Freedom is not free

Five years of replaying this moment in your head like a dream, like a fantasy.  Both the father and the son. So much so that when it actually happens, you’re numb.  You don’t realize it’s happening.  Five years of psychological hell.    Both the soldier and the nation.

Five years of a national nightmare are over.  But maybe the nightmares are just beginning. We don’t know. Was it worth it in the long run?  Hard to tell, unless you’re the Prime Minister and you’re finally recovering from the slump of negative press.

I have to admit, at some point last year, I stopped following the news story because I just got tired.  Tired of the stalling efforts, tired of the political in-fighting, just tired in general.  But then every time I saw his dad, exhausted and numb on TV, I would think, what would my parents feel like if I were captured? Or you?

Twenty years of hard effort of raising a decent human being, all swept away so quickly.   And all of that effort is what makes you who you are.  And all of it would be gone, scooped out of you with a melon scooper, until all that’s left is a walking hollow shell of a person. Philip Pullman wrote in The Golden Compass about a fantasy world where people’s souls live outside their bodies in animal form and they can’t be more than a certain distance away or else they experience a tremendous pain.  When people are separated from their daemons they become weaker and possibly die, but eventually they are hardened against the pain and don’t feel feelings the same way.  Maybe he was talking not only about our souls, but about parents and children.

I don’t know enough to say whether it was right politically.

All I can say is that for me as a human, I’m happy that the above picture exists, because no one should have a right to break that bond, not Hamas, not the Israeli government, not anyone in this world.





6 thoughts on “Freedom is not free

  1. I’ve been struggling with how I feel about this whole thing too, but your post speaks to the heart of the matter. It was a tough fight for Gilad’s parents; it was a tough & courageous call for Bibi to make, too. There are no winner here — Gilad is likely to never be psychologically 100% healthy; and Israel stands to have more of its soldiers kidnapped, though the success rate of exchange (5 years & 1000 prisoners) isn’t necessarily solving anything for the Palestinian hardliners.

  2. I’m scared of what will happen next, but I’m giving myself permission to be soooooo happy right now.  I can’t believe he’s home, and I’m so glad that tonight he’ll be able to sleep in his own bed, knowing he’s safe.  Small victories.

  3. Great post! I am struggling with this, too. As a human, I am happy that he is finally home..and thinking that that could have been my baby, I am convinced that PM made the right decision. But when I think about the families, who lost their loved ones at the hands of the Palestinians that were imprisoned, but are now released… my feelings start to change. I think I would feel differently, if it was 1 to 50 people, but 1 to 1000, I just dont know…

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