SAN DIEGO — The local Jewish community came together for a hostage display that showed a Shabbat dinner table with more than 200 chairs to represent the people held hostage by Hamas.
“I’m walking around here and I’m seeing kids my age that are kidnapped by Hamas, and I just want them to be back home with their mom and dad and not be separated,” said Aviv Yadin, who attended the hostage display.
Each empty chair represents one hostage taken by Hamas. Yadin placed flowers in front of the chair.
He said, “I just imagine I could’ve been one, same name as me and my brother. It’s horrible.”
The chairs surrounded an empty Shabbat dinner table to mark three Shabbats since Hamas’ surprise attacks.
Shabbat is every Friday at sunset, and it starts a day of holiness and rest in Judaism.
“And the family comes together, and it’s very hard when some of the family is not here,” said Rachel Silber, who lives in San Diego.
There is also grief for Palestinians and Gazans killed and injured by Israeli attacks.
“I don’t agree with Hamas killing people, but I also don’t agree with Israel destroying the whole city,” said Ali Mansour, who lives in San Diego.
Mansour joins others in a growing frustration over the U.S. support of Israel, and the arguably different viewpoint of Palestinians.
“It’s unfair we are supplying Israel with weapons to bomb there. It’s such a little spot. Israeli has nuclear weapons, they can do that on their own. They don’t need our help to bomb and kill people,” said Ernie Arzabal, who lives in El Cajon.
Both sides said they do agree on a larger goal of everyone’s safety.
“This is the humane thing to ask for. Let’s get those hostages back home, and we can all stand behind that message,” said Travis Hawley, who lives in San Diego.