While the world witnesses the ongoing war in Gaza and acknowledges the tragedy that befell its citizens due to the events of the October 7th massacre, the plight of the hostages taken to Gaza on October 7th, the day of Hamas massacre, remains hidden. Among them were babies, elderly people, and young women and men. The Israelis are overwhelmed with worry, and we can’t stand the helplessness that we feel. We are frustrated with the Red Cross for their inability to ensure that the hostages are still alive and treated in a humane way. While I understand that it is not within the Red Cross’s mandate to persuade Hamas to allow them to see the hostages, it is still infuriating. We are not dealing with soldiers captured in battle, these are civilians who were abducted from their homes inside Israel. Surely, after this calamity, steps should be taken to secure their safe return.
We are not only upset with the Red Cross, we are also furious with our own government for abandoning the south over many years and especially on October 7th, and for not fighting for the return of the hostages. This government and coalition fight vigorously to secure the funds they want for their voters. If only this determination was applied to bringing the hostages home now.
Meanwhile, in Israel, ordinary citizens are tirelessly planning various initiatives to maintain interest in the fate of the hostages and to raise awareness. Last week, the aunt of the red-headed Bibes babies, still in captivity, urged families with ginger hair children to gather at the Kidnapped Circle in Tel Aviv by the museum and demand the return of the Bibes family and the rest of the hostages.
This morning, the last day of Hanukkah, my rowing club (Daniel Rowing Center), along with the Hostages And Missing Families Forum, and Tel Aviv municipality, organized a special event on the Yarkon River aimed to advocate for the return of the hostages and to support their families: 50 rowing boats, 150 kayaks, sailboats, and Dragon boats participated in this event.
As mentioned previously, we, as ordinary citizens, feel desperate and utterly powerless confronting such evil. All we can do is raise awareness to the plight of the hostages through every available means. Yet, we also demand accountability and action from our government, particularly from Benjamin Netanyahu. It’s time they prioritize bringing the hostages back and ending this war, setting aside all other concerns