‘We need to keep the story of the hostages alive,’ says mother of Israeli hostage



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This was a scene in front of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin netanyahu’s office in Jerusalem just yesterday thousands of protesters walked there from Tel Aviv over the past few days their message to the government bring the hostages home now an estimated 240 hostages are still believed to be held

By Hamas in Gaza including hirh Goldberg Poland a 23-year-old Israeli American his mom Rachel Goldberg spoke at a rally in Washington on Tuesday my name is Rachel and I am the mother of hirs Goldberg Poland a wounded civilian American Israeli kidnapped from the Music Festival on October 7th Rachel

And her husband Jonathan have been living a nightmare since that day they haven’t heard from her since 8: a.m. on October 7th his last message to them was I love you guys I’m sorry I spoke to Rachel about her urgent call for action and all the unknowns haunting her

Still Rachel Goldberg thank you so much for joining us thank you for having me we are uh I guess six weeks now since uh October 7th where is your head at at this stage of all of this um I’m not really sure how to answer that

Um I don’t know how to answer that think about your mother not knowing where you are for 44 days knowing that maybe you’re dead that you actually died 44 days ago or that you are without your arm underneath a war zone that you haven’t seen the sunlight you don’t know what day it

Is and your family knows absolutely nothing about you no one’s checked on you no International Aid humanitarian organization has has had access to you um think about whatever you think your mother would be feeling and I think that’s how I’m how I’m doing you um you you’ve been able to

Gather I guess a bit of a sense of what happened to to Hirsch um when he was taken including that that video that was shared with you can you can you give us a sense of what what you know about how he was doing at the

Time uh well we know that he was at the uh music festival um on the morning of October 7th with um I think it was 3,000 other young people uh music lovers uh the the title of the music festival was the festival for Unity light and peace so picture who

Would be attending such a festival and that then this massacre began which um they now know 364 of these young people were killed at that Festival hirsh and um a few others managed to escape to a roadside bomb shelter there were 29 of them hiding in the shelter Hamas uh

Descended upon the shelter threw in hand grenades fired in an RPG and then came in with machine guns and were just spraying the room with bullets and most of those young people were dead um Hersh and two other young men were injured but alive and were ordered to stand up and

Come outside with Hamas and they were uh put on the back of a Hamas pickup truck which headed toward Gaza and his last phone cell signal was at 10:25 in the morning Saturday morning October October 7th um in the video that we received of the abduction we see hirsh uh being

Marched by gunpoint to the pickup truck uh he hoists himself up onto the back of the pickup up truck using his right arm when he turns around to sit down you can see his left arm is blown off from the elbow down which we had been told by

Eyewitnesses who were hiding under the dead bodies in the bomb shelter that he had been in a few minutes earlier um he seems dazed and in shock um but he did get himself he walked by himself he did get himself into the truck on his own

And that’s that’s the last we’ve seen of him in 44 days what um have you had any Communications from us officials Israeli officials uh about anything they know about him and any uh progress they’re making in trying to have him released well so news about him or any

Of the other hostages uh we haven’t heard details um we are hopeful that they did get um medical treatment which um you know that’s our that’s our prayer and hope that that all the wounded and all the elderly and all the babies and all the children did get medical

Treatment when they arrived in Gaza and um and the American government has been very supportive very communicative very um seemingly trying to be you know as helpful as possible without actually having any real information that they could share the Israeli government’s similar um but the Israeli government of

Course also has a lot going on where the American government you know were were American and Israeli and there are 10 American hostages so there are fewer people that they have to focus on and they’re not sort of also dealing with all the things that Israel is dealing

With right now you you you’ve obviously heard the the reports well there have been a number of reports there’s another one again this weekend that they might be close to some sort of deal where they would release some of the hostages um and and pause fighting um what what

What’s going through your head when you hear that what do you think about that well it’s been for 44 days we’ve actually heard that many times so we’ve learned that until we see someone walk across the border into the arms of uh safety we don’t we don’t get excited about any

Of it I obviously hope that that happens but um until until I see it I don’t I don’t really put a lot of weight into it how are you finding strength um through this to to keep going for hirs well I think part of it is um you

Know we feel that we need to really keep the story of these 20 now 30 hostages alive in the public so that people don’t forget that these people range from age nine months up until I think I heard today I’ve been saying 85 years I heard today the oldest person is

87 years old they represent five different religions there are Jews there Muslims Christians Hindus and Buddhists they are from almost 30 different countries this is really an international catastrophe um and we really don’t want it to fall off the radar and therefore we’re constantly every day doing a lot of media meeting

With anyone from any government who will talk with us meeting with lots of different ambassadors and government representatives from all over the world um and uh we also have an amazing team of people who surround us and keep us going when we feel like we can’t go on

Anymore and we also do a lot of praying we’re people of faith and and uh prayer gives a lot of meaning to us and uh is sometimes the only thing that you can count on when things are really dark Rachel thank you for talking to us about uh what your family’s going

Through unimaginable really um and I’m wishing the very best for you and and for HS as well thanks thank you so much

Rosemary Barton speaks with Rachel Goldberg, mother of hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin, about her son and her message to the world about releasing the hostages.

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