Lost in time…
Gilad Shalit has been a prisoner in the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip for the past 1713 days and counting; today is his 242nd Shabbat away from home. 1713 days away from friends, family and home without any contact from anyone besides his captors. For 1713 days the Red Cross has not been allowed to visit him, and his exact location is unknown. His only crime is that of being an Israeli defending his country and his people.
If you are unfamiliar with Gilad’s story, here it is in brief. Gilad was born on August 28, 1986 in Nahariya (the northern Israeli coast) to parents Aviva and Noam Shalit, and has 2 brothers. Even as a little boy he dreamt of peace, which is echoed in the small story he wrote in school at the age of 10 years old, “When the Shark and the Fish First Met.” Like every 18 year old Israeli he was drafted into the Israeli army, where he chose to become a combat soldier. On June 25, 2006 he was captured during a cross border raid by the Hamas terrorist organization near the Gaza Strip. Attempts to find and have him released began instantly with limited progress, if any. Even today, Jpost reported that Hamas officials were on their way to Syria to discuss new plans mediated by Germany, calling for Shalit’s release. As many have turned pessimistic to meetings of this nature, supporters still remain hopeful that this will be a step closer to his release.
The above picture is of the Gilad Shalit protest tent, which is set up in front of the Prime Minister’s home in Jerusalem, which I took last summer in Israel. Israelis, tourists, human rights activists, marchers and protestors all flock there to sign petitions, support the Shalit family and to push the government to act more aggressively in their demands for Gilad’s release.
On Monday March 7tt @ 1:00 PM EST, you can stand in unity with Gilad Shalit and his family, by joining a web broadcast with Gilad’s father, Noam Shalit live from the Shalit family tent.
Please join Canadians from across the country in showing our solidarity with the Shalit family. Participate in the broadcast from your home, school or office computer. It’s free and easy. Just visit www.magbitcanada.org.il
Here is the beginning of a letter the Army Radio published for Aviva Shalit, days before Gilad’s 1000th day in captivity.
Hello my child, hello Gilad,
I sit here in a tent on a street corner in Jerusalem. Almost a thousand days have passed without you by my side. For almost a thousand nights I have neither seen the light in your room, nor in my life.
For almost a thousand mornings I haven’t seen your smile, the smile of a boy waking up to a new day. The smile of a boy who loves life. Someone who is a part of me.
For almost a thousand days I have dreamed of you at night, thought about you while I tend to the gardening, something I do so I won’t go insane.
Almost a thousand days… and every hour, every minute, every second are an eternity.
Again today is his 1713th day in captivity and the cries of a mother, father, brother, friends and supporters have not been answered. Unfortunately, until now, the value Hamas has placed on Gilad’s life is that of 1000 terrorist prisoners; can this price be paid? I think so, as the IDF has a leave no man/woman behind policy and I believe that that no price is too steep for one of our own. Please support the Shalit family and tune into the web broadcast next Monday the 7th at 1:00 PM. Let’s ensure Gilad does not get lost in time.
Please take the time to remember others who were captured by terrorist enemies of Israel; Tzvi Feldman, Zachary Baumel, Yehuda Katz, Ron Arad, Ehud [Udi] Goldwasser, Eldad Regev, Guy Hever and others who may remain nameless.