Foreign Affairs Minister Tzipi Livni called on the international community to aid efforts to secure the release of Israel's kidnapped soldiers – Gilad Shalit, Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser – in an address before 30 foreign ambassadors on Thursday.
Also in attendance at the event in Ashdod were relatives of the captive soldiers.
"These three families cannot celebrate Passover and we hope their next holiday will look much difference," said Livni, adding that her family will be leaving on seat empty during their seder as a mark of remembrance and that Israeli embassies abroad have been instructed to do the same.
"I know that your children are in the hearts of all this year," she told the parents.
Livni with the captives' parents (Photo: Amir Cohen)
Speaking with Ynet after the event, Micky Goldwasser said that none of those ambassadors in attendance recognized her. "They don't know who I am, but I am not the story. I can't walk around here and proclaim that I am the mother of a kidnapped soldier. Every day of the week is difficult for me. And Passover, from a symbolic point of view, is very hard. Especially the seder, which we celebrated as a family. It's absolute agony for me."
Her husband Shlomo said of Ehud: "My son is not a criminal. His only crime was that he was a free man." He called on representatives from the international community to help. "Your countries may be far away but you can still do something. When the war ended and the deal was signed, one of the clauses called for the release of our boys and that has not happened yet."
Zvi Regev said that several days ago Prime Minister Ehud Olmert cancelled one of his regularly scheduled meetings with the parents. Regev also spoke of his recent meeting with a Red Cross official. "We talked. He also visited our home. But no genuine progress have been achieved and the letter we wrote (to Eldad) is still stuck somewhere. Passover is approaching and I expect the prime minister to do everything in his power to ensure the boys come home before the seder."