Gilad Shalit

Freed From Egypt, Ilan Grapel Heads Back To New York

10/24/2011 - 20:00

Dual American-Israeli citizen Ilan Grapel was reunited with his mother in Israel after being freed by Egypt in a prisoner exchange.

Grapel landed in Israel from Egypt Thursday evening and hugged his mother, Irene, a New Yorker, at Ben Gurion Airport outside Tel Aviv. He then met with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who shook Grapel's hand as both men smiled.

The Emperor’s New Clothes: The Tragedy Of The Shalit Deal

10/24/2011 - 20:00
Special To The Jewish Week

The Emperor needed new clothes. His wardrobe was not garnering admirers either on the Left or on the Right.

So his tailors pretended to stitch a stunning outfit that could only be seen by “good citizens”. 

Flashy accessories were added – slick, emotional hype: "This is the last window of opportunity."  "Gilad will be killed if we don't free him immediately." "This is the best deal that Hamas has offered." "The worst offenders will be 'exiled' to distant lands."

Prisoner Of The Paparazzi?

With photographers and curiosity-seekers lying in wait, Shalits trying to adjust to new normal.
10/24/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — A week after Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being held in captivity for more than five years in Gaza, things were getting back to normal at the Shalit family home — sort of.

Gilad Shalit, left, riding a bicycle in his northern Israeli town of Mitzpe Hila accompanied by security. Herzl Shapira/Flash 90

Shalits Trying To Adjust To New Normal

10/24/2011 - 20:00

A week after Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being held in captivity for more than five years in Gaza, things were getting back to normal at the Shalit family home -- sort of.

Back-Channel Broker On Deal Sees ‘Door Opening’ On Talks

As Shalit walks free, intermediary to Hamas sees glimmer of hope despite ‘complexities.’
10/17/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — Gershon Baskin, the American-Israeli who helped broker the release of Gilad Shalit through his back-channel contacts with Hamas, said he hopes to keep that door open for future peace talks.

“I don’t think these issues can be negotiated in public,” he said. “People need to trust each other and not get bogged down for lack of trust.”

Reunited: Gilad and his father Noam Shalit Tuesday after the IDF soldier was freed. getty images

Gilad Shalit: How Do You Measure The Life Of A Man?

10/17/2011 - 20:00
Jewish Week Online Columnist

The title of this piece is, of course, taken from the painful but magnificent song from Jonathan Larson’s RENT titled “Seasons of Love.”  As two of the protagonists are slowly dying from AIDS, their friends struggle to assess the value of their lives, which they know will end far too early.

Rabbi Gerald Skolnik

Israel’s Impossible Choice

10/17/2011 - 20:00

In Israel it is natural for everyone from political leaders to construction workers to elementary school students to become engrossed in the fate of a young soldier taken captive. His name and face are known by all, and he is the object of national prayer.

It is not so natural elsewhere. How many American third graders, or their parents, have ever talked about Bowe Bergdahl, an American soldier held captive by the Taliban since 2009?

Murderers’ Row

Who are the terrorists being freed in the Shalit deal?
10/17/2011 - 20:00

GHIn exchange for Gilad Shalit’s release, Israel is freeing 1,027 Palestinian security prisoners.

The first 477, agreed upon with Hamas, were released Tuesday. Most had been serving life sentences for their roles in attacks against Israelis, and they included the organizers or perpetrators of many of the most infamous terrorist attacks against Israelis over the past several decades.

The remaining 550 will be chosen by Israel and released in two months.

The following are some of the more notorious terrorists being let out of prison as part of the deal:

Palestinian prisoners freed from Israeli jails in the exchange for Gilad Shalit arrive at the Rafah crossing point into Gaza.

Standing By Shalit

From prayers to messages to advocacy, local Jewish activists — including many day school students — maintained a focus on the young Israeli.
10/17/2011 - 20:00
Staff Writer

This time around, maybe the prayers worked.

Just ask the thousands of students in 85 Jewish day schools throughout North America who on Oct. 5 prayed in unison on a video conference for the release of Gilad Shalit — just hours before a secret deal for his release was signed.

“These were prayers for Gilad Shalit — to ask God to do something in heaven above for his release,” said Rabbi Joel Cohn, organizer of the mass prayer service.

Gilad Shalit’s mother, Aviva, holding a quilt made for the family by students at the Solomon Schechter Day School.

As Israel Watches, Gilad Shalit Comes Home

‘I’m very emotional, I haven’t seen people in a long time,’ freed soldier says in interview.
10/17/2011 - 20:00

Jerusalem — It seemed that all of Israel breathed a sigh of relief when Gilad Shalit returned to Israel after being transferred from Hamas captivity in Gaza into Egyptian custody.

After more than five years of campaigning for Shalit’s release, and seeing little of him other than the same images again and again, Israelis were eager for the fresh images of Shalit broadcast Tuesday in the hours after his release.

Gilad Shalit Comes Home
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