A Jewish man and an African-American woman are both imprisoned, thousands of miles apart, under very disparate conditions. On this national day of mourning, Tisha Bâ€™Av, both deserve our attention.
Noam Shalit, the father of an Israeli soldier held by Hamas for more than 1,131 days, is asking that the U.S.â€™ scheduled aid package of $300 million to Gaza be delivered only after the release of his son. Gilad Shalit was abducted by Hamas in June, 2006. Noam Shalit recently testified before the Goldstone Committee, which is investigating illegal conduct by combatants during Operation Cast Lead on behalf of the United Nations, that Giladâ€™s abduction was a war crime according to the definitions of the Geneva Convention. The Israeli newspaper Haâ€™aretz reported that the elder Shalit also testified the abduction of his son preceded all the other events in the Gaza Strip: â€œthe IDF siege on the territory, the launching of rockets by Palestinian groups, and finally the Israeli offensive â€“ and argued that that action had resulted in the subsequent actions.â€
For the more than three years Gilad has been held in captivity, he has not been visited by the Red Cross. No one even knows what has happened to him. And at no point has Hamas been required to release this information as a condition of foreign aid.
Please take a moment to sign this petition, which urges the U.S. to make its upcoming $300 million gift to Gaza dependent upon the release of Gilad Shalit. This petition will be delivered to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Please also share this message with your representatives in Congress. Just cut and paste this note into an email. The entire process takes only a minute or two. (more)