Visitors view exhibition on Israeli hostages in central Budapest
Visitors view exhibition on Israeli hostages in central BudapestKKL – JNF Archive

A special exhibition at Central Budapest calls for the release of Israeli hostages held in Gaza.

The exhibition was inaugurated at a special solidarity event held on Saturday, initiated by the Israeli Embassy in Budapest and Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael – Jewish National Fund (KKL-JNF).

During the event, a candlelight vigil was held in memory of the Israeli victims of the Black Saturday on October 7, and during the ongoing war.

The event was attended by the Israeli Ambassador to Hungary, Jacob Hadas-Handelsman; the head of Erzsebetvaros District of Budapest (the Jewish quarter) Mr. Peter Neidermuller; and the Deputy Ambassador of Switzerland in Hungary, Mr. Tomas Merk Widmer.

During the event, attendees heard the stories of 24 of the captives and the story of their abduction. As part of the exhibition, signs with the images of the Israeli captives were hung around Madach ter Square 24, calling for their swift return to Israel.

The exhibition was organized by KKL-JNF Hungary in collaboration with a group of Israeli volunteers in Budapest, led by Yaar Bach, an activist in the Israeli community in Budapest.

Mr. Koby Davit, President of KKL-JNF Hungary and Central Europe, said: "The events of October 7 represent a barbaric act and a stain that the free world still struggles to cope with its consequences. The exhibition in the heart of Budapest was established to tell the story of that fateful day and to stand in solidarity, shoulder to shoulder, with the State of Israel and the families of the captives, especially in these difficult days. We all hope for their release and their swift return home."

Yaar Bach, representative of the Israeli community in Budapest, explained: "We focused on presenting a small group of 24 Israeli hostages, telling personal details about each one because it was important for us to turn the captives from numbers and statistics into human figures, and create an emotional connection."

Benny Lidski, Emissary of KKL-JNF Israel in Hungary and Eastern Europe, added: "Since the beginning of the war in Gaza, and especially with the opening of our exhibition advocating for the release of the captives, I feel the warm support of the Hungarians for Israel and its fight against terror. The sense of solidarity with the Israeli people is felt both in the streets of Budapest, and it is conveyed openly and unequivocally by the leadership of the Hungarian state at all levels."