Thousands plan to change Facebook profile pictures to Gilad Schalit

On Wednesday, June 25, thousands of Facebook, instant messenger, and blog users will change their profile pictures to that of kidnapped IDF solider Gilad Schalit. The day chosen for this world-wide act of solidarity marks two years since Schalit's capture in Gaza. Promotion for the mass picture-changing is being conducted by an Israeli created Facebook group called '"The petition for the release of Gilad Schalit."' The group claims that the government is "tired" and that Schalit is, "One of us and his place is with us." The group's members, numbering approximately 4,500, are able to invite other Facebook members to the group and and post messages on the group's main page. Some of the messages include links to related websites and on-line petitions. Dana Lazar, an Israeli university student who plans to change her Facebook picture on Wednesday, believes it is her duty as a former IDF soldier. ""When you are a soldier,"" she said, "you want your government and country behind you. By changing your picture you identify make other people stop their lives to think and care."" "The purpose of posting Schalit's picture is not necessarily to impact the government, but to impact Israeli society, Gery Klein, a Political Science student at Bar Ilan who is a member of the Facebook group, told Jerusalem Post. " "It's not a beginning and its not an end- its a continuation of a struggle,"" said Klein.