Melbourne and Sydney Jewish communities were the first in the world to take part in a global campaign instigated by the Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs to highlight the plight of the hostages still held in Gaza.
On Sunday, around 1400 cyclists tied yellow ribbons to their handlebars and took part in Ride to Bring Them Home Now, an initiative that will see thousands of cyclists in dozens of countries showing support for the more than 130 Israeli citizens who have not yet been released.
The Melbourne ride was organised by Zionism Victoria with the support of the Israeli Embassy and the Zionist Federation of Australia. For the serious cyclists, there was a choice of two road rides, 20km and 40km that started at 8am and finished at Mallanbool Reserve in Murrumbeena where a family-friendly ride had started at 10am.
Executive director of Zionism Victoria Zeddy Lawrence said, “We may all have had a break over the holiday season, but there’s been no respite for the 130 plus hostages kidnapped 100 days ago. It’s incumbent on us to ensure that their plight is not forgotten and, indeed, is at the forefront of any discussion about the current conflict.”
CEO of the ZFA Alon Cassuto added, “Innocent families were ruthlessly attacked and uprooted from their homes by Hamas-ISIS terrorists on October 7, finding themselves trapped in the dungeons of Gaza. The Australian Jewish community stands in solidarity with the people of Israel and the families of the hostages. Our yellow ribbons symbolise our hope for their safe return. We will not rest until they are safely reunited with their families.”
The event concluded with addresses from a Melbourne couple who still have family members held hostage in Gaza, and Federal Member for Higgins Michelle Ananda-Rajah, who visited Israel shortly after October 7.