Israeli youths on the verge of enlisting in the IDF have not been left oblivious to the heated public debate over the ethical dilemmas associated with the Shalit deal, and a majority of them support the deal, which they say affirms Israel's commitment to making sure "every soldier returns home."
The impending prisoner exchange deal will see Israel release 1,027 Palestinian prisoners in exchange for the safe return of Hamas-held IDF soldier Gilad Shalit.
"As a solider-to-be I attribute a great deal of importance to this deal," 18-year-old Itay Cohen told Ynet. "It enhances soldiers' sense of security. They know that no matter what, the State will do whatever it takes to bring them home."
Shalit campaign activists (Photo: Ohad Zwigenberg)
Yuval Kahlon, a high school senior, added that "in cases like these there is not 'right' and 'wrong.' Those who support the deal and those who oppose it are both right – each for their own reasons. Gilad is an IDF solider. We have to know that the State is backing us up."
Shahar, another high school senior, is confident that Israel has the means to deal with any threat the released terrorists may pose. The ethical dilemma aside, "I'm sure all Israelis will have goose-bumps when we finally see Gilad home.
"This is a day of national importance," he said. "This kind of deal only makes us stronger as a nation. It gives us a sense of belonging, that there is someone looking out for us."