Rome to switch off Colosseum lights for Schalit

Mayor, Jewish community to send message: 'Free Gilad'

By ARIELA PIATTELLI
June 24, 2010 02:46
1 minute read.
One of the 'Day in White' rallies for Schalit, Tue

schalit rally 311. (photo credit: Channel 10)

 
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The lights of the Colosseum in Rome will be turned off Thursday evening in solidarity with kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Schalit.

Noam Schalit, Gilad’s father, will be in attendance, along with Rome’s citizens and the representatives of local and national Italian institutions. According to organizers, the gathering is meant to send a message to the world: “Free Gilad now.”

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Speeches will be given by Noam Schalit and the mayor of Rome, and pictures of the soldier will be screened. At 11 p.m. (12 a.m. in Israel) the lights of the Colosseum will be turned off.

“We immediately launched the campaign for Schalit because we feel the burden of anxiety,” said the president of Rome’s Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici.

Last summer, Rome Mayor Gianni Alemanno bestowed honorary citizenship on Gilad Schalit. The city has strongly supported the initiative in the Colosseum. Other cities in Italy have joined, and some of the municipalities will turn off the lights at some of their monuments.

“We want to sensitize public opinion and strongly assert our values, which belong to civil society as a whole – first of all, the value of freedom. This event is first and foremost an expression of our strong support for the State of Israel,” Pacifici said.

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