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The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

The student news site of Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School

The Lion's Tale

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In the midst of all of the protests seen on various college campuses across the country, it seems as though the Israel-Hamas war has become even...

Bring them home

The hostages must remain a top priority

In the midst of all of the protests seen on various college campuses across the country, it seems as though the Israel-Hamas war has become even more politicized than it had been at its onset. With encampments and worldwide protests consuming our news feed, it feels like the world has lost sight of one of, if not the most, pressing matters of the war: the hostages.

As of May 9, over 130 hostages are still being held captive in Gaza, according to Politico. This means that over 130 innocent individuals with families, friends, passions and livelihoods have been in captivity for over seven months. While this war has proven to be quite polarizing and has sparked mass global division, the matter of the hostages must not be politicized. It should be everyone’s goal, regardless of which side they may stand, to bring the hostages home.

Accounts from released hostages have described the unimaginable conditions they experienced. Many recalled being kept underground in dark tunnels where it was difficult to breathe. Others described having limited food rations. In some cases, people reported that they were beaten. Many female hostages, like Amit Soussana, reported being sexually assaulted by their captors, living in constant fear of what would happen if they did not comply. How can we allow innocent individuals continue to be treated this way?

Recently, hostage deal proposals have led to nothing but disappointment. The most recent talks proposed returning no more than 33 hostages, and it is still a mystery if these hostages would be returned dead or alive, according to the Times of Israel on May 7.

In addition to these deals, Hamas has continued its psychological warfare by releasing videos of a few hostages that remain in Gaza. For example, a Hamas propaganda video was released on May 11 of 51-year-old hostage Nadav Popplewell. This was the fourth video that Hamas has released; videos were published of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin on April 24, as well as Keith Siegel and Omri Miran on April 28.

While these videos have sparked some hope regarding the condition of the hostages, it cannot be confirmed that any of the hostages that were videoed are still alive today.

While the pressure is on the Israeli government to negotiate a deal and bring the hostages home, it is just as important that the global community do everything in its power to ensure the innocent people being held in captivity are freed.

While there are many areas of controversy in this war, there is nothing to argue about when it comes to the issue of the hostages: they need to be freed.

Though it may seem as though there is little an average civilian can do, the truth is that immense power lies in the people. First of all, the international community can continue to raise awareness about the people being held hostage which will in turn put pressure on government officials to bring the hostages home. We must not forget how this war started: Hamas’ brutal attack on Oct. 7, the murder of around 1,200 women, men and children and the barbaric capture of over 230 civilians, according to the New York Times.

If we forget about this cause, the over 130 people still being held in captivity will never return. Their families will never see their brothers, sisters, mothers, father, grandmothers or grandfathers ever again; they will be left to die in Gaza. If we fail at delivering on this cause, how could we move on?

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