The father of former kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit announced Monday that he intends to run as a candidate for the Knesset in the next election, and informed Labor Party chairwoman Shelly Yechimovich that he intends to run for a place on the party's list.
"After years of public struggle in which I was privileged to get to know the moral and beautiful sides of Israeli society, I have decided to join the public service," Noam Shalit said in a statement.
"The Labor Party is a social democratic party and a proponent of peace; therefore it is my natural home," he added. Shalit has been a registered member of the party since 1996.
Yechimovich welcomed Shalit's announcement, telling reporters that the struggle of the Shalit family during the years that kidnapped IDF soldier Gilad Shalit was held captive by Hamas terrorists in Gaza began as a private one, "but evolved into a struggle that encapsulates the core values of Israeli society -- solidarity, mutual support and Zionism."
The Labor Party leader praised the couple's unending campaign for their son's release, which included trips around the world to visit heads of state, public relations and advertising campaigns, speaking engagements and appearances at public rallies and demonstrations, and even a full-service tent in which they lived across from the seat of government in Jerusalem, as well as numerous press conferences in which Noam Shalit excoriated Israel's prime ministers and lawmakers for not finding some way to free his son.
"Noam's struggle is a model of a public campaign that was appropriate and restrained but at the same time determined and effective," Yechimovich, a former journalist, commented. "...I'm sure that he will make a great contribution to Labor as an MK."