The march in support of Gilad Shalit. Photo posted by Anat Zelichover on Flickr.
A march in solidarity with Gilad Shalit, organized by the captive soldier’s family, arrived last night at its destination: the home of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Our Observers on the ground take the pulse of public opinion.
If the case of Gilad Shalit continues to enflame the passions of the Israeli public, their views are divided over the way in which the negotiations are proceeding. They wonder about both the number and identities of the 1000 Palestinian prisoners that Israel says it will free in exchange for the young soldier, who has been detained in Gaza by Hamas for four years.
Sacha Dratwa is a new media student in Tel Aviv.
I think that what has been put on the negotiating table is beyond belief. To exchange one prisoner for one thousand has never been seen before, and for me that represents an abandonment of our modern, democratic values. Here in Israel, we have all done three years of military service, we have taken risks and battled every day against terrorists. There are tens of thousands of us who believe that the government should not be bending over backwards, but unfortunately, our voice is not being heard in the media. Instead, they support the Gilad Shalit lobby which is prepared to make so many concessions to liberate the soldier."
Simon Katin is an IT programmer in Tel Aviv.
The question is not whether the exchange will take place, but when. For my part, I think that the solution is clear: we know that we have the means to kill the terrorists in Gaza through precise targeting. It is imperative that the future liberated prisoners know that if they are been in an Israeli prison once, they won’t go back in a second time."
Joel Schalit is an Israeli columnist. He currently lives in Berlin.