Today is a historic day for Israel. Gilad Schalit, a kidnapped soldier who has been held in captivity by Hamas terrorists for roughly five years and four months (1,941 days), is coming home to Israel. In exchange for Schalit, 1,027 Palestinian prisoners are being returned to the Gaza Strip, the West Bank and east Jerusalem. The plan is already underway this morning. Schalit has been transferred to Egypt (it's 10:12 am and he was just interviewed by Egyptian state television. He apparently speaks fluent Arabic now.) and his family is waiting to meet him at Israel's Tel Nof Air Force Base in Rehovot, near Tel Aviv, where he will be flown soon. The 1:1,027 swap, as the media has dubbed it, is insane and beautiful at the same time. Israel values human life so much that it is willing to set over 1,000 terrorists free; today, it will set 477 free with the other 550 to follow later. Israel needs every parent whose child willingly or unwillingly enlists in the IDF to know the government will do its best to save him or her. On the other hand, Hamas supporters rallied in the West Bank this morning chanting, "We want another Schalit."
I just pray Schalit reaches Israel and his home, Mitzpe Hila, safely.
Israel is welcoming a less historic, but still exciting Israeli home today... the one, the only: Dafna Nechama Laskin. She is flying at this very moment having dreams of Michael Greilsammer's violin doing the backstroke in a bowl of hummus.