Call the White House!

It has been 11 days since 3 Israeli teenagers were abducted by Hamas  terrorists. Though in shock, the people of Israel are reacting as best as they can – rallying together in prayer, working to raise awareness, and collecting food to support the soldiers actively looking for these teens.

What are the leaders of Israel’s greatest friend, America, doing? Not much, unfortunately. On June 17th, the White House released a statement via Twitter (!): “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families of 3 Israeli teens who were kidnapped last week. May they be reunited with their sons soon.”

This statement was released 5 full days after these boys, one of whom is an American citizen, were kidnapped.

At a press briefing on June 18th, a spokesperson for the US Department of State confirmed that they were aware that a US citizen was abducted, yet she did not even know his name. My 4-year-old son returns home each day from pre-school asking about Naftali, Eyal and Gilad. Why does a US government spokesperson not even know the name of a captured American citizen?

Where is President Obama in all of this?

Where is President Obama, the one who asks Israel to be a partner in peace, the one who asks Israel to relinquish land, the one who condemns Israel when he believes it acts poorly?

Where is Michelle Obama, holding up a sign with a hashtag “Bring Back Our Boys”? When she held up a sign in support of kidnapped Nigerian girls, she stated, “In these girls, Barack and I see our own daughters.” What about the missing American citizen, Naftali Frenkel? Does she see American children in him? Does she care for his plight?

As an Israeli, I am in shock. I am scared, I am worried and I am angry. As an American, I am disappointed. Growing up in America I was proud that America was Israel’s best friend. That Israel would always be safe with America by its side. I wish that were the case.

As a mother, I feel helpless. What can I do to help these teenagers and their families? I am not a soldier, I am not a politician. But, I am an activist.

On Thursday, I called the White House. On Friday, I called, too. As soon as it hits 9 am EST tomorrow, I will call as well. (The White House comments line is now a saved contact in my cell phone.) I will phone the White House every day until these boys are safely returned to their families.

It is easy to do, anyone can do it (no need to be an American). Call the White House and ask when will President Obama release a statement on the kidnapped Israeli teenagers? When will America show support and assist Israel in recovering the American Citizen who has been abducted? It is as simple as saying the following:

“Hi, my name is X from Y and I am calling about the three kidnapped Israeli teenagers. Does the President have any plans to make a statement about the issue? Does he plan to assist or show support to Israel in recovering these teenagers, one of whom, Naftali Frenkel, is an American citizen?”

Trust me, you won’t get a satisfying response. The operators are trained to say “Thank you for your comment, it will be shared with the President.” When thousands of calls pertaining to a certain issue come in to the White House comments line, they are indeed shared with the President. Will it make a difference? Possibly. Let’s do everything we can to help.

Please call the White House today: 202-456-1111. The White House comments line is open from 9 am 4 pm EST, Monday – Friday.

May we see the swift return of Naftali Frenkel, Gilad Shaar, and Eyal Yifrah.

About the Author
Alyssa Magid is a New Jersey native currently living in Modiin, Israel. She is a writer, mom of two rambunctious boys, and the Director of Virtual Assistant Israel. When not at her computer, Alyssa enjoys DIY home improvement projects, learning new Hebrew vocabulary words, and spending time outdoors with her children.
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