If you walked by the UN in Midtown Manhattan yesterday, you probably noticed a large-scale display titled In their Absence, Dozens of Stationary Strollers Set up Across from the UN, an Urgent Plea for Children Held Hostage by Hamas.
The poignant and heart-wrenching display of solidarity, empathy and urgency used empty baby strollers filled only with pictures of the 32 kidnapped children held hostage by Hamas. It was placed across from the United Nations building, a building many in the Jewish communities across the U.S. have come to see as biased at best.
The initiative, spearheaded by Adi Abras, a New York resident and mother to a 9-month-old baby, sought to raise awareness about the plight of 32 kidnapped children being held in Gaza and to do anything possible to BRING THEM HOME.
The #bringthemhome campaign on social media has caught celebrity and political attention as well.
“A few days ago, near Parliament Square in London, dozens of empty baby strollers were placed with pictures of the infants and children who were kidnapped by Hamas and taken to Gaza. They are still there without any sign of life," shared Abras.
"This initiative moved me and many others. That's why I made the decision to organize a similar installation here in New York, across from the United Nations building. Of course, as the war intensifies concerns about anti-Semitism, and we see young adults ripping down posters of innocent children held hostage, we must all reconnect with the human virtue of empathy. I get into bed at night wondering where these babies sleep, who is there with them, and when will they be home.”
Several of the kidnapped children and murdered Israelis have dual citizenship and families in the United States.
With nearly three weeks passing since the kidnappings, family and community members fear time is running thin.
"We're scared for the children, who is caring for the literal babies who can't even walk or talk?" one Jewish mother in Manhattan shared with us on the condition of anonymity. "In the case of nine-month-old Kfir, his grandparents were murdered next to him as he was being taken as a hostage. We have no confidence that he's being treated gently. Only the worst type of terrorist could murder a baby's whole family and then kidnap him and his brother."