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Reform Movement Appalled by Hamas' Shalit Video

Pelavin: “We again ask our leaders to remember Gilad’s plight and do everything in their power to help ensure his release.”

Contact: Kate Bigam or Liz Piper-Goldberg
202.387.2800 |

WASHINGTON, D.C., April 25, 2010 — In response to the animated video released today by Hamas depicting imprisoned Israeli solider Gilad Shalit in a coffin, Mark Pelavin, Associate Director of the Religious Action Center, released the following statement: 

We are disgusted and appalled but sadly, not surprised, by the animated video that the terrorist organization Hamas released today that depicts the Israeli hostage solider, Gilad Shalit, in a coffin. On June 25, 2006, terrorists broke across the Gaza-Israel border, killing two Israeli soldiers and taking Gilad captive in Gaza; today marks his 1,400th day in captivity.  As we yearn for Gilad’s freedom, this anniversary should be observed with grief – and never with mockery and morbidity.

Further, adding personal insult to injury, the video portrays Gilad’s father, Noam, witnessing his son’s coffin. Our thoughts are especially with Gilad’s family and friends, as we pray that he will be speedily reunited with them.

We hope that this action by Hamas will force the world to focus on their lack of response to humanitarian agreements proposed by the Israeli government that would ensure Gilad’s freedom. We call on the United States, Canada, and all nations of the world to pressure Hamas to resume and conclude these agreements, recognizing the Talmudic injunction that “whoever saves a life, it is as if he saved a world entire.” 

As we commend the efforts of the Obama Administration to relaunch proximity peace negotiations in the weeks to come, we again ask our leaders to remember Gilad’s plight and do everything in their power to help ensure his release.


The Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism is the Washington office of the Union for Reform Judaism, whose more than 900 congregations across North America encompass 1.5 million Reform Jews, and the Central Conference of American Rabbis, whose membership includes more than 1,800 Reform rabbis. Visit for more.

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