ADL Welcomes Agreement to Secure Release of Captive Israeli Soldier

New York, NY, October 12, 2011 … The Anti-Defamation League (ADL) welcomed the announcement of the agreement to secure the return of Staff Sgt. Gilad Shalit to his family in Israel after being held captive by Hamas since his kidnapping in June 2006, saying that while his release "comes with a heavy price," it was the right thing to do.

Robert G. Sugarman, ADL National Chair, and Abraham H. Foxman, ADL National Director issued the following statement:

We join with the Shalit family and the people of Israel in a sense of relief at the announcement of the impending release of Gilad Shalit, who has been cruelly held by Hamas for more than five years. It is deeply moving to know the anguish of the Shalit family and the national pain suffered by Israel during Gilad's captivity will soon result in a joyful reunion. Jews around the world who prayed and petitioned and lobbied for Gilad's release during the long years of his inhumane captivity share in the joy of the freedom he will soon experience.

The agreement that led to Gilad's return comes with a very heavy price. It is regrettable that the price for his freedom involves the undeserved release of terrorists with blood on their hands. We do believe that, however difficult, it was the right thing to do. The wrenching decisions made by Israel's leaders to accomplish Gilad's release are yet another indication of the deep Israeli commitment to the lives of each and every one of its citizen soldiers.

We reiterate Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's thanks to the German mediator, who put in countless hours to reach this agreement, to German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her commitment to ensuring Gilad's release, and to the Government of Egypt and the Egyptian security services for their efforts to facilitate this deal.

ADL is the world’s leading anti-hate organization. Founded in 1913 in response to an escalating climate of anti-Semitism and bigotry, its timeless mission is to protect the Jewish people and to secure justice and fair treatment for all. Today, ADL continues to fight all forms of hate with the same vigor and passion. A global leader in exposing extremism, delivering anti-bias education, and fighting hate online, ADL is the first call when acts of anti-Semitism occur. ADL’s ultimate goal is a world in which no group or individual suffers from bias, discrimination or hate.