Eylon Keshet, cousin of Yarden Bibas
Eylon Keshet, cousin of Yarden Bibascourtesy

The youngest Israeli being held hostage in Gaza by Hamas, Kfir Bibas, turned one on Thursday, and to mark his birthday the Combat Antisemitism Movement (CAM) and ISRAEL-is organized a special art exhibit in Berlin, Germany, to draw international attention to the ongoing plight of the Bibas family.

Kfir was kidnapped with his mother Shiri, father Yarden, and four-year-old brother Ariel from their Nir Oz home by Hamas terrorists on October 7th, and he has now spent more than a quarter of his short life in captivity.

Thursday’s exhibit at Berlin’s Spreespeicher event hall featured more than 40 creative works submitted by artists from across the globe focused on the Bibas family.

Eylon Keshet, Yarden’s cousin, attended the gathering, and he spoke on behalf of Kfir.

“Little Kfir is suffering, rotting in terrorist tunnels, with no hygiene or showers,” he said. “His skin itches and burns. He’s hungry, he’s thirsty, and there’s almost no food and waters. Kfir is thinning and weak, and will the next time he closes his eyes be the last?”

“Kfir is not happy,” Keshet added. “With no sense of time, mommy doesn’t know that today is his birthday, and he is having the saddest birthday in the world.”

He concluded, “I want to thank you all for coming here. Kfir, Ariel, mother Shiri, and father Yarden, my cousin, are in terrorist hands for more than 100 days. And they don’t have a voice to tell their story so they need other people to do it for them. Your talent, your art, your audience, your followers, they are really important in making a change. And by change I mean getting them out of their cell urgently and saving their lives. Your voice can be the difference for the Bibas family to come back to life and for Kfir to have more than just one first and last birthday.”

Other speakers included artist Johan Reisan and Ela Buria, known as the “Norwegian Israeli Artist Duo,” author and journalist Mirna Funk, founder of Clubcommission Berlin Sascha Disselkamp, and artist and Hamburg gallery owner Erez Gabay, and the nearly 200 guests were greeted by CAM Director of European Affairs Oriana Marie Krüger.

“Today, Kfir Bibas, the youngest hostage in Gaza, is celebrating his first birthday, but he cannot celebrate it with his family,” Krüger said. “And this is why we are all here. We want to use the power that we have — the power of art, the power of words, the power of communication — to show that we are standing together strong.”

Earlier on Thursday, a group of Israelis who live in Berlin rallied at the Brandenburg Gate to celebrate Kfir’s birthday, bringing orange balloons, teddy bears, and cakes.

CAM also involved this week in the production of a digital video showing the release of hundreds of orange balloons from an art installation in New York City’s Washington Square Park paying homage to Kfir on his birthday. The video quickly garnered more than one million views within just a few hours of being uploaded online on Thursday.

In South America, CAM was represented at three events held in honor of Kfir’s birthday — in Buenos Aires, Argentina; Montevideo, Uruguay; and Punta del Este, Uruguay.