Calling all hearts: Bring Back Our Boys!

On Thursday, 12.6.2014, three young boys (one an American) were abducted in Israel by Hamas, a known terrorist organization. These children were on their way home from school, trying to get home to their families, but are now being held by terrorists, whose sole purpose is to bring the destruction of the state of Israel. Kidnapping is a grave violation of human rights, but the international community has remained silent.

Wait, check that, not actually silent. There have been responses, really interesting responses. These responses can only be credited to two groups of people. Two completely opposite groups of people. I’d like to introduce you to them:

The first group has made it their sole purpose to find fault with three young boys. These three children have been blamed for everything a dark mind can think up: starting with being out too late at night for such young children, to building settlements with their own bare hands and therefore being the sole obstacle to peace. I have read, astounded, some of the ignorant, bigoted and frankly conspirational theories as to how it was the boys own fault that they were kidnapped.

I have no problem with post-modernistic approaches to there being no absolute truth – but this is post-humane. The indifference, the audacity or the shallowness – it’s all so easy behind the screen of your laptop. These three boys are currently being held captive by terrorists, and not only have they not returned – by voicing these ridiculous claims, by focusing on these inane topics, terror is being sent one clear, crisp and cool message: it’s ok for you to kidnap children. Heck, we’ll even support and find excuses for you.

The second group has started something beautiful. If you care more about humanity than you do about creating media waves for your next controversial and shallow headline, you’ll want to support this initiative. This group woke up and smelt the hypocrisy.

A group of Israeli students has started a civilian campaign surrounding the event of the kidnapping of 3 innocent young boys. It is not a political campaign, it is a cry out to the world to raise awareness of this tragedy and help us #BringBackOurBoys! All this is solely because three young boys were kidnapped. This has nothing to do with politics – and everything to do with peace, with human rights and with standing up to terror.

The campaign has gone viral: we are operating on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube, regional and international press. We are closing in on 100,000 Likes on Facebook, the #BringBackOurBoys is one of the most viral hashtags with more than 30 hits every minute, with more than 1000 pictures of people holding a “Bring Back Our Boys” sign. We have centers set up in four universities, with dozens working around the clock, and many more working from home. Our goal is to reach the international community about this atrocity, in order to raise: Awareness, Response and Action!

I know which group I belong to. Do you?

Here’s to seeing the boys’ safe and swift return to their families. Nothing more. #BringBackOurBoys!



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About the Author
Ilana Sherrington was born in Israel, to parents making Aliyah from England. Currently a student in the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, studying International-Relations and Media, she has led many initiatives in Public Diplomacy and Advocacy. Serving as a First-Lieutenant (Ktzinat Tash), in charge of the financial, social and medical welfare of soldiers and an instructor in the officers’ course, she still volunteers for IDF Lone Soldiers. She headed the English-speaking team in her University's Situation room during operation Pillar of Cloud (battling Israel de-legitimization) and heads the #BringBackOurBoys Jerusalem Center, is a Model UN Vice-President and studies in the Jewish Statesmanship Center. She has led many Jewish Agency educational programs. She graduated the Israel StandWithUs fellowship, and participates in the MENA Leaders for Change program, joining Israelis and Palestinians in studying negotiation skills.