I generally try to abstain from writing about political topics but I could not resist this time. Today was one of those days when I felt especially proud of my country and the spirit of the Israeli people. Today was the day of Gilad Shalit’s was release.
When I first found out a few days ago that he is going to be released, I couldn’t believe it. We all grew up with the memory of Ron Arad, the navigator that was captured in the 1980’s, whose body was never recovered and who is presumed to be dead but without confirmation. When Israelis hear the name Ron Arad, the first association is probably “lachofesh nolad” – born to be free. His name is also associated with the constant national anxiety and infinite negotiations with terrorists to find out about his fate. “We would never know for sure” is in the national psych.
I am so happy Gilad will not be the next Ron Arad. His nearly five years in captivity tore the nation apart and I was so happy to see my people getting together as one nation to rejoice over Gilad’s return home. I almost cried when I saw everyone’s posts on Facebook this morning – showing happiness and solidarity and relief of this unbelievable return. It was also incredible, to be reminded about the unique emphasis that the jewish people put over the sanctity of life. Of course, politicians will try to take credit and take advantage of this achievement, but this does not take away from the sense of relief I think we all feel as a nation, knowing that our son is home. I am also amazed by Gilad’s parents who never gave up and kept everyone on top of this issue. They are a major reason why his return became reality. Indeed – a victory of the human spirit.
I hope things only improve from now on.