Jewish Post

Thousands Call for Release of Hamas Held Hostages

By Maxine Dovere

20240419-thousands-stood-together-in-dag-hammarskjold-plaza Thousands stood together in Dag Hammarskjold Plaza rallying for the freedom of the Israeli hostages held captive by Hamas in Gaza.

20240419-visualizing-captivity Visualizing Captivity: Caged women representing those still held captive cried out for water, for food, for air, and for freedom at Dag Hannarskjold Plaza rally, April 7.

20240419-eric-goldstein Eric Goldstein, CEO, addresses the overflow crowd

20240419-former-israeli-prime-minister-naphtali-bennett Former Israeli Prime Minister Naphtali Bennett shared an emotional embrace with a hostage family member at a massive rally to “Bring Them Home “ at Dag Hammarskjold Plaza April

NEW YORK -- Sunday, April 7, 2024, thousands gathered in Dag Hammarskjöld Plaza to rally for the return of the hostages held captive by Hamas for (then) 181 days. Jewish and non-Jewish community and political leaders called for their release; hostage family members raised their voices to demand the return of the captives.

An expanse of blue and white, punctuated by the colorful flags of Israel’s Druze community and banners of the many nations supporting Israel filled the block long space. Cries of “Bring Them Home” resounded throughout the gathering.

Eric Goldstein, CEO of lead organizer of UJA (United Jewish Appeal) Federation of New York, Mark Treyger, CEO of the Jewish Community Relations Council, and Congressman Jerry Nadler demanded “Bring them Home.” Former Prime Minister of Israel Naftali Bennett asked for international “pressure not on Israel but on Hamas.” The deeply sadness of the plea of Rachel Goldberg-Polin, mother of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, held captive in Gaza, brought tears to many eyes.

Within twenty-four hours after the horrific assault of October 7, the volunteer “Hostage Families Forum” was formed to support the families of the 240 taken hostage October 7, 2023. The organization “advances the ongoing efforts through all channels…to bring the hostages and the missing home to their loved ones.”

Hamas terrorists invaded areas of Southern Israel October 7, 2023, murdering more than 1200 and capturing 240 men, women, and children. Throughout the crowd, the now familiar red and black edged posters displayed the images of those held hostage and those murdered. 133 hostages are believed to still be held in Gaza; many are assumed to have been murdered.

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