A Daily Analysis
By Marc Schulman
October 18, 2011- Shalit Is Home
The picture below describes the feelings in Israel today. It was a lego fair at the old Tel Aviv Port, in honor of Sukkot.
It was a day in Israel to put behind the questions of whether this was the right decision or not. Veteran reporters could barely hold back their tears when they saw Shalit walk free for the first time. The scenes of Shalit disembarking from the helicopter, saluting Netanyahu and then hugging him, can make even a critic of Netanyahu feel good about him, at least for a day. Yes there was a heavy price paid, but in Israel, at least for the moment, receiving a live and relatively healthy Gilad Shalit back, as opposed to the bodies that were received last time, felt very good. That feeling shared by most Israelis.
Meanwhile, despite the fact the deal no doubt has strengthened Hamas, the Hamas leaders were surprised to find little enthusiasim from the public at the rally they held to celebrate their victory. What effects the Shalit agreement will have on the future is unclear. If you are a pessimist, this was a very dark day. If you are an optimist, this day will pass with out too many negative effects. If you are realist, you can only say that time will tell.