Imagine not knowing whether your son is dead or alive; when he's had his last meal, if he's ill or whether he's lost his sanity trapped in the hands of terrorists. That's the horrific fate of the parents of Gilad Shalit, the Israeli soldier who will mark his fifth anniversary in captivity on June 25.
A half-decade after he was abducted by Hamas and other groups in a cross-border raid near the Gaza Strip, Noam and Aviva Shalit know practically nothing about his well-being.
Until now, his captors have not permitted visits by the International Committee of the Red Cross. The last indication that he was still alive came in October 2009 when Hamas released a videotape of Shalit, who will be 25 in August, calling on Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to do everything possible to free him.
Indirect negotiations for his release have been on again/off again for years, producing no results so far. A new poll among Israelis suggests two-thirds of the population back a prisoner-exchange deal that would release some 1,000 Palestinian inmates, even those with blood on their hands.
No stone should be left unturned in the quest to free Shalit. The international community should intensify the pressure on Hamas to release him. And Israel should do what it must to bring him home. Not just for his parents, but for the entire Jewish nation who call him son.