A couple of years ago I remember seeing an incredible contrast on YouTube. A very large and very old leatherback sea turtle (which is on the endangered species list) had been caught in a fisherman’s net off the coast of Gaza. The beautiful creature was hauled ashore and surrounded by a large crowd of Gazans. One of the men in the crowd explained to the reporter how the meat of the turtle would feed Gazan children, who were suffering due to the Israeli occupation, and the blood would help cure various ailments. The turtle was dragged behind a truck, flipped on its back and then slaughtered.
Further up the Mediterranean coast in Israel, a much younger and smaller sea turtle had been injured by a boat and lost one of its limbs. The turtle was rescued by some Israelis and then taken to a special turtle sanctuary where it was operated on, nurtured back to health and then released back into the sea.
The contrast couldn’t have been more extreme.
When I heard about the impending exchange of Gilad Shalit for over a thousand Palestinians prisoners, many with “blood on their hands,” I was reminded of those two turtles.
To me those two turtles represented a microcosm of the values of Israel and the Jewish people versus the enemies that surround us.
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