Rivlin and Buzek
Rivlin and BuzekIsrael news photo: Gabi Farkash

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin (Likud) and the president of the European Parliament, Jerzy Buzek, inaugurated on Monday the exhibition “When the Shark and the Fish First Met”, based on a picture book written by kidnapped soldier Gilad Shalit. The exhibition, which will be displayed in the European Parliament, is meant to bring international attention to the subject of the kidnapped soldier.

Hundreds of guests took part took in the launch of the exhibit, including members of the European Parliament.

The Chairman of the Knesset's delegation for relations with the European Parliament, MK Nachman Shai (Kadima), addressed attendees and stressed “the firm and uncompromising demand to allow the Red Cross to visit Shalit and ensure that he is being held under humane conditions and according to international law.”

Shai added, “This is also the place to repeat the demand for the immediate release of Gilad Shalit. There is no reason for Hamas to continue to hold him illegally against international law.”

Rivlin also spoke, saying, “It is a serious mistake to treat the fate of Gilad Shalit as a matter which is part of the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Authority, instead of treating it as a matter of basic human values. The free world must respond to the harsh brutality of Hamas. The political excuses of the free world are used as a shelter by the terrorist organizations that are holding Shalit.”

Buzek said that for him “Gilad Shalit is a citizen of the European Union,” and added that he worries about him as if he were his own grandson. He called on Hamas to release him immediately.

The exhibition, which was initiated by Lee Rimon from Nahariya, involves dozens of artists and illustrators who created works based on the story written by Shalit when he was 11 years old. The exhibition was displayed for a long time in the Knesset, and during Buzek’s visit to Israel a few months ago, he accepted Rivlin’s request to place the exhibition in the European Parliament.

Last week, approximately 100 Jewish communities from around North America marked their solidarity with the Shalit family and prayed for the safe return of Gilad, in rallies that were simultaneously held in all communities.