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DC, NY, Ottawa Jews urge Qatar to help release hostages in Gaza

“We’re going to keep coming here until every hostage is home,” said Ron Halber, head of the JCRC of greater Washington, at the Qatari embassy.

Norman Goldstein, uncle of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, whom Hamas terrorists are holding hostage in Gaza, addresses about 50 people in front of the Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 2, 2024. Photo by Andrew Bernard.
Norman Goldstein, uncle of Hersh Goldberg-Polin, whom Hamas terrorists are holding hostage in Gaza, addresses about 50 people in front of the Qatari embassy in Washington, D.C. on Feb. 2, 2024. Photo by Andrew Bernard.

Members of the Jewish communities of New York City, Ottawa and Washington, D.C., held coordinated demonstrations on Feb. 2 at Qatari diplomatic buildings to urge Doha to put additional pressure on Hamas to release the remaining hostages in Gaza.

Ron Halber, executive director of the Jewish Community Relations Council of Greater Washington, which organized the events—as well as a Jan. 25 demonstration at the Qatari embassy in Washington—told JNS ahead of the prior event that it was deliberately billed as a “gathering” and not a protest or rally.

A press release for the Friday events also called them “gatherings.”

“In November, the Qataris helped to free more than 100 hostages,” Halber said Friday in front of Qatar’s embassy in Washington. “We’re grateful for their actions, but it’s not enough. They have to do everything in their power to finish the job.”

“We’re going to keep coming here until every hostage is home,” he added.

About 50 people gathered in front of the embassy in Washington on Friday morning, with temperatures in the 40s.  

Speakers at the gathering included Rep. David Trone (D-Md.), who is also a candidate for Senate, as well as Natalie Sanandaji, a survivor of the Nova music festival in southern Israel on Oct. 7. 

Elected officials who spoke in New York included Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine and New York City Council Member Eric Dinowitz. The Ottawa event featured community and faith leaders, but not elected officials.

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