• Linda Olmert

    As a former Canadian who made aliyah 37 years ago, and since sent 3
    children through the IDF, I was so glad to read this article, which by
    quoting the Tribune, accurately reflected the complex and painful debate
    across the board in Israel till the day of Corporal Gilad Shalit’s
    release, and afterward as well. I was moved by the humble recognition
    that the dilemma’s of an IDF soldier are something that as Canadian
    Jews you can not understand, and do not presume to judge.

    I do not
    believe however that the phrase “solidly behind the release” is
    accurate. Quite the opposite, what I am most proud of as an Israeli was
    the deep and mainly open debate of values regarding the pros and cons of
    the exchange. In the end, only with heavy hearts did we chose the
    message of ‘no soldier left behind’ that his exchange would send to
    future generations of IDF
    soldiers, even while knowing that we were also
    clearly sending the terrorists the dangerous message that kidnapping our
    soldiers is a old mine.

    There is an old joke that says when you
    have 2 Jews, you have 3 opinions. Around this issue, almost every 1
    Israeli had 2 opinions. To this day to the best of my knowledge, Shalit has
    no speaking engagements and is not sought out in Israel. His father,
    who made a much publicized bid a year ago to leverage his fame into a
    Knesset seat, was not successful.

    Taken together, the CJN and the
    Tribune reflect the complexity of the issue that Israelis feel:
    satisfaction that Corporal Shalit is home. However, beyond the value
    expressed in releasing him, does he himself reflect values that we want
    to instill in our children?