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Ripping down posters of Israeli hostages has become a new pastime of the morally-bankrupt foot soldiers of the illiberal cult of intersectionality.
There’s no shortage of these creatures tearing, cutting, clawing away at images of the innocent. And social media providing videos of these vile acts on a loop is a maddening, horrific fact of life since October 7.
I thought I couldn’t have been angrier, but then I spoke to Gal Gilboa-Dalal, whose younger brother Guy Gilboa-Dalal, 22, was violently abducted by Hamas terrorists from the peaceful Nova Music Festival.
Heartbroken, Gal, 29, spoke to me about his family’s desperate plea for the safe release of their beloved son and sibling. And he issued a sharp rebuke of those ripping down posters of hostages.
“After the shock [of the attack], we understand how important it is to keep talking about the hostages, to make sure people know their stories,” said Gal.
After all, Guy is one of the 240 souls still missing, their prolonged absences burning a hole in the hearts of their loved ones. It’s a profound number.
“What hurts me the most is people pulling down the posters, saying ‘they’re not real.’ If it wasn’t true, I wouldn’t be here talking about this. I would be with my brother planning our next festival together.
“My brother is a real person. He loves everyone. We have Arab friends. If you knew him, you would be his friend.”
Indeed, he calls Guy his closest companion. “He plays the guitar. He likes rock and metal bands and he likes other cultures,” he said.
Guy, who has a great love of Japan, taught himself the language and had plans to travel there one day.
“It was his biggest dream,” said Gal of his brother’s desire to spend time in the Asian country.
Now Gal’s biggest wish for his brother is to return home — and to hug him again.
Their last embrace was at the Nova Music Festival at 6:15 am. Guy had already been there, dancing with three of his close friends. Initially, Gal wasn’t supposed to go but it was Guy’s first music festival and he wanted to be there to “watch over him.”
He had another party to attend, so he left early and drove to the festival in Re’im, pulling up at 5:30 am. He met his brother, they embraced and took a selfie, which Guy sent to their mother, “because she always worried.”
But within 15 minutes, their joy turned to horror as Hamas terrorists launched a surprise attack — part of the larger massacre that would kill over 1,400 innocent civilians in Israel.
The brothers’ individual fates were sealed by a seemingly inconsequential decision to go in separate cars.
Guy and his best friend were taken hostage into Gaza — a video released of the pair only hours after their kidnapping.
Meanwhile, Gal ran for hours, taking cover in bushes, a bamboo field and behind trees until he was rescued by authorities.
Five weeks on, the family has heard nothing from their son or his captors – a deafening, torturous silence.
And Gal is still trying to comprehend the terror that unfolded that terror filled day.
As sirens rang out at the festival, the brothers decided to leave and meet up at Gal’s apartment. He asked his younger brother to drive with him, but Guy insisted that he’d drive with his three close friends, with whom he came.
The pair separated and Gal walked to his car which as closer to the entrance.
“[Splitting up] ended up being such a critical decision. The thing is, we are used to [terroristic threats] in Israel. Once we hear the sirens, we know it’s a missile attack. But it didn’t occur to us that something like this could happen.”
As the cars sat in heavy traffic trying to exit the grounds, shots rang out, and people started to abandon their vehicles to run for cover.
Gal ran into a valley under the roadway and phoned his brother who had run back into the music area, where he said he was near Israeli policemen exchanging fire with terrorists.
“I told him to stay as close to them as he can. When you think of terrorist attacks in Israel, maybe a couple of terrorists get through but our forces will beat them.”
Soon, Gal saw floods of people running toward him, many covered in blood — the sound of gunfire getting closer and closer. He kept moving and at some point, called his brother, who did not answer. Their parents were also unable to get a hold of him, nor were his three friends picking up calls.
“I never felt so helpless in my life. I came to watch over him, and in one moment, he decided to not come in my car, it was such a critical moment. The fact that they left, a few minutes after, who would have thought about it, that would happen.”
At one point, Gal and his friend were debating whether to hide under a tree or go onto a nearby kibbutz, like others fleeing.
Gal stayed behind, once again dodging a grim fate. Some who left were murdered at the kibbutz, where they’d hoped to find safety.
It was near the tree, eight hours after the attacks started, where he was located by GPS and rescued by the police.
“On our way out, we could see dead bodies, burned cars, burned bodies. I am looking at all the corpses and all I could think about is where my brother was. He still wasn’t answering me. There was no relief returning home without him.”
Finally, his father told Gal that Guy had been taken hostage with his best friend — footage of the two tied up, lying in a tunnel was published at 11:30 am.
Their two other friends were viciously murdered.
Now, Gal’s family is desperate for answers. For proof of life.
They long to hear his voice and see his smiling face. They are holding out hope for his safe return home — a sentiment all decent folks who now know Guy’s story should share. And which the poster-rippers callously ignore.
“No one knows anything. It’s the worst torture there is. My brother believes in peace and love, that’s the language he speaks. Being dragged into this hell, it’s so unrelated to him. I love him so much, and I just want my brother back.”