(Hanoch Daum-Yediot).Tell me, is it ok to say that the prime minister behaved like a father? Because more than anything else, the moment where Benjamin Netanyahu embraced Gilad Shalit and looked into his eyes reminded me of the moment where the PM hugged his own son, Avner, after the latter won third place in the Bible Quiz.
As opposed to Ehud Barak, who made do with an overly official handshake with Gilad and a few minutes later chose to open his remarks to the media by taking a needless (and undeserved) jab at the media, and as opposed to kind Army Chief Benny Gantz, who fired three short sentences at Gilad like a robot (including the meaningless promise that “everything will be alright,”) Netanyahu was truly there.
The prime minister did not hide behind robotic tendencies or behind a wall of irony. He did not salute Gilad back when the returning soldier saluted. He simply looked at him with deep meaning, like a father proud of his son, and then embraced him.
We must keep the following in mind: The prime minister took a tough decision, which contradicted the views of many members of Netanyahu’s natural camp. Moreover, the PM made the decision during a period where the public pressure to bring Gilad back was at its lowest level since the abduction.
Netanyahu did it because he believed it was the right moment, and there shall be no other. He did it because Hamas compromised. And he did it because in his new version, in his second tenure in office, Netanyahu is a level-headed, pragmatic leader. And yes, he is also fatherly.