July 7, 2010
June 30th was declared Gilad Shalit day in Los Angeles. A unanimous vote by the L.A. City council took place to show solidarity with the Shalit family and the Israeli people in their struggle against terrorism.Gilad Shalit is the Israeli soldier kidnapped by Hizbollah in 2006. It was the incident on the northern Israel border that killed two of his fellow soldiers and kidnapped Shalit that started the Lebanon war that year. Shalit at some point was turned over to Hamas in the Gaza strip. He is held captive to be used, we all suspect, for a trade to free thousands of Hamas terrorists being held in Israeli jails. In typical inhumanitarian fashion the Hamas group has kept Shalit out of reach from anyone on the Israeli side, his parents, friends, relatives, not even the Red Cross is allowed to visit him. It is reminder to all those in Israel exactly what kind of enemy they face in the Gaza Strip. Councilman Paul Koretz presented Israeli Council General Jacob Dayan with the formal resolution. Several speakers spoke during the formal ceremony, calling on Hamas to release him. The Los Angeles Jewish Journal reported that one speaker, Eli Lipmen, a communications strategist for the American Jewish Committee described Shalit’s nightmare in a way that all could understand. “Since Shalit’s capture, many dramatic changes have occurred in what seems like a very short amount of time,” he said. “For Shalit, though, nothing has changed, and he has lived in a never-ending, drawn-out nightmare as a captive of the terrorist organization Hamas.” Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa was not in town,( no surprise there,) but also expressed his support to release the young man immediately and allow him to return to his family which live only a few miles away.