Karnit Goldwasser, the widow of IDF soldier Ehud Goldwasser who was killed while in Hizbullah captivity and returned to Israel as part of its 2008 prisoner exchange deal with the Shiite group, visited the Shalit family's protest tent outside Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's Jerusalem home Monday.
Noam and Aviva Shalit, whose son Gilad was abducted by Hamas in 2006, set up a protest tent across from the premier's residence on Sunday, after Olmert was quoted as saying that the public demonstrations calling for their son's release were "unhelpful."
"His name may be Gilad Shalit, but he represents every soldier in the military. What are we fighting for – a single soldier or our values? This is an IDF soldier who was abducted and (the politicians) would rather we forget that," she said.
Goldwasser said she came to show her support: "I've heard many say they are afraid to serve in the reserve forces now; families that say they don't want their sons to join the army, so that they may never find themselves in a situation like this. They want to know who will stand beside them if the worst happens.
Goldwasser with Noam Shalit (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"As someone intimately familiar with this kind of struggle I came to offer my support. I hope to lend them strength and that this case will end soon," she said.
Goldwasser further said that the government has lost sight of what is really important in Shalit's case: "Government officials tend to see everything on a private level instead of on a national one. This could have happened to anyone."
As for the price Israel is expected to pay for the kidnapped soldier's safe return, Goldwasser said she believed it to be a moot point: "We have to be allowed to keep some values in this country, no matter what the price. I can only hope this affair comes to an end soon."
Gilad Shalit has been in Hamas captivity for 988 days.