The Underlining Message of A Country’s Mission to Regain a Citizen
There is plenty of buzz today, on Facebook, the news and other social media outlets of a brokered agreement between Hamas and the Israeli government to release the 5 year held captive Gilad Shalit. Gilad Shalit was captured 5 years ago by Hamas fighters, during a cross border raid.
International humanitarian organizations have since been trying to access the kidnapped soldier to assess his conditions, at no avail. At the risk of his location being compromised, Hamas has not allowed any organizations (including the International Red Cross) access to him. The only contact he has had to the outside world, was a recorded DVD of him released by Hamas, in exchange for 20 released Palestinian Prisoners by Israel.
CNN reports on October 11, 2011, that Israel has agreed to release 1,000 Palestinian prisoners, including 280 with life sentences, others with long prison sentences for involvement in terrorist attacks, in return for the kidnapped and assumed alive, Israeli soldier. This is definitely a difficult deal that has involved a lot of sacrifice.
For some perspective, here is some information on 2 of the prisoners set to be released: The 1,000 Palestinian prisoner swap includes a woman named Amna Muna. She is serving a life sentence for starting an online love affair with a young Israeli boy, then lured him in the middle of the night to the West Bank where Palestinian militants were waiting for him. He was murdered. Consider another female prisoner set to be released, Ahlam Tamumi. She drove the suicide bomber to his targeted location in 2001; the Sbarro Pizzaria in Jersualem. The scene of one of the most gruesome sites to date, a story that shocked people around the world. She was later captured and convicted of murder with several life sentences. Both of these women are on the release list for Gilad Shalit.
According to Haaretz, other prisoners include:
“Other prisoners being released include the perpetrator of the Bus 405 Tel Aviv-Jerusalem attack in 1989, the terrorist who killed 10 Israelis in Wadi Harmiyeh north of Ramallah in 2002, the terrorist who brought the suicide bomber to the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem in 2001, and several perpetrators of the lynch in Ramallah in October 2000.”
Regardless of your stance on the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, it is hard to deny that the exchange, by its mere numbers is not a fair one, but one with a clear message: Israel values her soldiers, her citizens.
Sit back and think about this–1 young soldier in exchange for 1,000 convicted criminals, some with life sentences for murder. What message does this send to the world? The fact is, that one nation has moved heaven and hell to secure a healthy return of one of their citizens. Does the world recognize the immense sacrifice that a small nation is doing for the safety of one citizen? Probably not. But it’s not a surprise that usually the good, make grand sacrifices without any appreciation for their deed. Gilad’s father will remember the sacrifice his nation made for the release of his son. And so will others who are watching this unfold across the globe.
1000 lives for 1 young man. Grasp the sacrifice. Do the math. See the message.