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Youth Movement Counselors Rally in Tel Aviv To Bring Home the Hostages

Hundreds of counselors and participants from youth movements showed up in Tel Aviv to call for the safe and speedy return of the hostages held in Gaza | Counselors from the Machanot HaOlim youth movement spoke about a movement programming coordinator who is still held in Gaza

עצרת הנוער בכיכר החטופים (צילום: מטה משפחות החטופים והנעדרים)
The youth rally at Hostages Square. (Photo: Hostages and Missing Families Forum)
By Michal Marantz

Hundreds of youth movement counselors and participants gathered for a rally Tuesday evening at Hostages Square, the Tel Aviv plaza that has become home base for Israeli calls to bring home the 100 or so hostages still held by Hamas in Gaza.

Youth at the rally to return the hostages. (Photo: Machanot HaOlim)
Youth at the rally to return the hostages. (Photo: Machanot HaOlim)

Ofri Caspi and Maya Noor, eleventh graders in the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed (NOAL) youth movement, came to the rally with their counselor, Roni Rom. “As young people, we have a lot of influence,” Noor said. “In general, it’s important to come, but there’s a unique importance to youth coming.”

“There’s meaning to the association of young people, coming here as part of something,” Caspi added.

Both Caspi and Noor said that they had been to Hostages Square previously, both with NOAL and with family and friends.

From left: Ofri Caspi, Roni Rom, and Maya Noor. Rom leads Caspi and Noor, both eleventh graders, in the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed youth movement. (Photo: Michal Marantz)
From left: Ofri Caspi, Roni Rom, and Maya Noor. Rom leads Caspi and Noor, both eleventh graders, in the HaNoar HaOved VeHaLomed youth movement. (Photo: Michal Marantz)

“Everyone can think that they have little influence, but we are together,” Rom, who leads Caspi and Noor, said. “There is a message from the young generation. We talk with youth movement participants about creating a better society, and this is an opportunity to actualize that. To demand that the hostages return is a demand for a better society.”

“Raising awareness is the issue,” said Yuval Gazla, a twelfth grader from Modi’in, a city in central Israel. Gazla is active in the “Krembo Wings” youth movement, which focuses on integration of children and youth with disabilities.

“Youth movements are about education and raising awareness,” Gazla continued. “There’s something moving about being with your movement, with the people who are close to you, and doing something above and beyond.”

Yuval Gazla of the “Krembo Wings” youth movement. (Photo: Michal Marantz)
Yuval Gazla of the “Krembo Wings” youth movement. (Photo: Michal Marantz)

Elad Borochovski and Hila Ben Shalosh, both from the Machanot HaOlim youth movement, gave a speech about Eitan Horen, the coordinator of the Sharon region in the youth movement who is currently being held hostage in Gaza together with his brother Yair. Both brothers were abducted from Yair’s home in Kibbutz Nir Oz.

“As soon as you immigrated to Israel from Argentina, you both were very active for society and especially for youth,” Borochovski and Ben Shalosh said in their speech. “Even in difficult times during camp, Eitan didn’t give up on us and believed that our camp could grow from the difficult period. From that same love for community and optimism toward which he educated us, we all call for Eitan’s safe return. We hope for the speedy return of Eitan and Yair and the safe return home of all hostages and soldiers.”

The close of the youth protest for the return of the hostages. (Photo: Machanot HaOlim)
The close of the youth protest for the return of the hostages. (Photo: Machanot HaOlim)
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