As the founder of the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF), I have launched hundreds of campaigns for Israel and against anti-Semitic and jihadist material online and I am no stranger to online activism. When I noticed Melissa Jane Kronfeld (editor of Radical Commentary) tweeting for Gilad Shalit on Twitter, I was inspired by her passion on this issue, and wanted to join forces with her to create a meaningful campaign for the captured IDF soldier.
We have since coordinated what appears to be the largest internet campaign of its kind for Gilad Shalit. We have received the blessing of the Shalit family, inspired a number of Jewish and human rights organizations to join us, and are in the process of rallying thousands of virtual troops to "Tweet4Shalit" on August 26th (two days before Gilad's 23rd birthday), using the #GiladShalit hashtag on Twitter.
The goal is simple: We want to raise awareness.
Gilad Shalit was only 19 when he was kidnapped by Hamas terrorists. Since then, the Red Cross has considered the manner of his captivity a violation of international law. Hamas terrorists have denied the Red Cross access to Gilad, a violation of the Third Geneva Convention. Human Rights Watch has described Hamas' detention of Gilad as cruel and tortuous, especially the way Hamas have disallowed Gilad regular communication with his family.
If enough people sign into Twitter and use the #GiladShalit hashtag for all their Tweets on August 26th, his name will become a trending topic on Twitter, and millions of people who are not aware of Gilad's daily struggle as a victim of Islamic terrorism -- due to the mainstream media's neglect of this issue -- will learn of his plight, two days before his birthday.
We urge everyone to join the Facebook group and Facebook event for this campaign, and hope everyone has Gilad ben Aviva in their thoughts and prayers so we may see him free and united with his family as soon as possible.
The writer is the founder of the Jewish Internet Defense Force (JIDF), a pro-Israel advocacy organization fighting antisemitic and jihadist online trends.