The mother of a 21-year-old Israeli hostage kidnapped to Gaza by Hamas from the Nova music festival at Kibbutz Re'im on October 7 sent a letter to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu last week, begging for him to keep the return of the hostages at the forefront of his efforts.
Orit Meir, the mother of Almog Meir Jan, I sent a letter encouraging Netanyahu to truly keep the hostages as his priority in his diplomacy efforts throughout the war.
She noted that reports of negotiations to return hostages appeared to be false claims.
"Trust in leadership would erode. Alienation and resentment would fester, threatening to tear our society apart. Who would be willing to serve and risk sacrificing their lives in defense of a state that leaves its own behind?"Orit Meir, mother of a hostage captured on October 7th by Hamas
"First, the State of Israel must bring back ALL of our captives - every last one, including Hadar Goldin, Oron Shaul, and anyone else held prisoner in Gazan chains," she wrote to accompany her own child's name.
"We have no objection to Israel agreeing to prisoner exchanges in phases. However, it must be clear to all that the IDF will not leave the Gaza Strip until the very last captive is liberated," she stated. "This is your moral duty to us as a family and as citizens of this country!"
Putting pressure on leadership where necessary
She placed pressure on the Israeli Defense Forces to continue their search and rescue efforts to recover the nation's stolen people; emphasizing that she can see efforts from the military "bearing fruit" and pushing them to give Israel the results they need.
"All of the hostages must be brought home - whether they walk free on their own feet, are carried home on stretchers, or returned to us in coffins - but return they must, without a moment more lost. None can be left behind. None," she wrote.
"As the family of hostage Almog Meir Jan, we will not consent to a situation where our captives remain in Hamas' hands long-term as bargaining chips while life in Israel returns to normal. We will not stand by silent as our loved ones languish in captivity," Meir said.
She called the use of hostages as a bargaining chip remaining in Hamas captivity "the ultimate betrayal." She also added that if hostages are not returned, that would be the true loss of this war - "an unambiguous, crushing defeat."
"Failure to return all the hostages would irreparably rupture the fundamental bond between the state and her people. Citizens across this nation would feel absolved of their loyalty and civic obligations to a country that could abandon its own. The social fabric keeping our nation united would unravel," she said.
"Trust in leadership would erode. Alienation and resentment would fester, threatening to tear our society apart. Who would be willing to serve and risk sacrificing their lives in defense of a state that leaves its own behind?"
She added that the country won't be able to move forward or heal in the slightest without the return of the hostages. She said that without the return of the hostages, there would be no redemption for the State of Israel
"I urge you, Mr. Prime Minister, to accelerate the pace. Time is not on our side. Each passing day diminishes the chances of bringing our captives back home safely," Meir said.
She emphasized that the hostages have lived in the dungeons and depths of Hamas' terror for a month and a half with nothing to show for it.
"I am not looking for sympathy, lip service, or excuses. I want results, and I want them now! We have waited for long enough."