Tuesday, October 18, 2011

SheHeheyanu

It appears that Gilad Shalit is now in Egyptian hands, which means that his years of captivity are finally over. There is a blessing in Hebrew that is appropriate here: SheHeheyanu.  Just remember that only a few decades ago 'in Egyptian hands' was not exactly a synonym for 'safe' or 'free' if you happened to be an Israeli. But neither let us forget that at least two Israelis are still in Egyptian hands, in a less positive sense of that phrase. One of them is a Bedouin man whom we have hardly heard about since he was imprisoned on espionage charges more than ten years ago. I must honestly admit that only yesterday I heard about his case. Yossi Melman, of Haaretz, is one of the few journalists who has written about him. His name is Ouda Tarabin. As Mr Melman wrote two years ago, if only that poor man's name had been Ido Tamir. Let's hope that both Ouda Tarabin and Ilan Grapel will somehow benefit from the Gilad Shalit circus, and that both men will be back in Israel soon. Amen.

2 comments:

Shtrudel said...

As I mentioned earlier, while I remain concerned for the security of Israel and its people I'm happy for Gilad Shalit and his family.

Having said that, I'm VERY nauseated by the media circus in Israel about his return. The same media who can't even be bothered to learn how to pronounce the name of the Dutch-Israeli family (Schijveschuurder) which lost 5 members in the Sbarro restaurant bombing who now have to see those responsible becoming free people...

Yes, the living have precedence over the dead but let us not forget that this is also a very sad day for thousands of Israelis who have lost their dear ones and/or who continue to struggle with their own wounds... Physical and otherwise...

Gilad Shalit is NOT a returning hero... The media circus around his return is misplaced and very distasteful!...

Bert said...

I wouldn't call it distasteful, but it is here and there exaggerated and misplaced. On the other hand, there is an enormous sense of relief. Because of the wonderful PR-work of the family and their supporters most Israelis have come to see Gilad as their own son, brother, friend, without ever having met him. Something similar, under different circumstances and in much shorter period, happened with the parents of Nachshon Wachsman, the soldier who was kidnapped by Hamas and murdered by his kidnappers during an Israeli military operation aimed at liberating him. Almost all of us have been in the army (I am a first sergeant (ret.) :-)), and we all have or know kids who serve right now. And for the media it is easy to identify with that, and to refer to those feelings. And I also think that most journalists are genuinely happy to see that a family that has been the focus of their work for more than five years is finally reunited with its (grand)son, brother, etc.