ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 147

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In new ad, Michael Rapaport urges Americans to lobby for hostages’ release

Social media campaign timed for Super Bowl aims to reach game-minded audiences to increase awareness of captives’ plight

Jessica Steinberg, The Times of Israel's culture and lifestyles editor, covers the Sabra scene from south to north and back to the center

Actor Michael Rapaport appears in Superbowl-timed ad, released February 8, 2024, asking audiences for support for the release of hostages held by Hamas. (YouTube Screenshot)
Actor Michael Rapaport appears in Superbowl-timed ad, released February 8, 2024, asking audiences for support for the release of hostages held by Hamas. (YouTube Screenshot)

As hundreds of millions of people tune in to the 2024 Super Bowl on Sunday, the Hostages and Missing Families Forum is unveiling its own game-time ad campaign on social media, calling on Americans to support releasing the 136 hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza.

The ad features actor Michael Rapaport, who visited Israel in December, hawking Lifeshiftr.com. The campaign appears to be a typical Super Bowl-related ad, until Rapaport reverts to his usual foul-mouthed speech as he urges viewers’ help in getting the hostages released.

He asks viewers to log on to Lifeshiftr.com, a website created by the Forum, where they can fill out an email form to be sent to their local representatives, seeking their assistance with the hostage crisis.

The ad campaign was created by the Hostages and Missing Families Forum, the organization that has been assisting and supporting the families of the Israeli abductees.

The Forum’s hope with the Super Bowl-timed ad is to reach new audiences who may not be aware or do not have current information about the remaining hostages held in Gaza, abducted on October 7 during the Hamas assault on Israel’s southern communities.

“It’s a campaign that looks like the kind of ad that runs during the Super Bowl,” said a representative of the Forum. “Everybody is always looking for all the Super Bowl ads, so ours will pop up on social media, on YouTube, Tiktok, anywhere people look for mentions about the ‘big day’ and the ‘big game.'”

In addition to Rapaport, families of the hostages also appear in the ad campaign, initially as satisfied consumers, before revealing themselves as relatives with loved ones held captive in Gaza.

The hostage family members include Romy Cohen, whose twin brother, Nimrod Cohen, was taken captive from Nahal Oz; Moshe Lavie, brother-in-law of Omri Miran, abducted from Kibbutz Nir Oz; Tamar Eshet, cousin to Evyatar David, taken captive from the Supernova desert rave; Dekel Lifshitz, grandson of Oded Lifshitz, also taken from Nir Oz; Yarden Gonen, whose sister Romi Gonen was abducted from the Supernova rave; Gil Dickman, whose cousin Carmel Gat was taken hostage from Kibbutz Be’eri; and Shay Binyamin, daughter of Ron Binyamin, a cyclist abducted on that Shabbat morning.

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