As I was jogging in central Jerusalem the other day I went past the protest tents near the Prime Minister’s residence in the Rehavia neighborhood. As it was day 1,000 of Gilad Shalit’s captivity by Hamas in Gaza or Egypt, the press scrum around the tent and the Shalit family was intense.
Across the street, a counter-protest of sorts was under way, as well. Who could argue with pulling for freeing Shalit, who has become a cause celebre in Israel? Well, it wasn’t exactly opposition to Shalit, but the price to pay for him: parents of terror attacks by now imprisoned Palestinians were protesting the reported proposals to free hundreds of terrorists in exchange for Gilad.
Last summer, as Israel waited breathlessly for the return of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, Rabbi Donniel Hartman shared his thoughts on what the country must do to redeem its captives:
The country must do whatever it can to bring the children home, dead or alive. This and the future exchange are not only necessary but critically important for our country.
Donniel’s column is as relevant today as it was last summer. Read it again, if you’ve already read it, and engage with it now if you haven’t.