Rome's Colosseum to Go Dark for Gilad Shalit



By: DAN VERBIN  
Published: June 24th 2010
in News » World

Rome's Colosseum
Pic: wikimedia commons

The Colosseum in Rome will go dark Thursday evening to show solidarity with captive IDF soldier Gilad Shalit. Organizers of the event say that it is taking place to send a message, “Free Gilad now.”

 

In attendance will be Gilad’s father, Noam Shalit, as well as residents of Rome and officials from local and national Italian institutions. The initiative was supported by Rome’s mayor, Alemanno Gilanno, and the chair of the Jewish community, Riccardo Pacifici.

 

“The event is attended by all citizens," stated Alemanno and Pacifici. They added that the "aim is to join forces and raise public awareness to bring Gilad home, and to revive the peace process in the Middle East.”

 

At 11 p.m. (12 a.m. in Israel), the Colosseum’s lights will be turned off in a display of solidarity with Shalit, who has been held in Gaza by Hamas for four years since being kidnapped in a cross-border raid near the Kerem Shalom crossing in 2006 when he was 19.

 

Noam Shalit and Gilanno will be making speeches and pictures of Gilad will be shown.  

 

“We immediately launched the campaign for Shalit because we feel the burden of anxiety,” Pacifici told the Jerusalem Post.

 

This past summer, Alemanno gave Gilad honourary Italian citizenship. Rome is not the only Italian city to get behind the Colosseum initiative. Many other Italian cities have joined in and certain municipalities are also turning off their lights simultaneous to the Colosseum.

 

Pacifici added, “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.”



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