LOS ANGELES — “Free the hostages being held by Hamas in Gaza” was the demand of some 400 students and others who joined a rally and march at the University of California at Los Angeles campus here Nov. 7. Tables with more than 200 empty chairs and place settings were set up at the rally site to symbolize the 240 plus hostages Hamas seized as part of its Oct. 7 pogrom in Israel.
The event was hosted by Bruins for Israel, the campus Hillel chapter, the Israeli Consulate General in Los Angeles and other organizations. Rally speakers included students, rabbis and local politicians. It was followed by a spirited march through the campus.
“UCLA has so many anti-Israel students. We thought it was important to show the administration and students that Jewish students are present here and that we want our hostages home,” UCLA student Liz Rosen told the Militant at the action. “All these things, false things are said,” she added. “That Israel is a colonial country, that it practices genocide and is an apartheid state.
“We were effective with the Shabbat table with pictures of the hostages in showing that we care for our own people,” Rosen said, “that human beings were involved in what happened on Oct. 7.”