Shalit Release: Israel's Joy Tempered by Memories of an Intifadeh
Israel was happy, very happy. The news of a deal to bring home the kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit arrived with the holiday of Sukkot, a traditionally cheerful weeklong harvest festival made something like effervescent by the news that a young man held captive by Hamas for five years was coming home to his family.
But by the time Shalit actually walked free on Tuesday, so frail he passed out on the helicopter ride home, the elation was tempered by the specific reality of the price Israelis had paid to set him free. The 1,027 Palestinian prisoners to be exchanged for the lone Israeli corporal turned out to include men and women convicted of some of the worst terror attacks in a country still haunted by the memory of the Second Intifadeh.