Opinion: Gilad Shalit’s Negotiator, Gershon Baskin

On October 18 we mark two years from the remarkable day when the world waited with great anticipation to see Gilad Shalit stride from captivity into freedom, back onto Israeli soil and reunited with his family. Earlier this month, Shalit began his first term as a university student at the Interdisciplinary College Herzliya, studying economics and sustainability. Over the past year he has spoken to Jewish communities around the world, thanking them for their support while fundraising for Israel. Shalit has announced through his Facebook page that he has a girlfriend and that he is very happy. But recall for a moment where we were just a few short months before Oct. 18, 2011. On April 17, as the Shalit family was preparing to spend a fifth Passover with Gilad in Hamas captivity, headlines splashed throughout Israeli proclaiming...

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The Shalit Conundrum . . . Or Opportunity

By Leigh Nusbaum When Gilad Shalit was kidnapped more than five years ago, I was almost 17 years old and en route to Israel for the first time. I still remember how the situation deteriorated even further that summer. Now he is free, at home in a country and a world far different than five years before. Personally, I am thrilled that Shalit is coming home alive and at least somewhat well. I also realize that the cost at which he was freed presents both problems and opportunities for Israel and the Palestinians. As for conundrums, Israel has come into conflict with some of its own core values with Shalit’s release. Israel, as well as the IDF, is known for two tenets. One, they never leave a soldier behind. In fact, soldiers in training have to perform the...

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Hezbollah and Israel flags

Israel-Hezbollah Prisoner Swap Follow-Up

Yesterday we provided a general recap of the prisoner swap that occurred between Hezbollah and Israel. Today, we are interested in the responses, not just from high-ranking officials, but from everyday people. We want to hear what you believe (you can leave your comments below). Was the swap a good idea? The Jewish community is swimming in contention. Those in favor of the deal say that Israel did the right thing by allowing the Goldwasser and Regev families the right to closure and proper mourning. One ex-soldier thinks it was the right thing to do as a statement of the government's commitment to its soldiers: "The army that does not take care of its POWs is not worth serving in and the nation that forgets it sons is not worth fighting for." Those against the deal believe that...

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