What Should I Think Now?

Weeks of screaming Israeli headlines on Shalit's imminent release have quietly faded away. A new immigrant living in Sderot and about to enter the IDF is baffled by it all and turns to you.

Jacob Shrybman

Arutz 7

As an oleh chadash (new immigrant) who came to land of the Jewish people not to escape from persecution or poor conditions but because of deep-rooted beliefs in Zionism,  I have difficulty dealing with the stop-start negotiations over freeing Gilad Shalit.

As a new immigrant whose profile of 97 allows me to do my mandatory army service in a combat unit, and who has lived in the Gaza border city of Sderot for the past year, I really have an enormous problem understanding the stalemate we are in once again.

I have never met Gilad and I do not hold a government position of any kind, but I know that what goes on now is wrong and it pains me to watch it happen.

Why did the discussion during the last few weeks center on how many terrorists we would
Barak is too busy dealing with the “major” problem of disciplining Rabbis and soldiers who do not want to uproot Jews and destroy their homes to deal with those who are trying to do it from over the Gaza fence.
give terrorist organizations for Gilad's return? Why do we let the other side play us for fools? Why does the media give the terrorist organizations the headlines they want? Why isn't the discussion about how we are going to go into wherever Gilad is and retrieve him?

We seem to have entered into the Arabs' shuk (marketplace) of hostage negotiations, but without the necessary savvy. They have already declared a victory that will only empower them to kidnap more soldiers. It is laughable to believe that they care about 400, 1000, 980 or even 5 of their terrorists. They don’t lack for numbers and as they use their own sons and daughters as human shields they clearly don't value the lives of those terrorists.

A 21 day operation inside the Gaza Strip didn't bring Gilad back home, while the recent failed negotiations provided our enemies with the assurance that we will free murderous terrorists for future hostages. What am I supposed to think as someone soon to enter the Israeli Defense Forces? that my homeland won't rescue me and might take over 3 years to trade me only at the cost of future capture of others like me?

It is hard to believe that this cowardly surrender to our enemies will bring anything but more missiles to more cities in Israel.  Who cares? Defense Minister Ehud Barak has accepted the reality of rockets in our lives. The last time he was in Sderot he described the situation as “quiet”.

In reality, over  280  Kassams, mortars and grads have been fired from Gaza since Operation Cast Lead,  apparently an acceptable amount to our elected leaders. He is too busy dealing with the “major” problem of disciplining Rabbis and soldiers who do not want to uproot Jews and destroy their homes to deal with those who are trying to do it from over the Gaza fence.

What am I supposed to think, living in Sderot for the same ideological reasons that  brought me to my homeland and into its army, when I know our government is giving our enemies the opportunity to fire more missiles at me and others like me?

Can we really not get Gilad back with our famous intelligence sources and military might? Has our government already sacrificed him- and others to be- so that they can gain points with all the world’s on-lookers? Does someone want another handout Nobel Peace Prize?

Am I supposed to believe that all this is caused by that scary hot-topic term "settlements?" Sderot, Ashkelon, and Beersheva are all targets of missile attacks that are not considered "settlements" by our administration or the Obama led American administration. Gilad Shalit was born in Nahariya and grew up in Mitzpe Hila, both of which are not "settlements," but part of recognized, northern Israel. How can freezing construction help bring Gilad home, stop the future capture of Israelis, and stop missiles from being fired at Israelis?
I am truly baffled.  As a new immigrant who lives in Sderot and is soon to enter the IDF, I have lots of questions, but no answers. Can anyone help me?