This minute is priceless. This minute is beyond words that have to do with transactions and their worth. This minute where Gilad will be seen alive and breathing and talking is the very little we must grant the Shalit family, which has been suffering for more than three horrible years.
Gilad Shalit was taken captive during his military service, and so many times our leaders issued statements such as “the State of Israel is doing everything in order to bring him back home.” So many times we heard the mantra “Gilad is the child of all of us.” This videotape is the practical test of these declarations and their validity; this is the time to deliver on the words.
Whether 20 despicable Palestinian women are worth one tape is an irrelevant and needless question. Would 10 terrorists be a more adequate number? Or maybe just five?
Don’t turn Shalit into 2nd Arad
There is no price for a sign of life and no price for letting the parents of a captive soldier see the face of their child and make out what he’s going through. There is no way to return a captive alive to his family and to grant him the life of freedom he deserves without payment, and the payment comes in the framework of a swap that both sides can accept.
The pain of the families who lost their loved ones of the terrorists is terrible and does not abate over the years, but the knowledge that a live soldier is being held in Gaza in horrific conditions of captivity is also terrible and painful and every day that passes without him is unforgivable.
We must not miss out on the opportunity to find out how he is, we must not stop the efforts to secure his release, and we must not let indifference make us forget about him. Mostly, we must not allow the most terrible possibility – turning Gilad Shalit into a second Ron Arad.
“I am waiting for my suffering to end. I hope that you do everything so that I can celebrate Rosh Hashana and Sukkot at home,” Gilad wrote his parents in September 2006 in his first letter from captivity. Even if these words, and the words we will hear in the videotape, were dictated to him by his captors, we must do everything so that he will be home already – a 1,194-day long captivity is way too much.