A Dream Come True, At A Terrible Price

A Dream Come True, At A Terrible Price

There will be endless debates about whether it's right, or smart, to exchange more than 1,000 people who want to destroy Israel for the life of one Israeli soldier. Let those debates go on, once Gilad Shalit is home. Those of us who had no say in the painful decision should, God willing, enjoy the spectacle of this long-suffering pawn finally reuniting with his family and, at 25, trying to regain his life, as we have been praying for him to do for more than five years.

In addition to the ethical questions, there are also tough political ones: Could the deal on the table now have been reached any time over the last five years? If so, did Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu finally swallow it now only to weaken his Palestinian Fatah counterpart, Mahmoud Abbas, as he pushes his unilateral statehood bid? If so, Israel isn't only playing with fire by releasing potential murderers back into the wild and inviting more kidnappings, but also flirting with disaster by empowering the already popular Hamas with enhanced deal-making ability, and the aura of prisoner liberators.

One theory is that Israel sealed the deal to hand the Egyptian military rulers a much-needed political and public relations triumph and improve their ties. Another is that Netanyahu was concerned about Abbas' efforts to declare Palestinian inmates international prisoners of war.

The debates and analysis will continue into history, but now is the time to enjoy a holiday enhanced by answered prayers, and save the worrying for later.

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