INTERNET FACES CHANGE TO FACE OF KIDNAPPED ISRAELI SOLDIER GILAD SCHALIT WEDNESDAY – FACEBOOK, INSTANT MESSENGER, BLOGGERS – CAPTIVITY ANNIVERSARY JUNE 25

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Thousands of Facebook, instant messenger, and blog users on Wednesday will change their identifying picture to that of kidnapped Israeli soldier Gilad Schalit.

The day chosen for the worldwide act of solidarity marks two years since Schalit was kidnapped.

According to the initiative’s slogan, the aim is for individuals to express that “I too have been waiting for Gilad Schalit for two years.”

GILAD SCHALIT SPEAKS FROM CAPTIVITY

The Israeli Facebook group called “The petition for the release of Gilad Schalit” has been promoting the joint action and is backed by approximately 4,500 members.

The group claims that Schalit is “one of us and his place is with us.”

Members are able to invite other Facebook participants to the group and post messages on the group’s main page. Some of the messages include links to related Web sites and on-line petitions.

Dana Lazar, an Israeli college student who plans to change her Facebook picture to that of Schalit on Wednesday, believes as a former Israeli soldier, it is her duty to do so.

“When you are a soldier you want your government and country behind you. By changing your picture you make other people stop their lives to think and care,” she said.

Like Lazar, others in the group consider their effort just a small way to reach out to other Israelis.

“The purpose of posting Schalit’s picture is not necessarily to impact the government, but to impact Israeli society,” said Gery Klein, a political science student at Bar-Ilan University and a member of the Facebook group.

“It’s not a beginning and it’s not an end — it’s a continuation of a struggle,” he said.

See Related: FACEBOOK GROUP RELEASE GILAD SCHALIT

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