A Flotilla for Gilad Shalit?

I have to confess: I don’t know exactly what to say about the planned “True Freedom Flotilla” for Gilad Shalit, a project of the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations.

The idea is this: a bunch of boats will set sail on the East River in New York on Thursday. They’ll sail past the Statue of Liberty and head toward the United Nations, where, apparently, participants will hold up signs to “raise awareness that Gilad Shalit remains in captivity and to call for his release,” according to a statement on the Presidents Conference site.

An invitation on Facebook – not put out by the Presidents Conference, best I can tell – made the event sound a little more like a social occasion.

I feel for Jewish leaders, really I do. Shalit’s captivity at the hands of Hamas and the cruel way the terrorist group has used negotiations over his release to garner headlines while continually dashing the hopes of those who care about him are terrible.

It’s not easy, knowing what individuals and groups in this country can do to speed his release besides pressing U.S. officials to use all the diplomatic means at their disposal on his behalf.

But a “Shalit flotilla?”  I’m having a hard time thinking this is going to influence Hamas.

What do you think?

About the Author
Douglas M. Bloomfield is a syndicated columnist, Washington lobbyist and consultant. He spent nine years as the legislative director and chief lobbyist for AIPAC.