Sunday, March 15, 2009

On the horns of a dilemma

It is 994 days that Gilad has been in captivity, the sign says.
In July 2006 he was kidnapped in a cross-border raid by terrorists. They took the young soldier, only 19 then, back into the Hamas-controlled Gaza Strip. He has not been seen since.

I was in Jerusalem today and I saw the protest tent that his parents have been sitting in for the past eight days, just outside Prime Minister Olmert's residence. Noam and Aviva Schalit are quiet good people who have been pushing in a non-theatrical way for all those 994 days to have their son back home. My heart was with them. All my children have served their years of compulsory army service. When you are a soldier's mother, it is like you are mother to all the girls and boys in uniform.
A dozen young people were down the block at a busy intersection, waving posters and jumping up and down and chanting "Rotsim oto babayit!" meaning we want him home. Many passing drivers tooted their horn in support.
But across the street stood a few protesting parents whose children were killed by terrorists. They oppose Israel's freeing of hundreds of terrorists from our prisons, which is what Hamas is demanding in return for Schalit. They bring the chilling statistics that 180 people have been killed by terrorists who had been freed in past prisoner swaps.
Everyone feels that the window of opportunity is closing because our new government will be taking over in a matter of days or weeks. Before Prime Minister Olmert and his ministers leave office, they have to make a decision.
The IDF and the whole country has always prided itself on not leaving wounded soldiers behind on the battlefield.
We are on the horns of a moral dilemma.


Pietro said...

Dina, these are very tangled matters indeed. What I can say is that I agree with your feeling and my heart is with that family.

Jan said...

My heart goes out to his parents. I'd be worried about releasing the prisoners, only because there seems to be no proof that Gilad is still alive. I hope there is proof soon, and that he comes home to his parents.

Meead S. said...

I hope Gilad will be back home very soon. I am only a few months older than Gilad. I pray for him and his parents.

Dina, I would not call all the Palestinian prisoners in Israeli jails 'terrorists'. Do you know how many Palestinian childrens (under age 18) are being arrested and detained by Israel each year? Are those children 'terrorists'?

I wish both sides were enough patient and open-mind to listen to each other, to respect each other and live peacefully with each other.

You know what Dina? I've recently come up with this idea that as long as some Arabs think Israelis are invadors and also some Israelis think Arabs are invadors, this story will continue. "Land Sharing" is probably a solution. If we look back at history, we'll see that both Muslims and Jews lived there for so many years, one after each other. First Jews came with Moses after a long journey from Egypt and lived there for so many years and after Islam, Muslims also came and stayed there after a while. I wish both Muslims and Jews could understand this land-sharing culture.

I pray for all of you. That holy land deserves a better respect by people not to fall even one drop of blood.

Pat - Arkansas said...

I don't know that even Solomon, in all his wisdom, would find such a decision easy to make. What a tragedy, for all concerned.

Pasadena Adjacent said...

Dina where does that expression "on the horns of a dilemma" come from?
So there is absolutely no proof this young man is alive? none?
I wrote you an e-mail..

richies said...

What a dilemma. I'm not sure that even Solomon would have an answer.

An Arkies Musings

ascu75 aka Don said...

Dina we pray for peace for all but it seems far off. I remember the words of a book I once resd "there's a good time coming but we may not live to see it" I just hope AND PRAY WE DO XXX Don

jordaenne said...

that is a beautiful line Dina-

when you are a soldier's mother it is like you are a mother to all boys and girls in uniform.
this is speaking with a blue sky universal mind.

David said...

praying for his safe return soon

i am with skywatch friday

Meead S. said...

Thanks Dina for your comment. I hope you liked it. Can you translate some of those sentences in the photos? I'm curious to know what they are.

Reader Wil said...

Dina, war is sheer hell. Nobody wins, everybody loses and hatred grows. I hope that Gilad will soon return to his parents and that he won't have war traumas, like we all had after WW II.

Robin said...

Either way it is heartbreaking. There is no right here, only lesser wrongs, on all sides.

Bestemor Aud said...

I would indeed comment this issue, but I struggle with my English.
As I have heard, Israel has already set free hundreds of terrorists - without claiming the release of Shalit. It's high time that Israel claims something in return from Hamas! That's my opinion!
Of course it's tragic with the whole situation - there is a war going on. But Israel is not the aggressor!!! Everyone who wants the facts, will see that.
But for a long time, Israel is blamed whatever they do, or whatever others do. That's not fair!
Bless you for giving us so much information from daily life in Israel!

Leanne said...

There is always 2 sides to every situation as a parent my heart goes out to Gilad's parents 994 days is a long time.

Jeannette St.G. said...

I agree with Bestmor Aud that whatever Israel does, or doesn't do, it's their fault - a convenient scapegoat! Not much better than in the time of Joseph. And I wouldn't be surprised that Israel, like Joseph, will at some point in time come out of imprisonment and get the honor/respect that they deserve.