AZM Issues Call of Action
Campaign demands Shalit be freed, Goldwasser and Regev be remembered
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Written by: Deborah Fishman
For more information, please call: 847-677-5949
The American Zionist Movement (AZM) is broadcasting a call of action for community prayer, remembrance and solidarity on behalf of Israel’s fallen soldiers as well as Gilad Shalit, who remains in terrorist custody over two years after his abduction.
AZM is asking rabbis and community leaders to raise awareness within their communities and enlist support in advocating for Shalit’s release. The call to action began with the Shabbat before Tish’a B’Av, Saturday, August 9, and will continue every Shabbat until Gilad comes home.
As part of AZM’s campaign, it has issued Gilad Shalit dog tags, which can be worn in solidarity with Shalit and in support of his immediate release. They can be ordered at www.azm.org/purchase-a-gilad-shalit-dogtag. AZM is also providing resources – including readings, prayers, and poems as well as posters for public display – available at www.azm.org/bring-home-gilad-shalit.
“We are calling upon Zionists everywhere to take action and demand Shalit’s immediate release, as well as to pray for all Israel’s abducted and missing soldiers,” said William D. Hess, AZM’s President, “We must continue to do whatever possible on their behalf, so that they can finally return home to their loved ones.”
In addition to Shalit – who is currently held by Hamas in Gaza, denied his rights as a prisoner under international law – the other missing and abducted soldiers are Zachary Baumel, Tzvi Feldman, Yehuda Katz, Ron Arad, and Guy Hever.
AZM also is calling upon the American Zionist community to commemorate Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. The two abducted soldiers became fallen soldiers when they were returned to Israel in coffins on July 16, 2008 as part of an exchange agreement with the terrorist organization Hezbollah.
After two years of waiting without a single word from or about the abducted soldiers, Goldwasser and Regev’s families and friends are now mourning their loved ones.
“It is with deep grief and sorrow that we learned of Goldwasser and Regev’s tragic deaths. We deeply feel the families’ loss, and hope they will find comfort in closure on this painful period,” said Marlene Post, Chair of AZM’s National Board.
During the past two years, AZM has kept the plight of these brave men at the top of the Zionist agenda, reminding the world of their deplorable confinement, which contravened international law as well as broadly accepted ethical values and social behavior.
Last summer, AZM launched the “Sign of Life” postcard campaign, inspired by the words of Karnit Goldwasser, the widow of Ehud Goldwasser, calling upon UN representatives from Lebanon, Syria and Iran to produce information about Goldwasser and Regev. AZM also facilitated a postcard campaign on behalf of all three soldiers to the UN, Red Cross and US Secretary of State, issued dogtags inscribed with their names, and produced an educational guide to teach awareness of current events and the related Jewish, moral issues to children in youth movements and religious schools.
AZM has been involved in an ongoing campaign since the 1980s to bring home all of Israel’s abducted and missing soldiers.
AZM – the American affiliate of the World Zionist Organization – is an umbrella organization that works to strengthen the connection of American Jews with Israel, facilitating dialogue, debate and collective action to further Zionism in the United States and abroad.