This Friday marks the fourth anniversary of Israeli soldier Gilad Shalit’s kidnapping and incarceration by Hamas in Gaza. Israel has, during this period, allowed tonnes of humanitarian aid to enter Gaza and has now relaxed restrictions on the transfer of goods. Shalit has not even been allowed a visit by the Red Cross.
Gilad Shalit’s welfare is a central part of the story surrounding Israel’s policies towards the Hamas controlled Gaza Strip. Yet, in the media frenzy following the recent flotilla incident and the subsequent international pressure on Israel to reassess its Gaza policies, the fate of Shalit has, to a large extent, been overlooked by the mainstream media.
Of the Gaza staff-eds in this week’s papers, neither the New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, nor The Guardian mentioned Shalit at all. The Irish Times and an otherwise positive piece in the Globe & Mail only mentioned the 27-year-old staff sergeant in passing while the LA Times showed some concern calling on Hamas to release him.
Please keep an eye on your local media. If it fails to mention Gilad Shalit or focuses only on the plight of Palestinians in Gaza, send a letter to the editor. Contact details for many major media outlets can be found here.
Take Action for Gilad Shalit
You can also join the StandWithUs campaign for Gilad Shalit:
Please send a letter to the International Committee of the Red Cross; Amnesty International; and U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon to urge them to demand the release of Gilad Shalit and, at the very least, demand that Hamas allow Gilad Shalit to receive proper medical attention and contact from his family in Israel. For a sample letter, please click here. Help us reach our goal of 5,000 letters to the ICRC, the UN and Amnesty International.
Change your Facebook profile picture and status. Click here for some picture ideas.
Talk about bringing home Gilad Shalit in your communities, synagogues, churches, etc. Click here to watch the video of Gilad Shalit’s message from Hamas’s captivity.