Celebrities from Israel and abroad posted videos Saturday in which they spoke personally on behalf of the dozens of children kidnapped by Hamas and other terror group and held in the Gaza Strip.
Among those who participated in the project was “Seinfeld” star Jason Alexander, who spoke in the name of Ohad Munder-Zichri, an Israeli boy who turned 9 last month in captivity.
Hamas-led terrorists took at least 240 hostages during their devastating October 7 attack on Israel, in which they killed over 1,200 people, mostly civilians butchered in their homes and at a music festival. Israel then declared war with the aim of toppling the terror group’s regime in Gaza, which it has ruled since taking over in 2007.
Israel says that 32 of those held captive are 18 or younger, some of them just babies.
The videos were released ahead of the United Nation’s World Children’s Day, which will be marked Monday.
Each celebrity began their video by showing a photograph of themselves as the same age of the child they are representing. Then they switched to show the hostage while declaring that they will be the youngster’s voice.
— Embassy of Israel to the USA | #IsraelUSA75 (@IsraelinUSA) November 18, 2023
Fourth-grader Munder-Zichri, from the central city of Kfar Saba, was abducted along with his mother and grandparents during a holiday visit to his grandparents’ kibbutz of Nir Oz along the border with Gaza.
“Hi, I’m Ohad. I’m nine years old,” Alexander said in his video clip. “I’m a football player. I have two best friends but I enjoy getting along with everyone and helping out.”
“I don’t like to brag, but I’m really good a solving Rubik’s cubes,” he continues.
“I wait every day to hug my father, and to go back home. Please set me free.”
Israel’s embassy in the United States posted Alexander’s video and thanked him for “lending your voice on behalf of Israeli hostages held in Gaza by Hamas terrorists.”
Aside from Alexander, other participants included Ukraine-born Israeli actor Mark Ivanir of “Schindler’s List” and “The Good Shepherd,” and Israeli figures such as pop star Ivri Lider, actress Alma Zack, actor Tomer Capone who has starred in the hit drama series “Fauda,” actress Daniel Gal, and acclaimed Israeli actor Sasson Gabai.
At the end of each video, the celebrity narrators ask, in the name of the child, “Please set me free.”
The project was put together by Maayan Arzi-Mlinarski, the head of Shavot, a leadership organization for girls, and by television personality Sivan Morag.
It was made in cooperation with the Hostage Families Forum and a child welfare group.
“The idea was to give a physical voice and to try to create a real match between the artists and the kidnapped children,” organizers said in a statement reported by Channel 12.
Activists around the world have engaged in a range of project to raise awareness to the plight of the hostages in Gaza.
The Washington Post reported Saturday that Israel, the United States and Hamas are “close” to an agreement via Qatari intermediators that would free dozens of women and children hostages being held by terrorists in Gaza, in exchange for a five-day pause in fighting.
Agencies contributed to this report.