The Gilad Shalit deal does not make us that righteous

Three days ago Gilad Shalit came home. I think we’re all still collectively rubbing our eyes to make sure it isn’t a dream. Who wasn’t totally shocked to see him walking and in one piece after five years and four months in conditions we all rightfully assumed were very bad? And who can believe that Gilad really is now at his family’s home after celebrating Simchat Torah with them after so many years?

Of course the other thing we can scarcely believe is that this week we decided to equate one lone Jewish life with 1,027 Arab terrorist lives.

When I watch videos of Gilad on Israeli soil, I know we did the right thing, getting him home where he belongs.

But now we’ve gone and become all self-righteous and this, I believe, is not right. Do we really think that the exchange for Gilad proved that we’re a light unto the nations? Did it prove that we truly believe in the sanctity of life? And can we really feel comfortable quoting the Mishna that says that if you save one life, it’s as if you saved an entire world?

Anyone who is merciful to the cruel will end up being cruel to the merciful

Yes, when I see the images of Gilad, finally in real time, I am deeply moved. When I see him reunite with his family and salute the prime minister, I’m so touched. But let’s consider some other typical Israeli scenes. Like those of people being blown to pieces in a pizza shop. A sick man hanging out a window, cheering and being cheered on by the crowds as he shows off his blood-stained hands after lynching a Jew in Ramallah.

We sanctify life? Where is the proof if we allow such a lowly person to live all these years? And worse, we invest in him by allowing him to live off the Jewish state (a state with many needy people). And since we grant him the privilege of life, he gets to dream that some day he’ll be free to lynch another Jew. He basks in his disgusting fame and we let it continue. And now, because he was sitting uselessly in an Israeli jail all these years, the day has indeed come. He’s been released and most definitely is ready for his next attack against Jews.

Now, capital punishment for the worst terrorists against Jews and Israel – that would show that we believe in the sanctity of life.

And what about the fact that 11 of the terrorists were released to East Jerusalem? Jerusalem, as in, the Israeli capital. Inside undisputed borders as far as we’re concerned (supposedly)? There were some great street parties there the day they were releasted, celebrating Israel’s decision to harbour terrorists in our own capital.

One person in another Israeli city was appalled when she had to see a group of Arab workers across the street from her house celebrate the release of one of the murderers. All these celebrations inside Israel. Why do we allow it?!

Yesterday, on October 20, the Israel Police’s official Facebook page had the following update (translated from the Hebrew):

Half an hour ago, a bus of 40 Israeli citizens from different towns arrived at the Hadarim Jail.

The passengers began a protest there, waved Palestinian flags and called for the abduction of more Israeli soldiers in order to ensure the release of all the security prisoners in Israel.

Israeli security forces arrived at the scene and requested of the protesters to clear the area since they were assembling there illegally. After requests by the police a few times, and after the protesters refused to leave, 12 of them who were carrying Palestinian flags and calling for the kidnapping of soldiers, were arrested.

Now the protesters have been removed to the bus and the event is over.

Why does this report only mention that the assembly was illegal? What about the fact they are calling for the kidnapping of soldiers? We allow people to express their obviously traitorous opinions in our country? There should be serious repercussions for people who choose to celebrate terrorism against Israel or support kidnapping of Israeli soldiers. Until that happens, we have not truly proven our belief in the sanctity of life.

Of course this is not to mention other steps that should be taken in order to deter terrorism. For example we should not return the bodies of terrorists to their families. We should bury them ourselves, with pig skin (then there will be a great reason for growing pigs in Israel). And we should seriously consider returning to the policy of demolishing their homes. Again, these actions would prove our belief in the sanctity of life. They play on their ridiculous beliefs, deter future terrorist activity and show our important disrespect for their barbaric ways.

Because really this part of the world is way simpler than many people want to believe. Our neighbours don’t want us to exist and they believe it’s holy work getting rid of us. I think that this is the #1 rule of the region as far as Israel is concerned and all that’s left is for us to compile a set of rules around that.

Of course this is far from pleasant and so we usually complicate things with Western ideas some of which just don’t work with our very un-Western neighbours. They get us in trouble. Like when we worry about killing the (possibly) innocent bystander on our enemy’s side and, worst of all, when we worry what everyone else will think, we’re paralysing ourselves against the evils that face us.

So the same goes for Gilad Shalit. Are we sure there was no other viable way to get him home? Or did we complicate things with worries? I wonder how this ended up being the path chosen and wonder if there weren’t any other options that more truly would have expressed our belief in the sanctity of life. Like cutting off Gaza from Israel until they gave Shalit back and making it clear how much Gaza residents would suffer if Gilad were to be killed, God forbid.

It’s very hard for me to believe that there were no other options that may have been less popular with the international community (and many Israelis), but could have gotten Shalit back earlier and without having to release 1027 terrorists.

Meanwhile, whatever anyone thinks about the deal that was reached with Hamas for Gilad, it’s a relief to welcome him home. I have no idea how Gilad and his family survived such a nightmare and I thank God it’s finally over.

And now it’s time for us to really start proving to ourselves that we’re a light unto the nations by starting to implement serious steps towards deterring terrorism. That way we can know that we are truly cherishing the lives of Israeli citizens and prevent any future Sbarro, Dolphinarium or Park Hotel horrors.

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