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Press Release – 16 March 2009

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The Zionist Council of Victoria urges support for the plight of Gilad Shalit  and his family as Gilad’s 1,000th day in Hamas captivity approaches

The Zionist Council of Victoria urges community members to remember the plight of Gilad Shalit as they sit at their Friday night meal with family and friends, and as they spend their upcoming weekend out and about. Saturday March 21 will mark the 1,000th day that Gilad Shalit has been held captive by Hamas terrorists, who have denied him even meeting with the International Red Cross since he was kidnapped into Gaza on June 25, 2006.

“1,000 days is an unfathomable number of days to even comprehend being deprived of one’s total freedom and all basic human dignity as we know it” said Zionist Council President Dr Lamm. “There is a complex maze of moral and political issues that make up a possible negotiation with terrorists for Gilad’s freedom. We can only hope that everything is being done that can be done to secure his immediate freedom” he said.

The ZCV has alerted community members to an email sent to Zionist organisations across the world by the World Zionist Organization’s (WZO) Executive Director Marty Davis. The message urges people to join a virtual rally on Facebook supporting Gilad Shalit’s family as they continue to remain in a protest tent near Prime Minister Olmert’s residence. Mr Davis and others from the WZO will visit the protest tent on Thursday March 19 to share with the Shalit family the messages of thousands worldwide who have joined the rally and posted messages of support for Gilad.

More than 3,000 people have already joined the Virtual Rally at 1,000 Days of Captivity, Free Gilad Shalit.

This latest campaign follows more than 2 years of campaigning by the Zionist Council and affiliate organisations to draw attention to the plight of Gilad Shalit and indeed, all of Israel’s kidnapped soldiers. The latest public event was held on February 19, a special screening of the 50 minute documentary “Gilad Shalit – 2 years in captivity”.

This extremely poignant film featured Gilad’s mother, Aviva Shalit in a rare public appearance since her son’s kidnapping on June 25, 2006. Beginning on the day of the kidnapping it followed a sequence of events ensuing from the kidnapping and the Shalit family’s efforts to help free Gilad, all the while showing a window into Gilad and his family; a regular Israeli family who have known more than their share of grief as a result of war.

For more information contact:
Ginette Searle – Executive Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5544
Elly Shalev – Public Affairs Director, Zionist Council of Victoria 9272 5519
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The Zionist Council of Victoria leads and encourages Jewish and Zionist activity and expression within Victoria, to represent the Jewish community, to promote and communicate Israel’s interests within the broader Victorian community and to promote Victoria’s relationship with Israel. For more information, visit the Zionist Council of Victoria website www.zionismvictoria.org.au