The release of Gilad Shalit
18/10/2011 | 10:05
I write this while watching the live coverage of Gilad Shalit’s return home.
It took me a long while to finally realise that the release of Gilad Shalit is not about security, it is about solidarity.
Unfortunately the release of Gilad Shalit is not about saving lives. Quite the opposite. If past experience is anything to go by, many people will be murdered by the very prisoners released today. No, the release of Gilad Shalit has nothing to do with safety, it is to do with the soul of a society.
It is something difficult to explain, difficult to quantify. Logic doesn’t play a dominant role. We can live with a terrible toll of death on the roads, we cope with wars and terror attacks, but we could not look ourselves in the mirror while Gilad Shalit was held in Gaza.
When a society agrees (polls say 80%) to free over 1000 enemies, 100 of whom have killed before and hope to kill again, in order to free one young man, something extraordinary is being expressed about humanity, and about the place of emotion and empathy in national solidarity.
Looking forward to seeing Gilad home!