April 12, 2024
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Rep. Gottheimer Leads Effort to Keep Plight of Hostages in Public Eye

Congressman Gottheimer at the press conference.

As months pass since the massacres and mass hostage abduction of October 7, it becomes harder for U.S. Jewish community leaders and sympathetic elected officials to keep the American public’s attention on the ordeal of the hostages.

One champion of efforts to keep the hostages’ story in the public eye is Congressman Josh Gottheimer. Before President Biden delivered his State of the Union address on March 7, Gottheimer joined with 16 bipartisan Congressional colleagues on March 6 to hold a press conference with more than a dozen family members of American hostages taken by Hamas.

Participating members of Congress were Rep. Goldman (NY-10), Rep. Gottheimer (NJ-5), Rep. Hoyer (MD-5), Rep. Landsman (OH-1), Rep. Lawler (NY- 17), Rep. Manning (NC-6), Rep. Moskowitz (FL-23), Rep. Norcross (NJ-1), Rep. Panetta (CA-19), Rep. Schneider (IL-10), Rep. Sherman (CA-32), Rep. Smith (MO-8), Rep. Steube (FL-17), Rep. Suozzi (NY-3), Rep. Wasserman Schultz (FL-25) and Rep. Wilson (FL-24).

American hostage family members participating in the press conference included Yael Alexander, mother of American hostage Edan Alexander; Ruby Chen, father of American hostage Itay Chen; Orna Neutra, mother of American hostage Omer Neutra; and Liz Naftali, great-aunt of released American hostage Abigail Mor Edan.

(l-r) Congressman Norcross, Mr and Mrs. Alexander (Edan’s parents) and Congressman Gottheimer.

Rep Gottheimer told The Jewish Link: ”For more than five months, more than 130 people, including Americans, have been held as hostages by Hamas terrorists. The families of these hostages have had no updates on their conditions. Even the Red Cross has not been allowed to asses their states—a clear war crime. I was honored to have Mr. Alexander, Edan’s father, from Tenafly, as my guest at the State of the Union. Their presence helps remind our nation that Americans, including their son Edan, is still being held hostage as we speak. We cannot rest until they are back home.”

Rep. Norcross stated to The Jewish Link: “It was an honor to have Yael Alexander, Edan’s mother, as my guest to the State of the Union to continue telling his story. Yael, Adi and the entire Alexander family have shown incredible strength over these past five months. I have met with families of hostages in Israel and here at home, and their stories and pain are heartbreaking. It’s time to bring Edan and the remaining American and Israeli hostages home now without further delay.”


Harry Glazer is the Middlesex County editor of The Jewish Link. When Congressman Gottheimer announces his plans to run for governor, senator, or maybe even… Harry hopes to join his campaign. Harry can be reached at [email protected].

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