Geneva, October 23rd, 2023 – ECI Founding Director Tomas Sandell joined a roster of speakers on Sunday afternoon in Geneva who demanded the immediate and unconditional release of the 212 Israeli hostages currently held in Gaza by the terrorist organisation Hamas.
Sandell said, “The battle is not between Muslims and Jews or Israelis and Palestinians but between those who celebrate life and those who celebrate death. Never has the choice between good and evil been so clear.” Quoting Deuteronomy 30:19 from the Hebrew Bible he went on to call on the international community to “choose life so that we and our descendants may live.”
In his speech Sandell criticized the United Nations Human Rights Council for failing to unequivocally condemn the war crimes of Hamas or to call for the immediate and unconditional release of the Israeli hostages. “Given this moral failure one will have to ask whether the UN is still alive or not, and if so, for how much longer?”
While criticizing the United Nations Sandell acknowledged the unprecedented support of Israel from the European Union which last week resulted in a European Parliament resolution which calls for the terrorist organisation Hamas to be completely dismantled and for an investigation of the role of countries such as Iran, Russia and Qatar in the recent attack.
Looking out over the crowd that had gathered in front of the United Nations in Geneva he called the rally “a turning point for Europe.” “This is the time to speak up”, he said, “if not now, when?”
The rally brought together busloads of pro-Israel supporters from several European countries. Three family members of those kept hostages in Gaza, Assaf Shem Tov, Doris Liber and Michal Dorset, shared their personal testimonies during the rally. On Friday the family members met with the President of the International Committee of the Red Cross, Mirjana Spoljaric Egger and the UN Human Rights Commissioner Volker Türk to plea for an immediate release of the hostages.
The rally was organized by the Voice for Freedom Coalition which brings together some 300 Christian leaders and networks, among them the European Coalition for Israel. Other speakers at the event included moderator Calev Myers, Johnnie Moore, Jobst Bittner, Mojmir Kallus, Leon Meijer and Hooman Khalili.
Watch the whole event by clicking this link.
Free the Hostages Demonstration at UNHRC & ICRC, Geneva, Switzerland
22 October 2023.
The speech of Tomas Sandell starts at 59:41.