As the sun rose on Sydney’s Bondi Beach this morning, dozens of volunteers descended on its famous promenade. Their aim was simple, and their message was clear – bring the hostages home.
In a heartfelt tribute that hopes to transcend physical distance, 230 blue and white towels were draped over the railings representing the men, women and children who were tragically abducted from their homes by Hamas on October 7. Beside each towel hung a kidnapped poster, bearing the photos of each hostage still in Gaza.
A pair of shoes – including many children’s thongs – lay beneath each towel and for the children, buckets and spades lay next to the sandals.
As people powerwalked for their morning exercise, many slowed down to look at the photos.
“A whole family, taken,” one remarked.
“As the conflict continues to go on, it’s very easy to get caught up in the two-sided story because there are two sides of the story, but we felt it was important to go back to the start and remember what ignited this conflict in the first place,” co-coordinator Liora told The AJN. “We don’t want the news to forget that there are still hostages who are not with their families; with their loved ones.”
For Liora and co-coordinator Eli , Bondi Beach was chosen for a specific reason.
“We’ve seen a lot of worldwide unity,” Liora said. “We want Israel and Jews around the world to know that Sydney, Australia is behind Israel. What’s a more iconic place to show support than from Bondi Beach?”
The organisers had set up camp on the promenade, watching the passers-by take everything in.
Liora said she’s very proud of the effort and especially grateful for the volunteers who came down to help set everything up.
“It’s very powerful to see the place where so many of us have grown up, propel a message that is so important to us.”