichever way we look at it.

  2. #1 You are happy, BUT???? You are selfish and heartless, BUT if you have some extra family members you don’t care for, I will be happy to transport them to Gaza for you to try and undo this terrible deal. Please have a good Yomtov and think about it some more and then please I beg you – move out of brooklyn fassssst. Your brain is being held hostage there. Now, that is what is truly sad.