Wednesday, October 19, 2011

The day after the release - random Gilad Shalit thoughts

I feel emotionally spent after spending the day yesterday following every minor event related to the release of Gilad. There's a jungle of thoughts running around my head, it's impossible to get them organized.

  • Today is a better day than yesterday. Today, Gilad wakes up in his own bed, and will meet only people he knows and trusts.
  • So many little things he'll need to catch up on. In five years he's missed out on (among others) Facebook, iPhones, last Harry Potter book, Lady Gaga, Chemistry Nobel prize... 
  • We all saw the forced Egyptian TV Interview. It was cruel and sadistic. And yet, it highlighted the stark contrast between Gilad's sweet character and the brutality of his captors.
    I almost retched when I heard the question "You’ve known what it’s like to be in captivity. There are more than 4,000 Palestinian prisoners languishing in Israeli jails, will you now join the campaign for their release?"
    Gilad answered "I’ll be very happy if they are released, but they shouldn't go back to fighting Israel"
    This answer is nothing short of amazing, considering his captors were right behind him with a gun, and he couldn't be sure that his answers wouldn't prevent him from going home.
  • Side note: this was not how it was translated in Arabic or by the BBC. People not listening to the original Hebrew received "I'll be very happy if they are released and go back to their families". Why bother interviewing him if you're going to lie about his answers?
  • Speaking of cruel and sadistic, the interviewer Dragon Lady said she didn't know he was being forced to do the interview.
    Really? Masked Hamas men with guns behind him, and you think it's his free will?
    This looks like it's exactly how Gilad would like to spend his time
  • To all the people who criticize Israel for "disproportionate use of force", where are you now? Why are you not criticizing this deal for its disproportionality?
  • Reading users' comments on any other news site which allows them is an experience equivalent to reading a Kafka novel. On more than one occasion I've read comments talking about "the arrogance of the Israelis, thinking that they're the chosen people, that one Israeli is worth over a thousand Palestinians".
    Really? You guys think that we set the exchange rate? How clueless can you get?
  • To all the people who scream "Apartheid" at Israel, will you continue doing that? You do realize that here we have killers going free just because they're Muslim and their targets were Jews? 
  • Amna Muna, the She-Devil who lured Ofir Rahum to his death, was not nice to other inmates while in prison. In fact, she harassed and terrorized them. So much in fact, that she refused to enter Gaza because she feared retaliation from her victims' families. Instead, she delayed the whole thing and finally got sent to Turkey. May she choke on a Turkish delight. Amen.
  • There were some delays in getting Shalit back due, among other things, to the Egyptian interview. We waited patiently, holding our breath.
    There were some delays in getting the freed prisoners to Beitunia, and finally the transfer route was changed. Of course the Palestinians rioted and threw stones. No one is even surprised because it's so typical.
  • Notice how relieved we all were that Gilad, while extremely pale, traumatized and underfed, is more or less in good condition?
    How come nobody even doubted that the Palestinian terrorists would be?
    Oh right, Israeli Double Standard time.
  • I started crying when I heard the Yas'ur pilot say over his speaker "מביאים את גלעד הביתה" (We are bringing Gilad home).
  • What a dissonance. Gilad, after 5 years in captivity, can still muster enough optimism in him to say that he hopes this will advance peace. The terrorists, after barely a few minutes of freedom, already cried for "the next Gilad Shalit" to be kidnapped. 
  • It's so nice to see Noam and Aviva genuinely smiling. 
  • I can hardly believe the strength of character that Gilad has shown. What a sweet, brave young man.
I'd like to end this post with an apology to Gilad. 
For years we've glimpsed into your life, into your family. We feel like we know you, and now that you're back we act almost like we deserve a piece of you and your life. We don't. Please forgive our curiosity, it all comes from a good place in our hearts, and we want confirmation that now, everything will be all right and you'll be happy. I hope everyone respects your privacy.

ברוך שובך

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