Is Gilad Shalit Really Coming Home?

I don’t know whether to believe it. Many news outlets are now reporting that Israel has struck a deal with Hamas and in exchange for a lot of Palestinian prisoners (1027) Israel is getting back Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier captured in June of 2006 and held in Gaza since then.

I have an uneven relationship with the Shalit situation. I’m not one of those people who used his picture as my facebook profile picture, or constantly tweeted how many days he had been gone. I mostly have felt strange and angry about how his capture led to him being a pawn in an enormous game of national chess. How strange it must be to be him, most likely cut off from all current events, until suddenly he will be thrust into the limelight. And how awful for his family, the years of protracted waiting and worrying.

I will admit, though I don’t feel super invested in the Shalit situation, I cried when I first saw the video that proved he was alive in 2009. And today, I feel a surge of joy in the knowledge that he will (hopefully) be soon returning home to his family.

I find myself thinking, “So, I guess Israel does negotiate with terrorists.” And then I think…isn’t that good?

This is a good thing, this mediated settlement between two groups. Many people get to go home, and I’m happy for them, on both sides. But somehow, it all makes me so sad. How did we get here? Why did it take so long?

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