You are right and wrong: as an American, my Israeli friends had to explain the 'Shalit phenomenon' and guaranteed return to me. However, the US also had mandatory draft not so long ago--no one went after John McCain nor any other soldiers caught by Viet Cong and left in prisons. They were no less our 'children', but there is a different set of beliefs because US wars were fought on foreign soil(among other things). Israel has a different history and fights 'at home', and so promises parents/soldiers that no one will ever be abandoned. Given time/change, there is need for Israel to re-evaluate its contract with Israelis...can this promise be kept? Will it?
Pakistan air strikes against Taliban kill at least 25 (Reuters)
from the article: MESS Report / Understanding Israel's national obsession with Shalit