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A Mother Pleads for the Return of Her Son From Hamas; Will the World Listen?

Israeli hostage Matan Angrest.

As an Israeli living abroad, advocating for Israel has always been my passion.

At a recent event organized by a Jewish organization in Florida, I met the mother of Matan Angrest, who was abducted by Hamas on October 7.

Anat, a mother of four from Kiryat Bialik, has been dealing with the uncertainty of her 21-year-old son’s kidnapping. It wasn’t until two weeks after October 7 that his phone was tracked in Gaza; he was listed as “kidnapped,” leaving the family in limbo.

Anat told me, “We didn’t know if he was alive or dead. I spent most of the day [of the Hamas attack] on the balcony, watching every military vehicle and every knock on my neighbors’ doors announcing the loss of their loved ones. I was fearful that I would be next to receive tragic news.”

More than a month later, during the ceasefire hostage deal with Hamas, one of the hostages who was freed confirmed with the family that he had seen Matan and had spent a day with him in the Gaza terror tunnels. For the first time, they knew that he was alive but badly injured from the fighting on October 7.

My heart goes out to Anat’s struggle, and I wonder how she manages to balance caring for her family, advocating for her son in rallies to bring him back home, and traveling to the United States. She expressed her appreciation for the moral support and compassion from American Jews living abroad, which has been a source of emotional and financial strength for Anat during this challenging time.

Anat shared, “It’s hard for me to take care of my three children now and stay calm while imagining my son hungry and injured in a tunnel; I see him sitting in front of me.”

“My husband and I have stopped working since October 7. We don’t have a day or night. We are focusing on maintaining a sense of normalcy for our three other children during this challenging time. They are experiencing nightmares and tears, while two of our kids find it difficult to cope with school and are only receiving home tutoring, they are traumatized by their brother’s kidnapping … the last six months have been a complete cycle of hell,” Anat told me.

Amid the war in Gaza, the world has completely forgotten about the plight of the Israeli hostages, let alone the 1,200 people murdered on October 7. As advocates for Israel, it is our job to keep telling both sides of the story — and make sure that the world cannot forget.

We stand united with Anat’s family in her prayers for the safe return of her son, Matan, and the release of all the hostages — and we must work to make this a reality.

Ayelet Raymond is an Israel activist, and the creative force behind the @Kosher_Barbie character and social media personality.

The post A Mother Pleads for the Return of Her Son From Hamas; Will the World Listen? first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing

The University of Toronto is now seeking a court injunction to put and end to the encampment in King’s College Circle after the 8 a.m. deadline passed Monday morning—while unionized workers joined students, faculty and other protesters at a rainy morning rally. Shortly after the ultimatum hour, the university announced in a statement from UofT […]

The post University of Toronto seeks injunction to end protest encampment over ‘harmful, discriminatory’ speech outlined in court filing appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire

Mayor Olivia Chow was among those who addressed the crowd.

The post Monday morning saw the Toronto community and politicians showing support for the Chabad girls’ school struck by weekend gunfire appeared first on The Canadian Jewish News.

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‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa in Chatsworth, South Africa, May 18, 2024. Photo: REUTERS/Rogan Ward

South African Jewish leaders castigated their country’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa, for what they described as him calling for a “genocide” against Jews in Israel over the weekend.

Ramaphosa was speaking at an election rally in Johannesburg on Saturday when he deviated from his prepared speech to lead the crowd in in a chant of “From the River to the Sea, Palestine shall be free” — a popular slogan among anti-Israel activists that has been widely interpreted as a call for the destruction of the Jewish state, which is located between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea.

The address took place at FNB Stadium, where South Africa’s ruling African National Congress (ANC) held its final rally before South African elections on Wednesday. According to Politicsweb, a news website focused on South Africa, a call for the release of the “hostages held in Gaza” who Hamas terrorists kidnapped from southern Israel on Oct. 7 appeared in Ramaphosa’s prepared remarks but not in his final speech.

The South African Jewish community lambasted Ramaphosa for his remarks in a statement shared with The Algemeiner, expressing “its revulsion at the introduction of a call to exterminate Jews from their homeland” by the president.

“The president of the ruling ANC party and the head of state of a democratic country has called for the elimination of the only Jewish state in the culmination of the ANC president’s election speech made to thousands of ANC members and on national television,” said Wendy Kahn, national director of the South African Jewish Board of Deputies (SAJBD). “He uses the populist slogan ‘From the river to the sea, Palestine will be Free,’ which is widely regarded as a call to genocide of the Jewish people. The call to remove all Jews from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea equates to removing all Jews from Israel.”

Kahn compared the slogan with Hamas’ goal to “see Israel as ‘Judenfrei,’ or Jew free,” before noting that such an endpoint contradicts the South African government’s stated policy of supporting a two-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

“The chanting of this slogan by a head of state of a government that recurrently tries to express their commitment to a ‘two-state Solution’ as their policy on Israel and Palestine is hypocritical to the full,” the SAJBD said. “How does a sitting president reject his own government and own party’s international relations policy? This reconfirms our understanding that President Ramaphosa and his government are not looking for a peaceful solution to the tragic conflict, but rather to cause discord among fellow South Africans against its Jewish community.”

Kahn added, “The president’s contempt for South African Jewry is evident in this unscripted outburst at the rally which amounts to nothing more than Jew hatred. The SAJBD is reviewing its options for holding the president accountable for these hateful words.”

South Africa’s ANC government has been one of the harshest critics of Israel since Oct. 7, when Hamas terrorists launched the ongoing war in Gaza with their invasion of and massacre across southern Israeli communities.

South Africa temporarily withdrew its diplomats from Israel and shuttered its embassy in Tel Aviv shortly after the Oct. 7 Hamas pogrom, saying that the Pretoria government was “extremely concerned at the continued killing of children and innocent civilians” in Gaza.

In December, South Africa hosted two Hamas officials who attended a government-sponsored conference in solidarity with the Palestinians. One of the officials had been sanctioned by the US government for his role with the terrorist organization.

Earlier this month, members of South Africa’s Jewish community protested Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor’s recent call for students and university leaders to intensify the anti-Israel demonstrations that have engulfed college campuses across the US.

In January, the South African government failed in its bid to argue before the International Court of Justice (ICJ) that Israel’s defensive war in Gaza constituted a “genocide.” However, the top UN court last week ordered Israel to halt its military operations against the Palestinian terrorist group Hamas in the southern Gaza city of Rafah. The emergency ruling was part of South Africa’s ongoing case at the ICJ.

The post ‘A Call for Genocide’: South African Jews Blast Country’s President for Chanting ‘From the River to the Sea’ first appeared on Algemeiner.com.

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