Batman creators sign petition calling for Bibas family's release

57 animation industry professionals sign petition directed at Qatari and Egyptian embassies in US, demanding increased pressure on Hamas for release of captive comic book fans held since October 7

The spirit of Batman, a symbol of hope and justice, has transcended comic book pages and ignited a real-world campaign for the release of Ariel and Kfir Bibas, two young brothers held hostage by Hamas along with their parents Yarden and Shiri.
Some 57 creators of the iconic superhero, from renowned writers to talented artists, have joined forces to petition the Qatari and Egyptian embassies in the U.S. to urge them to exert pressure on Hamas for the boys' freedom after hearing "the many stories of Ariel's love for the iconic character that has become a symbol of hope and justice for so many."
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משפחת ביבס
משפחת ביבס
Bibas family
(Photo: Family album)
The signatories, including prominent figures from the comic and animation industry, urged the governments to "exert all possible pressure on Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad to immediately release the Bibas family, and all Israeli hostages, from captivity."
This show of support includes industry giants like Mike Carlin and Sander Schwartz, along with the artists who first brought Batman, his archenemy the Joker and other beloved characters to life on the page.
Four-year-old Ariel, a devoted Batman fan, and his baby brother, Kfir, were taken from their home in Kibbutz Nir Oz, along with their parents, during the October 7 terror attack.
The image of a frightened Shiri Bibas clutching her two small, red-headed children while being taken captive by terrorists has become one of the most synonymous visuals with the tragic events of October 7.
A photo of the family in matching Batman pajamas has become a symbol of hope in the campaign for their release. The petition, spearheaded by the David S. Wyman Institute for Holocaust Studies, aligns with "Batman marches" organized in New York City and Philadelphia, where hundreds of Israelis and members of the Jewish community have taken to the streets dressed as the Dark Knight himself, all in honor of the young boy who "always dreamed of being Batman."
These marches have touched the hearts of Ariel's family back in Israel, who expressed their gratitude for the outpouring of support. They hope international pressure will finally lead to the release of Ariel and Kfir.
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צעדת "באטמן" בפילדלפיה, כמחווה לאריאל ביבס
צעדת "באטמן" בפילדלפיה, כמחווה לאריאל ביבס
The Philadelphia 'Batman march'
During one such march in Central Park on Purim, Morris Schneider, uncle of Ariel's mother Shiri, addressed the crowd. "On October 7, innocent children were snatched from their homes. Entire families. Our most precious loved ones. The international community isn't doing enough. Too many people have gotten used to this situation, and it cannot continue. There's nothing normal about a four-year-old and a one-year-old being held captive by a terrorist organization," Schneider said.
Organizer Omer Lubaton Granot echoed this sentiment last month. "This is a very sad Purim for the Jewish people around the world. Ariel won't be wearing his Batman costume as he dreamed. Instead, Jews around the world will do so to remind the world that there's a four-year-old boy stuck in a dark hole," he said.
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First published: 15:56, 04.17.24
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