A desperate call for action to bring hostages home

Opinion: Every day is a mortal danger for those held captive in Gaza, while those who deserted them and us on October 7 continue to do so and the price for their desertion would be paid by us and not them

Shira Havron|
People celebrate birthdays in may ways. Some curl up at home, others enjoy good food, while others still, opt for new experiences. Birthday wishes could come in many ways. Some in short text messages over WhatsApp, others in long chats on the phone or intimate talks in social settings. In a family, birthdays can start early when everyone appears in the morning or when families go out for a meal. Anyone can choose how to celebrate the special day.
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Tuesday is Tal Shoham's birthday. He has been held captive in Gaza for the past 116 days. His daughter Yahel's birthday was Monday - she was four and her father was not there. Tal cannot be called on the phone or texted. He can not be visited or sent flowers. He can not be invited to take a trip or go out for a good meal. Tal cannot choose how to mark his special day.
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Tahel, Tal Shoham
Tahel, Tal Shoham
Tahel, Tal Shoham
He, and 135 others are so near but still so far, and his life is in the hands of Israeli decision-makers who have mostly abandoned him and continue to do so with the passage of every second of the day, after they first abandoned him on October 7. We were all abandoned on that day and the price would be paid by many of us but not by them.
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האסון של משפחת הברון מקיבוץ בארי
האסון של משפחת הברון מקיבוץ בארי
Destruction in the wake of the Hamas October 7 massacre
(Photo: Tal Shahar)
Now our lives revolve around the counting of days, 116 thus far, each day a physical and emotional challenge, as we shout out our demand to bring the hostages home, as we search for the most powerful and effective words, the most evocative and repetitive words, that would not leave a dry eye in those who hear them, and would make every Israeli take to the streets and every politician attempt to do their best.
Every day is a challenge, when the fleeting moment of forgetfulness as you awake passes, when the question "how are you?" is uttered, when you realize that the rent must be paid and practical matters must be addressed, or when friends just try to make plans for the weekend.
Shira Havron Shira Havron
But everyday is a challenge for the hostages. More accurately every day is mortal danger for them, as long as they are there. By "them," I mean those closest and dearest to us, who make up our families or our close circle of friends, who are critical in our lives.
They are those people to us but also to you. You, too, would be struggling to put pen to paper in a fight to move others to act. You, too, would search for the most earthshaking expressions because you would be thinking of "them," who should have been back a long time ago, to celebrate their birthdays or just live their lives.
Nine of Shira Havron's family members were kidnapped from Kibbutz Be'eri on October 7 and one, Tal Shoham, remains a hostage in Gaza; three of her family members were killed by Hamas terrorists
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