Bring them home

Ex-Olympic sailor wears hostage dog tags on Oscars red carpet

Attending Hollywood’s prime event with husband Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, Anat Fabrikant brings attention to hostages held by Hamas while celebs wear red pin calling for Gaza ceasefire

Ynon Kreiz and Anat Fabrikant attend the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Mike Coppola / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)
Ynon Kreiz and Anat Fabrikant attend the 96th Annual Academy Awards on March 10, 2024 in Hollywood, California. (Mike Coppola / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

The Oscars is often a moment for political activism, and this year, the ongoing war in Gaza, sparked by Hamas’s brutal October 7 onslaught in southern Israel, was not far from the minds of the A-listers on the red carpet.

Israeli former Olympic competitive sailor Anat Fabrikant was apparently the only attendee at the 96th Academy Awards in Hollywood to put the plight of the 130 hostages held by terror groups in the Gaza Strip since October 7 front and center.

Fabrikant was photographed on the Oscars red carpet at the Dolby Theatre on Sunday with her husband Ynon Kreiz, CEO of Mattel, wearing dog tags calling for the release of the hostages.

These dog tags, similar to those soldiers carry for identification, have become a symbol of support for securing the release of the hostages, with many Israelis wearing them around their necks every day. The tags are usually inscribed with slogans reading “Together we will win” and “Our hearts are held hostage in Gaza,” along with the demand “Bring them home now.”

The show of solidarity was outnumbered by several nominees including Oscar-winning singer-songwriter Billie Eilish and her brother Finneas O’Connell wearing red Artists4Ceasefire pins, in support of “an immediate de-escalation and ceasefire in Gaza and Israel.”

The pin features a red hand with a black heart, and came under fire on social media on Monday for its association with the 2000 lynching of two Jewish Israelis in Ramallah.

Scattered pro-Palestinian demonstrations were also held in the vicinity around the Oscars in Los Angeles on Sunday night, some under the banner “While you’re watching, bombs are dropping,” which was also used during the Super Bowl in February.

But there were some louder shows of support for Israel at Oscars after parties. Sarah Idan, a former Miss Iraq and now a candidate in the 2024 US Congressional elections, rocked up to the annual 32nd Elton John AIDS Foundation Academy Awards Viewing Party in a black dress with yellow strips to bring attention to the hostages held by Hamas since October 7.

She especially highlighted 19 women still held by terror groups— not all of them alive — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November.

Also at Elton John’s event, freed hostage Mia Schem, kidnapped on October 7 from the Supernova desert rave and released in the November truce, wore a white gown decorated with an oversized yellow rhinestone ribbon pin to raise awareness of the hostages still in Gaza.

At the Vanity Fair party, attendees could see some of the most searing footage of the last year when a video featuring Israelis held hostage by Hamas was screened on a building adjacent to one of the award show’s glitziest afterparties.

In probably the most talked-about Jewish moment of the night, Jonathan Glazer, writer-director of the cerebral Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest,” used his acceptance speech to comment on the Israel-Hamas war.

Jonathan Glazer poses with his Oscar award for “The Zone of Interest” at the Dolby Theatre, Los Angeles, March 10, 2024. (Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP)

Standing alongside producers James Wilson and Len Blavatnik during his acceptance speech for best international feature, Glazer, who is Jewish and came to Israel on a five-month program when a student at London’s Jewish Free School, denounced Israel’s occupation of Palestinian territory, which he said had led to “dehumanization” that had affected both Israelis and Palestinians.

The war in Gaza erupted after Hamas’s October 7 massacres, which saw some 3,000 terrorists burst across the border into Israel by land, air and sea, killing some 1,200 people and seizing 253 hostages, mostly civilians, many amid horrific acts of brutality and sexual assault.

Agencies and JTA contributed to this report. 

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