In our home, we are making plans to celebrate our daughter’s twenty-fifth birthday in November. In the past five years, we’ve seen her complete her education, begin her career, laugh, cry, and enjoy friendships, music and movies. She’s caught colds, cracked jokes, mourned the passing of loved ones, and celebrated other birthdays and holidays.
August 28, 2011 was Gilad Shalit’s twenty-fifth birthday. It breaks my heart to imagine his life these past five years.
June 25, 2006, Muslim terrorists kidnapped 19-year-old Gilad from his home country of Israel into Palestine. The government of Israel offered to release 325 Palestinian prisoners so he could come home. Palestine refused. Five years later–a fifth of Gilad’s life–the terrorist group Hamas holds elected power in Palestine. They still have not allowed the Red Cross, Gilad’s family, or anyone else who might care, to see him. This is in direct violation of international law. The last proof of life was produced in 2009, in exchange for the release of prisoners.
Prominent Muslim leaders in America, including congressmen, a former Pakistani ambassador to Great Britain, and the Imam who lead efforts to build the mosque near Ground Zero, are finally calling for Hamas to release Gilad. They acknowledge complaints against Israel, but say that Mohammed said to “repel the evil deed with one that is better.”
Read the story here.
I urge Americans of all faiths to contact President Obama, Secretary of State Clinton, and your state senators and representatives, and let them know that you support Gilad Shalit’s release as a condition of Mideast peace negotiations. Urge them to put pressure on Palestine to allow the Red Cross to see him. Find the addresses of your representatives here.
Above all, please pray. Even if you don’t take a political stand, take a moment to remember this young man whenever God brings him to mind. Pray for his strength, encouragement, comfort, physical well-being, and soon release. Imagine it was your child being held. Pray for his family. Pray for his captors.
Download a free prayer card to help you remember to pray for Gilad at http://www.ifcj.org/site/PageNavigator/sfi_issues_gilad_pc