The sense of frustration with leaders pressuring Israel was expressed outside the UN this past Sunday, when more than 7,000 people attended a rally of solidarity for the remaining hostages held in Gaza.

“I can’t start healing until they are all back. None of us can,” Luis Har said to the crowd. “I’m demanding all the relevant leaders – you know who they are, from all countries and governments, including my own: Strike a deal. Bring them home now.”

The 71-old Argentinian oleh was rescued by Israeli commandos on October 12, along with Fernando Marman, after 129 days in isolation from the outside world. He spoke alongside rabbis, elected officials, and family members of hostages. Considering the international pile-on against Israel at international forums, Har was fortunate to stand alongside family members of murdered and still-captive Argentinian Consul General Pablo Piñeiro Aramburu, whose government stands out for its unabashed support for Israel.

Shira Matalon lost her aunt and two nieces in the October 7 attack, with her uncle Eli Sharabi taken captive. Another uncle captured on that day, Yossi Sharabi, was declared dead by the IDF after an investigation determined that he was killed in an air strike in January.

“In the past six months, we sat shiv’ah at my home, honoring the memory of four of my most favorite people in the world. Eli’s return and Yossi’s proper burial is the least we can hope for in this devastating time,” Matalon said. “I keep hearing people talking about cost. “Do not talk to me about cost. Human lives have no cost. I’ve already paid the greatest cost.”

Billed as “They are Out of Time,” the rally was sponsored by more than 50 organizations spanning the political and religious spectrum of American Jewry. “Eli’s return and Yossi’s proper burial is the least we can hope for in this devastating time,” said Matalon.

“I keep hearing people talking about cost. The Jewish people have paid the greatest cost. There is no price tag on human life. This is how we differ from our enemies. We value life.”

To the cheers of the crowd, former Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett declared, “May no one tell Israel to stop, before all the abductees come home.”

In contrast, Rep. Jerry Nadler received a mixed reaction. “As we remember the heinous crimes committed by Hamas, we must continue to press for lifesaving humanitarian aid for the Palestinian people, too,” he said. “We must do more, because we are better than Hamas. We must do more to bring food and assistance to those who are suffering.”

Many in the crowd booed Nadler for making that suggestion, because while the number of trucks entering Gaza is documented, there is nothing known on whether the humanitarian aid is reaching the hostages, and how many of them are alive. On the day before the rally, Israeli officials recovered the body of Elad Katzir from Khan Younis, updating the count of names for whose release Jews worldwide are praying to 133. He last appeared in a video shared by Islamic Jihad in January.

Since the kidnapping of her son Hersh Goldberg-Polin, his mother Rachel traveled the world to ensure that the release of hostages remains the top priority. She met with President Biden, Pope Francis, and many other political and opinion leaders. In her speech at the rally, she noted that among the hostages, there are “eight Muslim Arabs, the eight Thai Buddhists, the two African Christians,” perhaps in a nod to the glassy blue tower behind the rally where diplomats gather to routinely discredit Israel. “It is critical for the world to know how diverse the hostages are,” she said.

By Sergey Kadinsky