Thursday, June 25, 2009- Times Square. 11 AM
Some 2,000 Israelis gathered in front of the Defense Ministry headquarters in Tel Aviv on Thursday to mark three years to the day in which Israel Defense Forces Gilad Shalit fell into captivity in a cross-border raid by Gaza-based Palestinian gunmen.
The gathering’s keynote address was delivered by Shalit’s father, Noam. “We stand here today, in front of the prime minister’s office, the Defense Ministry, and the IDF General Staff, in front of those who three years ago, 1,095 days ago, sent Gilad on a mission from which he has not come back until this very day,” Noam Shalit said.
“We are standing here today to serve as a mouthpiece for Gilad, to scream his scream,” Shalit said. “He of course cannot scream from the pit in which he has been held for the last three years. It is doubtful whether he can see any sunlight, smile his sheepish and hesitant smile that was permanently etched on his face.”
“We came here this evening to express Gilad’s muted yearning, his only wish,” Noam Shalit said. “He asks just one thing from you, the inhabitants across the street – the decision-makers – his freedom.”
The father of Gilad Shalit urged fellow Israelis on Thursday to think of his son’s plight in Hamas captivity, three years after the soldier was snatched from an Israel Defense Forces post by Gaza militants.
“My request today, June 25, 2009, is for every person in the country, man and woman, young and old, to close their eyes for three minutes. Three minutes only, and to wait until these minutes are over, and in this time for everyone to try to think of what my son Gilad is going through,” Noam Shalit told Army Radio. (snip)
Supporters of the abducted soldier planned to hold a mass demonstration outside Defense Minister Ehud Barak’s office in Tel Aviv on Thursday. Shalit’s parents will declare at the rally the founding of an “army of Gilad Shalit’s friends,” which will lead all efforts aimed at pressing the government over the soldier’s case, Army Radio reported.
Shalit’s brother, for his part, made a new plea to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to mark the day.
“Mr. prime minister, I ask of you: Save my brother. Don’t abandon him to an unknown fate. Don’t wait until tomorrow, help Gilad today,” Yoel Shalit said on Army Radio.
“Every day in captivity is life-threatening. Gilad is still alive and it is your responsibility and duty to bring him home.”
All day the Times Square screen scrolled dull headlines…
People were hanging out in Bloomberg’s Lawnchair Follies:
(Making Times Square a mess)
And the volunteers were great… All day they gathered signed postcards for Gilad’s Father (will post a card shortly) This event was going til 8 PM
Then, around 5:30 PM (EST) Michael Jackson died…
Times Square became Easter Island
His death affected everything around the volunteers. Making an easy approach to passersby (asking them to sign a card for Gilad’s father) no longer so easy ….
People were glued to the headlines and video overhead that scrolled the same thing over and over and OVER….
REMEMBER GALID SHALIT!
HIS BRUTAL KIDNAPPING AND TORTURE .
THREE YEARS — 25,704 HOURS IS TOO LONG!
Click thumbnail for a few more pictures