Gilad Is Free
We welcome his return and hope his path to good health and normality is smooth and swift.
‘Any man’s death diminishes me, for I am a part of mankind’ and deaths in terror attacks diminish our soul and the soul of the nation of Israel and the House of Israel. The terrorists being released are a source of deep anguish especially to those who lost loved ones because of their heinous crimes. There is no ‘but’ here. We cannot put ourselves into the shoes of the surviving families to know the depths of their pain and despair. We equally cannot imagine the constant emotional roller coaster that the Shalit family have been and are still on.
We are at the same time very anxious about the way some of those survivors of terror attacks have reacted and behaved with the news of the releases – in the lead up to past exchanges, verbal or physically violent reactions were not common.
We also learn that this deal is one that could have been struck before. In addition since 2009, the Shamgar blueprint is in place for how exchanges could and should be handled, but that was ignored.
Finally if we want to lessen the chances of this terrible story recurring and if we want a different future for the people of Israel and the people of Palestine, we have to recognise that it will necessitate negotiation in which many more prisoners will be released, but that a formal cessation, with the enduring mutually vested interests, will be the pay off. We will remain blighted for generations with terrorists. We are able to neutralise some -not all- of the causes of their terrorism, but only if we want a new future and not the corrosive status quo which is not so gently eating away at the foundations of the state of Israel, its democracy, its laws, its cohesion, bit by bit each day from within.