Hollywood icon Arnold Schwarzenegger met in Los Angeles on Friday night with families whose relatives are being held hostage by terrorist groups in the Gaza Strip.
At the opening of the meeting, set up by the founder of the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles Rabbi Marvin Hier and attended by Israeli Consul General to the Pacific Southwest Israel Bachar, the Conan and Terminator actor noted his close affinity to the people of Israel and the Jewish people.
“I want to just say thank you to the families for sharing these unbelievable stories. Now I know how tough this is,' said the actor, and then turned to 14-year-old Ella Shani, who lost her father in the October 7 massacre, and said, “How the hell, at the age of 14, does anyone speak like that? You speak for half an hour without any notes. When I was 14 years old, I was afraid to open my mouth.”
The former California governor then presented the families with a bronze eagle bust as a gift.
“Now why the eagle? Because the eagle represents something that’s flying high, soaring high,” he tells the families. “The interesting thing about it is that the eagle can only fly with the wind. And so today, what I’m saying is let the rest of the world be the wind for the Jewish people and the Israeli people to make them fly high.”
Schwarzenegger didn't leave the meeting empty-handed either. He was gifted a symbolic dog tag by the attendees engraved with the words “BRING THEM HOME-NOW,” symbolizing their ongoing struggle to free their loved ones.
The 76-year-old expressed his solidarity with Israel in an X post two days after the attack. “I stand with my Israeli friends in the face of these unprovoked, barbaric terrorist attacks,” he wrote. “My heart breaks when I turn on the news and see this pain and suffering.”