Miki Goldwasser
Photo: Gil Nehushtan
An Israeli day of victory
Op-ed: Gaza Strip will rejoice Tuesday, but make no mistake about it - Palestinians envy us

On Tuesday we shall see decorated stages, flags and joyous masses in Gaza. We shall see many arms raised and many fingers making the victory sign. Gaza shall rejoice, and to my great regret Israel will be affected by these sights.


Dear citizens, think about it: The families of terrorists are happy like we are as we see Gilad Shalit’s return. However, they did not win, and they know it. They were humiliated precisely because so many terrorists were released for only one soldier.


Make no mistake about it. They realize and feel this humiliation. They realize that they are not worth much if they are willing to exchange 1,000 of their own for one Israeli soldier. Do you really think that Gaza residents are not jealous of us, Israelis, for being so united around one soldier? It’s impossible not to envy us. Look at the global reactions – everyone is stunned.


In Israel, the mood of the people tends to fluctuate from one extreme to another. This time around, listen to the voice of reason and do not be deceived by the images from Gaza. The joy there is artificial. With the exception of the celebrating families, I don’t think most other Gaza residents are happy to see the release of thugs and criminals who killed Palestinians and their children mercilessly.


The released prisoners are mostly hooligans who took the liberty to rob and kill even their own people. Do you recall the images of the Gaza wedding where the celebrating family was murdered by a Hamas gang only because it dared to rejoice? I’m certain that Gaza residents are starting to fear what’s to come.


Tough questions answered

Today is our victory day. The day where we decided that our values and our confidence in the righteousness of our way shall guide us. As long as there is no peace, and let us hope it arrives, our sons shall be serving the State with confidence. Mothers will again be able to entrust their children in the hands of worthy commanders.


Teenagers will no longer be asking the defense minister, chief of staff and even themselves: “What will happen if I’m kidnapped or taken captive? Will the State care for me?” The answer is yes. The State is committed and it will care for you.


The State of Israel can boast another achievement. The five-year struggle for bringing back the three abductees gave rise to a generation of youngsters who took a substantive part in the battle and learned the power of togetherness. To our regret, we have seen abductions in the past. However, never before did so many students participate so actively and vigorously in such campaigns. In my view, the success of the youngsters who fought for social justice is a result of all these young people who only a year or two earlier took part in the fight for releasing the abductees and realized that when one unites around just values, one wins.


Miki Goldwasser is the mother of IDF reserve soldier Ehud Goldwasser, abducted and killed by Hezbollah in 2006



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