Appeasement towards an enemy and capitulation to dictates is a humiliating move, and it is especially humiliating when dealing with a terrorist movement that aims to destroy Israel. Yet at the same time, national humiliation can be a relative matter.
Only two weeks ago, all our leaders and experts told us that the Gaza blockade is not only essential for security reasons, it also greatly weakens Hamas. Yet then came the flotilla affair, the government lifted the siege in the face of global pressure, and now our leaders and experts tell us that lifting the siege was a severe punishment for Hamas: Its income source from the taxes imposed on smuggling tunnels had been curbed; meanwhile, its propaganda campaign against Israel was eliminated.
In other words, we won. In the midst of the Vietnam War, Senator George Aiken proposed a dignified way to end the war: “declare victory and get out.” This is apparently what remains to be done in the Shalit affair. Declare victory or bring Gilad back home. There is no other way.