Bipartisan House bill demands release of captured soldiers

"While we cannot compel these parties to release Gilad, Ehud, and Eldad, we can stand by our ally the state of Israel."

goldwasser ehud 88 (photo credit: )
goldwasser ehud 88
(photo credit: )
Several US House members from both sides of the aisle have joined together to sponsor a bill demanding the release of three IDF soldiers kidnapped this summer by Hizbullah and Hamas. Bill author Gary Ackerman (D-NY) acknowledged that the resolution, even once it passed, would not have the authority to force the release of captives Gilad Shalit, Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev. "While we cannot compel these parties to release Gilad, Ehud, and Eldad any more than we can force them to understand the difference between right and wrong," he said, "we can stand by our ally the state of Israel, we can express our sympathy for the captives and their families, we can let the perpetrators of this barbarism know that we have not forgotten what they have done." Ackerman also blasted Syria and Iran for their role in sponsoring the terror organizations, something that was echoed by the other representatives who joined him at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday afternoon. Israel's ambassadors to Washington and the UN were also present, as was Ehud Goldwasser's wife, Karnit. She said that actions such as the resolution have significance because of the message they send, both to the perpetrators and to the European Union, where - she said - some parliamentarians were now working on a similar resolution. "The United States is helping us," she said after the press conference. "It shows Nasrallah that he's not dealing with the Goldwasser, Shalit, or Regev family. He's dealing with the whole free world which wants them to come home." Goldwasser said the American Jewish community was also playing a key role in raising awareness and providing moral support, and she praised Congress for taking action. "Please don't stop raising your voice. For us, it means the world," she said.