Former captive IDF soldier Gilad Schalit on Thursday joined the petition calling on President Shimon Peres to increase pressure on the US to release imprisoned Israeli agent Jonathan Pollard. Gilad's parents Noam and Aviva Schalit also signed the petition.
So far nearly 30,000 people have signed the petition, demanding that Peres act on the issue, before receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from US President Barack Obama in the summer.
The president's office said they were working hand in hand with the campaign for Pollard's release and that Peres intends do his utmost to bring about the release of Pollard.
"As president, I see it as very important to work determinedly to bring about Jonathan Pollard's release," Peres said a week earlier.
"We are all united in the call to release him immediately. In all my meetings with president Obama and top American government leaders I raised the request to release Pollard and I will continue to do so when I meet with Obama in June."
Posted by Cosmic X at Friday, April 06, 2012
French Foreign Minister Michele Alliot-Marie was attacked by a mob in Gaza on Friday morning. Her attackers were enraged over statements she had allegedly made the day before supporting human rights for kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
Alliot-Marie was mobbed as she entered Gaza, with a crowd surrounding her car, pounding on its windows, and throwing shoes at the vehicle. One person jumped on the car. Two children were pushed in front of the first car in Alliot-Marie's convoy, forcing the convoy to a stop while the attack continued.
One sign at the rally had a picture of Alliot-Marie with a red cross over her face. Others called on the foreign minister to leave Gaza.
Hamas police eventually stopped the furious protest and allowed the convoy to continue. Hamas leaders expressed sympathy with the rioters, saying Alliot-Marie's comments regarding Shalit reflected a “total bias toward Israel.”
Alliot-Marie was not hurt in the attack.
She had met Thursday with the parents of Gilad Shalit. The kidnapped soldier, who Hamas claims to have in custody, holds French citizenship. Alliot-Marie assured his parents that “France has not forgotten Shalit,” and said she would insist that the European Union ask Hamas to allow Red Cross representatives to visit Shalit, as required by international law.
According to AFP, trying to 'justify' the incident, the Gaza mob may have mistakenly believed that Alliot-Marie termed Shalit's captivity a “war crime.”
Shalit's father Noam had called on France to push the EU to condemn the kidnapping as a war crime, and his statement was wrongly attributed to Alliot-Marie on Israel Radio's Arabic-language website, an AFP reporter said. This has not been corroborated.
On August 28th, Gilad Shalit will celebrate his 23rd birthday. However, instead of celebrating his birthday with family and friends, Gilad Shalit will be 'celebrating' his birthday in terrorist captivity in Gaza, courtesy of the terrorist group Hamas.
In order to raise awareness of Gilad Shalit’s story and to get support for his immediate release, various groups have organized “Tweet4Shalit”, which will take place from Wednesday, August 26th at midnight until Thursday, August 27th.
The goal is to make “Tweet4Shalit” into an event where thousands of people will tweet the hashtag #GiladShalit on Twitter and make Gilad a top 10 Twitter “Trending Topic.”
For more information about “Tweet4Shalit,” click here.
Please take part in this important event.
Posted by Daled Amos at Wednesday, August 26, 2009
On August 28th, 2009, kidnapped Israeli Defense Force soldier Gilad Shalit will celebrate his 23rd birthday.
But for the fourth year in a row, it appears he will most likely celebrate this important milestone far away from his home in Israel.
Shalit was kidnapped by Hamas in the summer of 2006 and has remained in captivity since.
Negotiations for his release are ongoing.
‘Tweet4Shalit’ is a virtual grassroots movement inspired by the struggle Gilad Shalit must endure daily as a prisoner of war and as a victim of Islamic extremism.
‘Tweet4Shalit’ is a 24 hour Twitter event in which thousands of supporters will sign onto Twitter to tweet the hashtag ‘#GiladShalit’ with the goal of making Gilad a top ten Twitter ‘Trending Topic’ two days before his birth (recognizing that his actual birthday occurs on Shabbos).
'Tweet4Shalit' is a single-issue campaign only to raise awareness and is not a political action group.
Social networking is a way to inspire change and raise awareness and we plan to do just that. We invite everyone, everywhere to spread the word about ‘Tweet4Shalit’ and join us on Twitter, all day (and all night) on August 26th, 2009 (East Coast Time, U.S.A.)
For more information, please visit the Facebook event website for this campaign:
The following individuals and organizations are working in support of this project:
Jewish Internet Defense Force
David Saranga and the Israeli Consulate in New York
International Civil Liberties Alliance
See also Arutz7 article: Happy Birthday for Gilad Shalit?
by Daled Amos
Posted by Daled Amos at Friday, August 14, 2009
Some 2,000 youths from kibbutzim throughout country, joined by100 settlers, build rafts using rope, barrels, sheets and sail together on Sea of Galilee with one demand: Bring us information on Gilad, only then deal with question of price.
Some 2,000 young kibbutz members sailed the waters of the Kinneret Thursday afternoon on homemade rafts in a bid to raise awareness on the status of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit.
The kibbutz youth worked throughout the past few days to build some 75 rafts out of rope, planks, and barrels. They painted colorful slogans in support of Gilad Shalit on the rafts' sails, such as: "Give us information about Gilad, if he is alive or dead" and "No one knows his fate and if he needs medication." They pushed their homemade rafts into the water Thursday and sailed across the Kinneret for about four hours.
"We call upon the government of Israel, Hamas, and the Red Cross – Bring us information on Gilad. Only then address the question of price," said Yoel Marshak from the Kibbutz Movement.
"We think that even before the question of price is raised, it is critical to receive information on Gilad Shalit as soon as possible. Three years have passed during which no one knows his status, where he is being held, in what conditions, and if he is alive or dead," said Marshak.
"The kibbutz youth proved today that only teamwork can overcome the power of nature," Marshak said. He added that each raft required the work of about 25 youngsters.
Some 100 settler youths from Alon Moreh, Yitzhar, and Itamar joined in the building effort Wednesday night. The two groups also held an open discussion on the topic: "Where is the country headed?"
"We explained to them that we seek a solid Jewish majority in the State of Israel without controlling a foreign nation. They explained that they seek to live on the greater Land of Israel," Marshek said.
Gilad Shalit was kidnapped to the Gaza Strip 1,117 days ago.
By: Sharon Roffe-Ofir
Posted by Baleboosteh at Friday, July 17, 2009
Ruthie Blum Leibowitz takes on the uneviable task of confronting the Israeli media in its campaign to push for the government to work for Gilad Shalit's release "at any cost". The problem is what that campaign is doing to the opposing view:
the media's campaign has been so comprehensive that all other voices are virtually drowned out. And when some do manage to make a dent, they are not silenced, but rather amplified as right-wing fanatical or - worse - unfeeling.
This puts any pundit or politician who disagrees on the defensive. Even those who try to point out that Hamas is also watching Israeli broadcasts, which only serve to strengthen its sense that it need not soften its bargaining position even one iota, have to preface their statements by assuring everybody that, of course, they, too, want to see Gilad home as soon as possible. Even those who attempt to suggest that releasing hundreds of the worst terrorists who are sure to strike again, both by slaughtering innocent Israelis and by kidnapping additional ones for future trades, are forced first to reiterate that they also would be acting as the Schalit family has been if it were their own child in captivity.
THE PURPOSE of this kind of emotional blackmail and manipulation on the part of the media is to award them a monopoly on goodness. As with the desire for "peace," they behave as though they have cornered the market on wanting to rescue Schalit - while the rest of us would prefer war and embrace heartlessness. This is as preposterous as it is dangerous - the former because everybody in this country wants both peace and Schalit's safe return, and the latter because it leads to confusion about who the real culprit is. When Prime Minister Ehud Olmert receives more criticism from the Hebrew press about Schalit's predicament than Hamas Prime Minister Ismail Haniyeh, it's time for it to undergo some serious scrutiny and sorely needed soul-searching.[emphasis added]
Posted by Daled Amos at Monday, March 23, 2009
When I was first learning about life in Israel, over forty years ago, people talked about how one is expected to bargain. Never pay the first price offered. Pay as little as possible. Walk away from the shop, and they'll call you back with a better and yet better price. It was quite a switch from the very "proper" and inflexible America in the mid-1960's.
Israelis seem to have lost the knack. They're (we're) playing all these negotiations like total patsies, total fools.
We've given away our precious Land for nothing--Disengagement or a smile and Nobel Peace Prize--Menachem Begin's Camp David.
Instead of simply refusing all aid to our enemies and Red Cross visits to the terrorist/enemy Arabs we've captured until our soldiers are returned--alive or dead, we keep offering to free more and more terrorists.
Yes, Gilad Shalit must be freed, must be returned home to Israel, but what happened to the master Israeli bargainers of old? Maybe we should send one of the veteran stall owners from Machene Yehuda to negotiate. I'm sure he wouldn't do any worse than our politicians, diplomats and media have done.
Posted by Batya at Friday, March 13, 2009
The Israeli MSM is currently engaged in a shameless campaign to free Gil'ad Shalit at any price.
Here's a courageous article from Yaron Dekel, Channel 1’s political commentator, where he takes the media to task. A snippet:
They forgot the victims, and the counter protest tent of those opposed to a deal was dismantled within 24 hours.
It’s also difficult to find reports about the ramifications of this deal. Reports that not only ask what the terrorists could do once they are be released, but also a wider discussion about the impact this deal will have on IDF operations in the future, on the combat doctrine and efforts to sacrifice lives rather than fall into captivity, and about the issue of capturing terrorists alive in order to try them in Israel, knowing that the verdict is temporary until the next abduction.
The media has chosen to serve the Shalit family and not the public interest. But good journalism is tested in difficult times, not easy times.
It’s tested in its ability to stimulate a debate, to protest, to fuel an argument, raise doubts and create cracks in a monolithic public opinion. The same goes for peace times as in times of war. Journalism has a decisive role to play in a democratic society. Its role is not to move hearts.
(Cross posted on Cosmic X in Jerusalem)
Posted by Cosmic X at Friday, March 13, 2009