Jewish group sends 100,000 letters to Biden urging continued support of Israel

Families of Israeli hostages spoke at a press conference in Washington DC, urging the president to help free their loved ones


More than 100,000 letters urging US President Joe Biden to continue to supporting Israel as it seeks to eradicate Hamas were delivered to the White House yesterday, with another 80,000 on their way.

The April 3 delivery was part of a “180 for 180” campaign that the Orthodox Union launched less than a week earlier, was driven in part grassroots efforts such as via emails, WhatsApp messages, social-media posts and word of mouth. The goal of the campaign was to have a total of 180,000 letters signed for the 180 days that the hostages have been held in Gaza.

At a press conference prior to the delivery of the letters, Maurice Shnaider, whose niece Shiri Bibas, was abducted into with her two young children, Ariel and Kfir, and her husband, Yarden.

“You know who my family is,” he began, saying that his sister and brother-in-law, Shiri’s parents Yossi and Margit Silberman, were murdered on October 7 because she couldn’t walk to Gaza, while Shiri and her family were taken hostage.

Shnaider expressed his outrage that, in his view, more of the world’s concern was focused on the WCK strike than the hostages being held by Hamas.

“When was the last time we heard from our hostages?” he asked. “We don’t know if they are alive, we hope they are alive, we pray for them to be alive, but where is the world? … They don’t deserve a line in a newspaper today or on CNN?”

Recalling the image of little Ariel, 4, dressed up as Batman last year and told his teacher that he flies and saves people, Shnaider said, that he has “more courage than anyone in the UN, who have done nothing. They said ‘No we can’t do that. We don’t have power to do that.’ They told me that personally. And the Red Cross? Nothing.”

Pointing to a photo of the family, he said, “can you imagine what they look like [now]? They don’t look like that, smiling … they don’t weigh that much.”

Rachel Goldberg-Polin, whose son Hersh was abducted by Hamas after his being injured by a grenade on October 7, spoke at the press release via a prerecorded message.

Noting her son is a dual U.S.-Israel citizen who was “brutally kidnapped” she said, everyone has to do their part “to make sure that day 180 does not turn into day 280, 380, 480.

“This cannot be acceptable,” Goldberg-Polin said. “It is a failure of the human species. And we call upon our leaders our us leaders get our people out.”

In addition to asking Biden to continue supporting Israel in the war with Hamas, the letter, which was signed by nearly 185,000 people, also asked that the government do everything possible to free the hostages and do more to combat antisemitism in the United States.

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