Achievement in brutality

It’s official – Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier captured by Hamas while on patrol more than five years ago, is going home as a result of prisoner exchange.

One Israeli soldier for 1027 Palestinian Arabs held in Israeli jails.

This is not the first time Israelis are forced to exchange prisoners at exorbitant rates, sometimes even higher than this one and my heart goes out to this long suffering young man and his family.

However painful it is for me to say this, I will say it nevertheless. This exchange is ultimately wrong. It has no other outcome but to invite and encourage other kidnapping attempts. And yet, and yet, Judeo – Christian ethical and moral framework of cognition places lives of individuals beyond the usual parameters of cost-benefit analysis. The Judeo – Christian system of beliefs values individual lives above everything in our universe. Islamist propaganda is correct in one of its aspects – we, brought up on the Judeo-Christian precepts, value and love life. It is not for nothing that during Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year celebration, Jews beg the Almighty to write us, all of humanity, into the Book of Life, and this is not a simple coincidence that the Bible admonishes all of those , who read it – “Choose life!”

I hope that Gilad Shalit will have found peace and contentment with his loved ones, that his dreadful ordeal will be the source of inner strength, empathy and understanding of suffering of others, the source of the personal wisdom and forgiveness. May we all be enriched by this ultimate act of humanity and rejoice with Gilad’s family, friends, the whole of Israel and the whole of humanity.

The head of Hamas called this exchange a “national achievement”. Achievement in what? Hate? Murder? Kidnapping?

I do not wish to make comparisons, because one does not compare incomparables. However, I can not help but to note that the same week Hamas’s “national achievement” was announced, the Nobel Prize committee declared two winners in Chemistry for 2011. Both are Israelis.

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