OK

This is only a Preview!

You must Publish this diary to make this visible to the public,
or click 'Edit Diary' to make further changes first.

Posting a Diary Entry

Daily Kos welcomes blog articles from readers, known as diaries. The Intro section to a diary should be about three paragraphs long, and is required. The body section is optional, as is the poll, which can have 1 to 15 choices. Descriptive tags are also required to help others find your diary by subject; please don't use "cute" tags.

When you're ready, scroll down below the tags and click Save & Preview. You can edit your diary after it's published by clicking Edit Diary. Polls cannot be edited once they are published.

If this is your first time creating a Diary since the Ajax upgrade, before you enter any text below, please press Ctrl-F5 and then hold down the Shift Key and press your browser's Reload button to refresh its cache with the new script files.

ATTENTION: READ THE RULES.

  1. One diary daily maximum.
  2. Substantive diaries only. If you don't have at least three solid, original paragraphs, you should probably post a comment in an Open Thread.
  3. No repetitive diaries. Take a moment to ensure your topic hasn't been blogged (you can search for Stories and Diaries that already cover this topic), though fresh original analysis is always welcome.
  4. Use the "Body" textbox if your diary entry is longer than three paragraphs.
  5. Any images in your posts must be hosted by an approved image hosting service (one of: imageshack.us, photobucket.com, flickr.com, smugmug.com, allyoucanupload.com, picturetrail.com, mac.com, webshots.com, editgrid.com).
  6. Copying and pasting entire copyrighted works is prohibited. If you do quote something, keep it brief, always provide a link to the original source, and use the <blockquote> tags to clearly identify the quoted material. Violating this rule is grounds for immediate banning.
  7. Be civil. Do not "call out" other users by name in diary titles. Do not use profanity in diary titles. Don't write diaries whose main purpose is to deliberately inflame.
For the complete list of DailyKos diary guidelines, please click here.

Please begin with an informative title:

Kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit, who has been held by Hamas for three years, is close to being released:

European diplomatic sources said Thursday that kidnapped Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit will be transferred to Egypt in the coming hours or coming days.
Intro

You must enter an Intro for your Diary Entry between 300 and 1150 characters long (that's approximately 50-175 words without any html or formatting markup).

One soldier being returned as part of a prisoner exchange may seem like a token gesture, but the Shalit situation had become such a symbol in Israel proving the evilness of the enemy.

The agreement that was reached between Israel and various Palestinian groups, with the help of the United States, European nations, and Syria, will be dominated by the news of Shalit's transfer to Egypt, but the other deals that were made should not be overshadowed.

Hamas, Fatah, and other Palestinian groups have made an agreement for joint governance of the Gaza Strip that reports to Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.  This would seem to satisfy Abbas' second condition for pursuing peace with Israel:

(2) somehow overcome the huge split in Palestinian governance between his Fatah movement, which controls the West Bank, and Hamas, which rules Gaza and hasn't yet accepted Israel's right to exist.
Israel is also making concessions:
The agreement will include the exchange of prisoners and the opening of crossings between Israel and the Gaza Strip.
The crossings have been an issue since Hamas took control of Gaza, because it has limited or slowed the flow of commerce and humanitarian aid.

There is no doubt in my mind that this deal came to fruition through the talents and ideals of President Barack Obama, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Middle East Envoy George Mitchell.  They have worked tirelessly to renew our country's standing in the Middle East, including resuming true diplomatic relations with Syria.

Now the real work begins.  Whether these symbolic gestures will remain only symbolic will rest on both sides' ability to clamp down on their extremists, the Israeli settlers and the Palestinian militant groups.  A bevy of rocket attacks on Sderot or a settler killing a Palestinian could destroy all the good will that will grow from this deal.

I do believe this, though.  Gilad Shalit was the ultimate symbolic bargaining chip.  He wouldn't have been released had both sides not believed that a lasting peace was within reach.

Let's hope I'm right.

Extended (Optional)

Originally posted to AmbroseBurnside on Thu Jun 25, 2009 at 10:42 AM PDT.

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.