As a hypocritical world clamors for a cease-fire and humanitarian aid for Palestinians in Gaza, it chooses to ignore the plight of 240 Israelis, kidnapped by Hamas terrorists on Oct 7 and dragged off to captivity. Among the hostages are scores of children, women and elderly including some who are chronically ill. Some of the children watched their parents being murdered before they were snatched by terrorists, hurled onto mopeds or trucks and driven away.
What has become of all these innocent souls? No one knows for sure if they are still among the living. The barbarity and sadism of the murders accompanying the kidnappings leaves no doubt that the hostages, if they are still alive, are being held in inhumane conditions, subject to torture, humiliation and violence.
Terror experts say Hamas is using and will use them as human shields, just as the terror group treats its own civilians. Or they will murder them and claim they were killed in Israeli bombings. A Hamas spokesman has already claimed last week that 50 of the hostages have been killed in this way.
The International Red Cross, whose vaunted mission is to track those being held captive in times of war and ensure they are being treated humanely, claims although they are in contact with Hamas leaders, they have no information about the Israeli hostages as they have been “denied access.”
ICRC Repeating the Fatal Mistakes of Yesterday
“The Red Cross is refusing to carry out its duties on behalf of the Israel hostages,” charged Nitsana Darshan-Leitner, head of the Shurat HaDin-Israel Law Center in Israel, in an open letter to the International Red Cross.
Shurat HaDin helps terror victims fight back by litigating civil rights lawsuits against anti-Semitic and anti-Israel organizations in Israeli, American, Canadian and European jurisdictions. In numerous multi-million dollar court victories, the organization has severely penalized several anti-Israel and anti-Semitic organizations.
In a video that went viral, Leitner related a disturbing encounter she had with the ICRC when she approached the organization with a request to engage in their humanitarian mission to help the hostages. Red Cross leaders informed her they could not comply because they “were not active in Gaza.”
But just one hour after her appeal, related Leitner, Red Cross regional director Fabrizio Carboni issued an online statement declaring that “During the darkest hours of our presence in Gaza, we never envisaged a scenario where two million civilians could possibly live through heavy bombing, deprived of water, food, electricity and medicines. All measures to avoid such a situation should be taken immediately.”
“So the Red Cross is actually there in Gaza!” Leitner declared. “They’re just turning a blind eye to the plight and conditions of the Israeli hostages.
“The ICRC must not repeat its failure to assist and protect Jews in peril today as it failed Jews during the Holocaust,” Leitner wrote to the Red Cross. She reminded the organization of its public admission of regret in 1997 over the ‘mistakes’ it made during the Holocaust, when it failed to speak out about Nazi persecution and genocide.
“Those mistakes resemble the mistakes that you are making today: You issue hollow statements but remain passive and ‘neutral.’ You choose not to risk your ties with a Nazi-like terror organization in order to help innocent Jews,” Leitner wrote.
The letter to the Red Cross went on to say that the Shurat HaDin organization, along with 1500 signatories which included respected legal voices from Israel, the United States and Britain, “expect that Mr. Fabrizio Carboni who boasts of his “daily contacts with Hamas,” will use every resource to demand to see the hostages, to allow them to contact their family and to facilitate their immediate release.”
“We urge the Israeli authorities not to allow this bias agency any access [to Hamas and Palestinian prisoners] unless they intervene on behalf of the Israeli hostages,” the letter concluded.
Following a rally of thousands in front of the Military Headquarters in Tel Aviv last Saturday night calling for the release of the hostages, “Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu again spoke to Mirjana Spoljaric, President of the ICRC,” a government spokesman said. “He demanded that the Red Cross uphold its mandate to immediately visit all the hostages to verify their safety and health, and to seek their release as required by international law.”
Pro-Israel Rallies Across The World
Pro-Israel rallies and solidarity demonstrations demanding the release of the hostages have been vastly underreported by the media. They have been held during the past few weeks in cities across the world; in Brooklyn, Manhattan, San Francisco, Tampa, Florida, Las Vegas, Brookline, Mass., Montreal, Tel Aviv, Vienna, London and other cities.
In London two weeks ago, 20,000 people gathered in Trafalgar Square as heartbroken families of those kidnapped addressed the crowd, driving home the full horror of what happened to those murdered and abducted from the southern kibbutzim of Israel.
Ofri Levi, choked with tears, spoke of her sister-in-law, abducted with her two tiny children aged four and nine months. Ayelet Svatizky brokenly described how her mother and brother were abducted from Kibbutz Nirim, while another brother was murdered.
The Hamas massacre followed a plan, speakers told the appalled crowd. Maps had been found on dead terrorists, showing where the children’s rooms were on the kibbutzim, so that the terrorists could target them first. Gazan workers who worked on these properties were familiar with the interior design of the homes and took an active role in the killing and plundering.
Communities Secretaries Michael Gove in his address condemned the “evil and barbarism” of Hamas and echoed calls for the hostages to be released. “There are no words to describe the suffering of families whose relatives were butchered, with some of them kidnapped and now buried in a Hamas dungeon.”
Gove said the world is hypocritical and has sympathy for Jews only when they are suffering. “But when the Jewish people say we need to be strong and stand up for our people and humanity, then you hear the critics and the cynics attacking Israel.
“As a British government minister, I speak for cross parties in the House of Commons — Israel must stand strong and Britain stands with Israel.”
The rally concluded with the reading of the more than 200 hostages’ names — including all the children and their ages—as people in the crowd wept and impassioned cries of “Bring them home!” rang out.
Thousands Form Human Chain Marking 30 Days since Oct. 7 Massacre
The following Sunday, over 3,000 people formed a human chain round Parliament Square, marking thirty days since the savage terrorist massacres in the south of Israel, and continuing efforts to rally the world to the plight of the 240 hostages and demanding their release.
“Bring them home!” participants shouted between speeches, clutching posters with faces of the kidnapped who hail from 25 countries. With the exceptions of a few governments that have demanded the release of their citizens, there has been a striking silence from most of the countries whose citizens are being held captive by Hamas.
Hen Mazzig, Israeli author and founder of the Tel Aviv Institute, which fights online antisemitism, said that since the hostages were abducted “a single day is too much to bear without their return. A minute is too much. I can’t walk down the street and see babies and not think of them being held in Gaza. I can’t see my nephew and not think about Ariel or three-year-old Avigayil, who are held by terrorists….”
Having just returned from Israel, where he had been meeting survivors of the attacks and relatives of victims and hostages, former UJIA chairman David Cohen said that a “miracle” had emerged following the atrocities in that “Israeli society has been galvanized to unite despite all the recent contention. Thousands have mobilized to help evacuees, hostage families, the wounded and others.”
The hostages’ relatives are undertaking a tour of European cities in cooperation with Israel’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, they said at the start of the media briefing. After Paris and Madrid, they will also speak in Brussels, Copenhagen, The Hague, Vienna, Berlin, and Rome. Five people with dual Israeli-Italian citizenship were murdered by terrorists, and five are being held hostage.
“Who knows what will help?” one of the group’s members said of the effort to awaken the world’s conscience. “All we know is we can’t sit with folded hands while our hearts are on fire.”
‘I Never Knew It Could be So Hard To See The Sun Rise’
Relatives of the victims and those who were abducted have described their ordeal on Israeli radio. Orian Adar spoke about the shock of seeing her great grandmother, Yaffa Adar, being held captive on a Hamas jeep, in a video livestreamed all over the world by armed terrorists who kidnapped her.
Choking back tears, Orian said the elderly woman was alone in her home when the terrorists broke in and abducted her from her bed.
“I never knew it could be so hard to see the sun rise,” Orian said brokenly. “The mornings and nights are the hardest, because in the morning you realize that the world continues to exist while your loved ones are still in captivity. At night you have the silence to think about how hungry, freezing and wretched they must be.”
“My great grandmother is completely clear-headed, sharp, brilliant,” Orian went on. “But like any 85-year-old woman, her body no longer functions well. She has heart and kidney problems, high blood pressure… If she is still alive, she’s dying. How can it be that the Red Cross fails to contact them, fails to deliver the medications my great grandmother needs, but we allow them to deliver humanitarian aid [to Gazan civilians]?”
“How can it be that the word ‘humanitarian’ even exists when they kidnap small children and there is no one to take care of them and the world is silent?” Orian Adar cried.
[Israel National News reported this week that the two terrorists who abducted Yaffa on October 7th were killed in a recent Israeli airstrike in Gaza. Yaffa Adar’s condition and whereabouts remain unknown.]
9-year old Ohad Zichri
An Associated Press article told of an Israeli boy, Ohad Zichri who turned 9 in captivity, weeks after Hamas kidnapped him with his mother and grandparents.
Ohad is an only son and also an only grandson of Avraham and Ruti Munder, both close to 80, who disappeared with them from Nir Oz. About 80 people —nearly a quarter of all residents of the small community—are believed to have been taken hostage.
The fourth-grader from the central Israeli city of Kfar Saba was snatched by terrorists along with his mother and grandparents during a holiday visit to his grandparents’ kibbutz of Nir Oz. Ohad’s beloved uncle was killed in the attack, reported his father, Avi Zichri.
The boy, his mother and grandparents disappeared, with the only hint of their whereabouts coming from a cellphone signal traced to Gaza. From his wife’s texts early that morning, Avi Zichri knew that they had hidden in a safe room when they heard terrorists had broken into their village, but were not yet aware of the terrifying scope of the danger.
“I keep imagining what they’re going through,” the grief-stricken father told an AP reporter. “I keep thinking of every dreadful scenario, hoping for the least catastrophic…” His only respite from overwhelming anxiety come comes when he takes sleeping pills that knock him out for the night.”
Meanwhile, across the ocean in London, a mother participating in the pro-Israel solidarity rally told a news correspondent how she came to know about Ohad. “They were showing pictures of the hostages and my eight-year-old pointed to a picture of a little boy with glasses and said, ‘Mummy, this is Ohad Zichri! Ohad was with me at camp’. (My kids went to summer camp in Israel.) And my son asked me, ‘Why is his picture there?’
“A shock went through me. Little Ohad was a boy my child had played with. He was now in the hands of depraved terrorists. I had to tell him the truth. ‘He’s one of the children that the bad people took away,’ I said. “My son looked at me in horror. I wanted to comfort him but didn’t know how.”
ICRC Warns Israel to Comply with International Law
In response to the many requests and demands made to the Red Cross to make contact with the Israeli hostages, the agency has provided one stock diplomatic answer: “We are deeply concerned about all the hostages but have not yet been granted a humanitarian space in which to do our job. We obviously can’t drive through bombings.”
A few days ago, the Red Cross wrote a letter to the Commissioner of the Israel Prison Service and the Israeli Foreign Ministry, expressing its concern about Palestinian terrorists in Israeli prisons.
“Israel must ensure that everyone deprived of their liberty receives humane treatment, free from torture and anything that could violate personal dignity,” the Red Cross letter preached. The writer reminded Israel that it is obliged under the Geneva Conventions to provide full access to all facilities where prisoners are held.
The supreme irony of the Red Cross demanding humanitarian treatment for savages who spit on the Geneva Conventions, while the agency fails to protest the terrorists’ murder and sadistic torture of women and children, was not lost on the Prison Commissioner.
A one-line response from Commissioner Katy Perry made it clear that Israel rejects the organization’s double standards. “In the current situation where we have 240 hostages in the Gaza Strip who are not receiving help or visits, we will not allow Red Cross visits to Israeli prisons,” Perry wrote.
Haters Hiding Behind Hypocrisy
The ICRC’s hypocrisy is mirrored by the double moral standards in which today’s liberal academia and human rights groups wallow. This hypocrisy is on display in the failure of many of these institutions to condemn the horrific Hamas butcheries and kidnap of peaceful civilians, and in their fury over Israeli’s war of self-defense.
Elite American universities, where the anti-Israel left has made common cause with the Muslim community, have adopted the anti-Semitic idea that Israelis (and Jews who support Israel) are undeserving of human sympathy for crimes perpetrated against them, because they are “oppressors” or “colonizers” who benefit from “white supremacy.”
Presidents of these universities cannot bring themselves to condemn terror atrocities, let alone expel aggressive Jew-haters and fire professors on campus who are openly anti-Semitic.
An open letter from 100 Columbia professors justified the pogrom in which Hamas butchered children in front of their parents, assaulted women, and burned and beheaded babies as “a military resistance.”
This sick mentality absolves criminals of guilt through a doctrine of impunity. If the crime, no matter how heinous, was “provoked” by evil forces outside the person’s control—i.e. poverty, racism, oppression and other social ills—the perpetrator is not accountable. In fact, his crime might even be considered a good thing, a blow for “justice.”
“Such attitudes have caused shock and disorientation among some progressive Jews” who find themselves in a form of identity crisis, British author and political commentator Melanie Philips writes. “They are aghast to discover that people they aligned with across the left-wing landscape are displaying indifference towards—or even support for—a depraved genocidal agenda against the Jewish people.”
Now that the mask has slipped from the faces of the haters who find excuses for, and even celebrate, the torture and murder of babies, many left-wing Jews who formerly aligned with them are repelled.
As card-carrying progressives, they have spent decades demonizing Israel and legitimizing Israel’s mortal enemies. They felt no sympathy for the victims of murderous stabbing and ramming attacks in Judea and Samaria because to the left, it is not the perpetrators but the victims who are at fault because they are “colonizers.”
But the Oct. 7 pogrom tore the blinders from their eyes.
“Now these progressive Jews are crying because suddenly, they feel the hot breath of the Jew-haters on their own necks,” wrote Phillips. Because Jew-haters don’t discriminate. Even if you agree with them, at the end of the day, you’re still a ‘dirty Jew.’