Noam Schalit 311.
(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
The march is over, and most of the activists have gone home. But the faithful
remain at the tent site outside the Prime Minister’s Residence with Gilad
Schalit’s family, who insist they will stay there until the soldier returns
On Wednesday, Day 1,480 since Schalit’s abduction, the tent of
activists protesting against what they say is government inaction continued to
draw passersby – pedestrians and drivers – who asked for the yellow ribbons that
have come to symbolize the hope for Schalit’s return.
The tent has become
something of a tourist attraction, a new destination for tour groups in
“We have made no progress with the government,” Noam Schalit,
Gilad’s father, said, as he sat with his wife, Aviva, and friends in the
The white sheets laid out along the street have been nearly
completely covered in hopeful messages directed toward Gilad. A lone
who found a small white patch in a far corner signed his name.
live with it, it becomes just another story in the news,” said Baruch
after writing on the sheet. “But I don’t think we could imagine what
in a Palestinian jail. It’s a nightmare,” he said.
A week after the
11-day march for Schalit came to a close in the capital, advocates for
safe return home have reported an increase in support.
With over 50,000
signatories since the campaign’s inception, Schalit’s captivity has
the heartstrings of the Israeli people.
“They’re going to be here until
what we hope is the happy end,” said Revital, an activist who declined
her full name because she is a state employee.
Revital arrived at the
tent on Wednesday from Kiryat Bialik.
Revital said she could assume that
the Schalit family would be camped out for a while.
“We know that our
government is slow,” she said, predicting a minimum one-month stay for
The campaign is still riding the recent outpouring of
support generated during the march, according to Schalit activists.
soldier stationed outside the Prime Minister’s Residence, however,
skeptical of the movement’s staying power.
“Compared to a month ago, it’s
definitely increased,” Gregory said.
“Give [the protest] two or three
months, however, and it will go back to normal.”