Seinfeld's support

Visiting Israel, Jerry Seinfeld meets with freed hostages, families

Comedian dons symbolic ‘Bring them home’ dog tag around his neck meant to draw attention to plight of hostages held by Hamas in Gaza since October 7

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld at the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum Headquarters in Tel Aviv, December 18, 2023 (Courtesy)
Comedian Jerry Seinfeld at the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum Headquarters in Tel Aviv, December 18, 2023 (Courtesy)

Comedian Jerry Seinfeld arrived in Israel Monday for a visit to show solidarity with the country in its war against Palestinian terror group Hamas in Gaza following its shock October 7 attack.

Seinfeld and his family met late Monday with families of Israeli hostages held in the Gaza Strip as well as with hostages recently released from captivity.

“Seinfeld told the families that he feels a deep commitment to raising awareness around the world about the issue of the hostages,” according to a statement issued by the Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum Headquarters. He and his family were clearly “deeply affected” by the stories of “the experiences they heard from the family members and the released hostages.”

The statement said the families “thank the Seinfeld family for their moving visit to the families’ headquarters and their unwavering support for the families of the hostages.”

A Channel 13 report said the meeting lasted two hours longer than scheduled, and Seinfeld was “sensitive” and “caring.”

Seinfeld, wearing a symbolic “Bring them home” dog tag around his neck meant to draw attention to the plight of the hostages, waved to a camera as he got into a van but did not comment, in footage aired by the channel.

Jerry Seinfeld waves to the camera on a visit to Israel, December 18 2023. (Channel 13 screenshot/ used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

The channel said the Jewish-American entertainer planned to visit the southern border region and possibly meet with Israeli soldiers.

Seinfeld was photographed dining in Tel Aviv on Monday evening with his family at the North Abraxas eatery by Israeli celebrity chef Eyal Shani.

It is believed that 128 hostages remain in Gaza — not all of them alive — after 105 civilians were released from Hamas captivity during a weeklong truce in late November. Four hostages were released prior to that, and one was rescued by troops. The bodies of eight hostages have also been recovered and three hostages were mistakenly killed by the military. The Israel Defense Forces has confirmed the deaths of 21 of those still held by Hamas, citing new intelligence and findings obtained by troops operating in Gaza.

In the days after Hamas’s shock attack on Israel on October 7, Seinfeld was among hundreds of Hollywood celebrities who signed an open letter condemning the “barbaric acts” of Hamas terrorists who killed 1,200 people, mostly civilians, in brutal, horrific attacks broadcast by the perpetrators, and took some 240 hostages.

“This is terrorism. This is evil. There is no justification or rationalization for Hamas’ actions,” the letter read. “These are barbaric acts of terrorism that must be called out by everyone.”

In an Instagram post two days after the attack, Seinfeld published a photo of a person wrapped in an Israeli flag with the tag “StandWithUs” and wrote that his “heart was breaking from these attacks and atrocities.”

“But we are also a very strong people in our hearts and minds. We believe in justice, freedom, and equality. We survive and flourish no matter what,” he wrote.

Seinfeld said that he “lived and worked on a kibbutz in Israel when I was 16 and I have loved our Jewish homeland ever since,” he said, adding that he will “always stand with Israel and the Jewish people.”

Seinfeld is one of several notable American celebrities to have made the trip to Israel in recent weeks to show support.

Actor and comedian Michael Rapaport, a Jewish American who is an outspoken advocate of Israel in the war against Hamas, has been in Israel since last week. As part of his wartime visit, he visited Hostages Square in Tel Aviv and met with families of hostages, including relatives of the Bibas family — Shiri and Yarden and their two children, four-year-old Ariel and 11-month-old Kfir, all abducted and taken to Gaza.

He also toured the country, posting images with families and Zaka volunteers and videos and stills of the aftermath of the attack on southern Israel.

Rapaport is also recording podcast episodes on the brutal events of October 7 and was a guest last week on the Israeli satirical show “Eretz Nehederet,” appearing in a skit poking fun at the heads of prominent American universities who have been embroiled in scandal over their failure to condemn calls for the genocide of Jews.

On Saturday night, Rapaport attended the Tel Aviv demonstration demanding the hostages’ release and read details about those still presumed to be held hostage in Gaza.

He also took aim at the Red Cross for not doing enough to secure the hostages’ release.

“You’re a fucking disgrace,” Rapaport said in his New York accent, triggering applause.

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