Dedication of the LoveLock Hostage Bridge to raise awareness of captives in Gaza, February 2024 (Photo: X) (Photo: X)
Lovelock bridge

JW3, a London Jewish Community center, has converted its walkway into the ‘Lovelock Hostage Bridge’ with over 100 padlocks attached to it with the names of captives remaining in Gaza.

By Shula Rosen

UK authors, politicians, celebrities and families of Israeli hostages gathered to attach “love locks” to the walkway outside of a London Jewish Community Center to spread awareness of the 136 hostages still held in Gaza.

Attending the event were Booker Prize winning novelist Howard Jacobson, Steven Berkoff, Dame Maureen Lipman, Sir Simon Schama and Sir Martin Sorrell as well as families of Israeli hostages.

The JW3 London Jewish Community center has converted its walkway into the “Lovelock Hostage Bridge” with over 100 padlocks attached to it with the names of captives remaining in Gaza with blank padlocks to signify those who have been killed or died while in captivity.

Marcel Knobil reminded attendees that the hostages had been held in Gaza for over 120 days, “from “one-year-old Kfir Bibas to 85-year-old Amiran Cooper.”

“Please don’t let these children, pensioners, peace activists, and dance festival lovers be forgotten. Today we will be attaching our padlocks to express love and solidarity to the newly anointed Lovelock Hostage Bridge,” he said.

Signed padlocks were attached by Vanessa Feltz, Uri Geller, Alastair Campbell, and Israeli spokesman Eylon Levy.

Families of Israeli hostages including Noam Sagi, whose mother was freed in late November and Dr. Sharone Lifshitz, whose father is still held in Gaza, attended the ceremony.

Before attaching a padlock, Dr. Liftshitz read the names of all the hostages that had been kidnapped from kibbutz Nir Oz.

Dr. Liftschitz said, “Statistics from the Holocaust suggest that elderly people survive between three and four months [in captivity], and we have passed the four months mark this week.”

She added, “Therefore, time has more or less passed. Many of these people will not come back alive. It is our choice as a nation to decide whether life is our number one priority.”

“In the history pages of our nation for hundreds of years to come. We must choose life,” she concluded.

Raymond Simonson, chief executive of JW3, said, “Many of us in the Jewish community remain in shock and in pain not just at the horrific loss of lives of those who were brutally murdered, but by the indifference we feel [from others] every day to the ongoing plight of the hostages who were kidnapped by Hamas.”

He emphasized the need to raise awareness of the plight of the hostages, and stated that the project would ensure that the hostages are not forgotten.

The bridge, whose new name will appear in large letters in front of the JW3 would be seen by many because it connects to the “busiest non-motorway road in the UK, where every year 650,000 vehicles go past.”

Dame Maureen Lipman said she felt like “the grandmother, mother, and sister of the hostages.”

“Everybody who goes past on a bus over there will look at this and wonder what it is, and that’s what we want. We want people wondering and being compassionate,” she said.

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