Naama Barak
April 24

Rachel Golberg-Polin, the mother of Israeli hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin and a prominent activist for the release of the hostages from Hamas captivity, has been selected as one of the 100 most influential people of 2024 by Time Magazine.

Golberg-Polin’s son was kidnapped to Gaza over six months ago by Hamas. She has since worked tirelessly toward his return and that of more than 130 hostages still held captive.

According to TIME, she “has become one of the most visible advocates for the hostages and their families,” with the magazine noting that she has met with world leaders such as Pope Francis and spoken at influential forums like the United Nations. 

“I think that advocacy is so important, and Jon and I are always open to these opportunities,” Goldberg-Polin told ISRAEL21c in a recent interview, referring to herself and her partner. As American-born Israelis, she added, they have often been approached by English-speaking media.

“We are still desperately trying to educate the world that this is a global humanitarian crisis.”

Also on TIMES’ list is Palestinian journalist Motaz Azaiza, who has become increasingly famous and influential since war broke out, documenting life in the war-torn Gaza Strip.

In Israel, his inclusion in the prestigious list led local media to remind readers that Azaiza had shared videos of Hamas kidnapping Israelis from the Nova music festival and content comparing the Israeli army to the Nazis, but also that he was accused on occasion of collaborating with Israel.

Another Israeli to make the list is Ynon Kreiz, the Israeli-American CEO of Mattel. 

“With a visionary’s eyes and a kitesurfer’s audacity, he reorganised, coordinated, and schemed – imagining Mattel not as a toy company but as an entertainment company,” filmmaker J.J. Abrams said of Kreiz. “Those of us who have known Ynon for years have witnessed his unwavering determination to turn Barbie and other Mattel brands into cultural phenomena.” 

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Jason Harris

Jason Harris

Executive Director

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