"Putting a picture on display in the office and saying that you are taking action for his release is not enough," Miki Goldwasser, mother of soldier Ehud Goldwasser who was captured and killed by Hezbollah, said Friday regarding the government's actions on Gilad Shalit, who was kidnapped by Hamas four years ago.
Goldwasser, a city councilmember of Nahariya, participated along with 600 other people in the March of Freedom in the city in honor of Gilad Shalit.
Ehud Goldwasser was killed in an ambush by Hezbollah on the Israeli side of the border in 2006. His capture led to the Second Lebanon War, during which the government drew harsh criticism for its conduct. His body was returned to Israel in a prisoner swap deal.
"Gilad needed to be on the top of the State of Israel's priorities. Unfortunately, obtuseness is the reason he has not returned to his family until now. Putting a picture on display in the office is not enough," said Goldwasser in a message clearly directed at Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Goldwasser also addressed voices in Israel resenting the price Israel is being asked to pay by releasing Hamas prisoners in order to secure Gilad's release.
"Gilad was kidnapped because of the Israeli government's failures. You pay for failures, sometimes dearly. If the State of Israel has not created deterrence until now, it will have to pay a negligibly high price in order to return an IDF soldier to his family. The struggle this time will be more prominent and significant. There will not be one person in the upper echelons that does not see the tens of thousands marching," said Goldwasser.
At the end of the march, organized recently by a number of Nahariya residents who belong to the movement for Gilad's release, a rally was held at which Orit Mirkin, who is friends with Gilad's mother Aviva Shalit, spoke.
Mirkin, whose brother fell in battle 33 years ago, said, "For four years, Gilad has not swum in the sea. For four years, he has not played basketball. For four years, Gilad has not heart his father. For four years, Gilad has not read a book. For four years, Gilad has not hugged his mother. For four years, he has not smelled a flower. For four years, Gilad has not laughed. For four years, Gilad has not known what tomorrow will bring. For four years, Gilad is not here."
During the march, city council members, educators, youth group members, and school children waved signs calling for the Gilad's release and held yellow balloons and ribbons in their hands.