The Middle East is full of surprises.

Yesterday I heard Israel’s morality vindicated by the strangest source…

“Israel holds her soldiers so dearly beloved that she released 1000 prisoners to get back one hostage, Gilad Shalit. We are seven. Please help us.”

This came as a clinching statement in a plea for help, made to the Egyptian President Morsi.

Seven Egyptian Security personnel (one army recruit, 4 port security officers and 2 members of state security) were abducted near the border town of Rafah by Bedouin last Thursday.

That’s not a big surprise. The Bedouin are known to sometimes take hostages for ransom and have long been at odds with Egyptian police.

A video of the hostages was released. That’s also not surprising.

The hostages identified themselves and then delivered a message from their captors to the President and Minister of Defense, pleading that the government release political prisoners from Sinai and relatives of the abductors. That message wasn’t a surprise. That was the purpose behind the abduction.

The hostages pleaded for swift release saying they couldn’t handle any more torture. That they were not being well treated is, unfortunately, also not a surprise.

Holding up Israel as an example of morality and compassion, requesting that Egypt treat her own as well as Israel treats hers – was a surprise.

It is true. Our soldiers are beloved. They are our family – which is very precious and all too small.

The people of Israel ached for Gilad Shalit during the years of his captivity. When he was released the nation held its collective breath till we saw he was ok – he could walk on his own (but he’s so thin!), he talked sense (he didn’t lose his mind during captivity), his parents hugged him (he’s home!). We sacrificed future safety, releasing over a thousand terrorists, to bring one child of Israel back home. The attacks that would come in the future by these same terrorists (and those motivated by their easy release) were in the balance with a known soldier who could not be left behind.

It is rare for our Arab and Moslem neighbors to uphold our morality as example of how they wish their leadership would treat them. At least not publicly.

It is not politically correct to say so however the truth is that in the Middle East (and now across the globe) there are two warring cultures. One holds life precious; the other holds victory as precious – at all costs.

Which side is your country on? After Benghazi, even America is no longer certain…

I am thankful that I belong to the nation of Israel.
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*I have not seen coverage of this statement from the hostages in any of the articles about this event. It did appear in the video released however, after the media picked it up, the video was taken off the web due to “violent content”.