Yesterday, I was catching up with my sister and telling her about life here and Gilad Shalit came up. She had no clue who he was other then he was a solider. I asked a few non-Jewish friends of mine if they knew who he was and they had no clue. Now, I am not saying how I feel about the Shalit deal, as an American with only one citizenship I am not sure how much of an opinion I can really have, but what I am saying is when Israel does something "wrong" the entire world knows, when Israel is willing to sit at the table and trade 1,027 terrorists prisoners to bring home one KIDNAPPED solider home no one in the states hears about it.
So who is Gilad Shalit? Gilad Shalit was born in 1986 in Israel. When he finished high school he started his mandatory military service [everyone in Israel minus a few exceptions has state mandated military services.]. On June 25th, 2006 when Gilad was 20 years old, he was kidnapped just one year into his service. He was held somewhere in Gaza where he was not allowed to be visited by the Red Cross. He was held in captivity for 5 years and 4 months.
About a year ago, his parents set up a tent outside the prime ministers house. They sat in this tent every day to remind the government that their son was still missing. Across the street from the tent was a sign that showed the number of days Gilad Shalit had been in captivity for.
On Tuesday October 11th, 2011 it went public that a deal had been signed for the release of Gilad Shalit. Israel agreed to free 1,027 known terrorists for one solider. When I read reports from the US media it made it seem like ‘how bad could these people be if Israel was willing to trade 1,027 of them?” The answer is, bad—but Israel is a country where no one gets left behind. Where every solider should come home, and if they don’t every family should have a body to bury. Israel is a country where people look out for each other in all respects—from the grand scheme of Gilad Shalit, to the cab driver who will drive back to your house if you leave your wallet in their cab (I know a lot of people with stories like that). It’s a country that will trade 1,027 people so that one family can get back to their lives knowing that their son is alive.
So who is Gilad Shalit? He is a solider that finally gets to go home.