update deskIsrael at War

Family of Hamas captive holds airport rally

The demonstration was held on the day Israeli American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin was meant to embark on a year-long trip to Southeast Asia.

Pilots hold posters of Hamas captive Hersh Goldberg-Polin on the flight he would have taken on a planned trip to Southeast Asia. Photo: Courtesy of Matt Krieger.
Pilots hold posters of Hamas captive Hersh Goldberg-Polin on the flight he would have taken on a planned trip to Southeast Asia. Photo: Courtesy of Matt Krieger.

Family and friends of 23-year-old Israeli American Hersh Goldberg-Polin, who was abducted by Hamas on Oct. 7 from the Supernova Music Festival near Kibbutz Re’im, converged on Ben-Gurion Airport on Wednesday to raise further awareness of his plight.

The demonstration was held on the day Hersh was meant to embark on a year-long trip to Southeast Asia.

“This backpack was the one Hersh decided that he would be taking on his trip overseas, after doing some research,” Jon Polin, Hersh’s father, told dozens of supporters. “We bought it as a gift for him a few months ago. He used it on a shorter trip this summer and I hope that he will be using it again soon.

“We were supposed to meet here to say ‘tefilat haderekh‘ [the Jewish travelers’ prayer] for Hersh’s big trip; instead, I will pray for Hersh’s safe and immediate return home,” he added. 

On Oct. 7, Hersh fled the music festival and hid in a nearby bomb shelter as rockets from Gaza rained down on Israel. 

Hamas terrorists eventually located Hersh and several others, attacking them with RPGs, hand grenades and machine guns.

Hersh’s left arm was blown off and he was taken back to the Gaza Strip, where he has been held for 80-plus days. 

The pilots of Hersh’s planned flight made a special announcement on his behalf, as attendants passed out flyers with images of him to passengers.   

Those on the flight were requested to film a message to Hersh upon arrival and then share it on social media with the hashtag #BRING_HERSH_HOME.

Everyone on the flight also received special stickers to post in public places in the cities Hersh was slated to visit.

“As the parent of a young man whose only crime was going to a music festival on his birthday, it is an excruciating existence. On Oct. 7, my heart was blown out. But we will not save anyone by sobbing on the floor,” Rachel Goldberg, Hersh’s mother, told JNS last week.

“I talk to him all day long. When I’m feeling nervous, I say to him: ‘I love you, stay strong, survive because we are coming for you,” she added. 

On Oct. 7, Hamas terrorists murdered 1,200 people, mutilating some, burning others beyond recognition. Nearly a third were killed at the Supernova music festival near Kibbutz Be’eri in southwestern Israel facing the Gaza Strip. An additional 40 revelers were kidnapped into Gaza. 

Survivors of the Supernova music festival recreated scenes of the massacre at the Tel Aviv expo, as part of the ‘Nova 6.29’ exhibit meant to show the world the horrors that Hamas perpetrated at the festival. Organizers will be taking the exhibit overseas. 

Israel’s Yes Studios joined the effort of revealing Hamas’s atrocities to the world by offering its #NOVA documentary to all Israeli outlets for free, and the company is working on international distribution. The nearly one-hour documentary, comprising first-hand video and audio footage from the music festival massacre, has become the most viewed film in the history of the Yes Studios.

Supporters gather at Ben-Gurion Airport with Hersh Goldberg-Polin’s parents, Rachel Goldberg and Jon Polin, holding ‘Bring Hersh Home’ posters. Credit: Courtesy of Matt Krieger.
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