Prime Minister Ehud Olmert is preparing to leave office very soon, while on the other side of the border, Gilad Shalit is “celebrating” 1,000 days in captivity this month. It’s time to step up the efforts for Gilad’s release.
Noam and Aviva Shalit, Gilad’s parents, are moving to Jerusalem today, in order to reside inside a protest tent in front of Olmert’s residence. They will remain there until Olmert leaves office, or until Gilad’s return.
They believe Olmert’s last days in office is a window of opportunity to finally seal the prisoner exchange deal. Gilad was captured on Olmert’s watch, and therefore it is his responsibility to resolve the matter before Netanyahu’s right-wing coalition takes the reigns.
The parents of kidnapped soldiers Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser, whose bodies were returned to Israel via a prisoner exchange deal, are joining the Shalit family in Jerusalem, in a joint effort to increase public pressure and awareness.
Shas chairman, Eli Yishai, uttered a remarkably patronizing statement this morning, which I believe precisely captures the government’s stance on Gilad’s captivity:
If the protest tent assuages the feelings of the Schalit family, it is a positive thing.
Dear Mr. Yishai, the matter on hand isn’t “assuaging” the Shalit family or the public opinion; it’s releasing Gilad!