Photo Credit: Gili Yaari /FLASH90
Ronen Tzur, the former spokesperson for the Headquarters of the Families of the Hostages and Missing Persons conducted an event at the Hostages Square calling on PM Netanyahu to act for the release of the hostages ‘now,’ October 28, 2023.

Ronen Tzur who back in 2016 served for three months as a Labor MK, and was former, disgraced Israeli President Moshe Katzav’s media consultant, is famous for his brute approach to politics. In 2023, Tzur hopped on the protest wave against the judicial reform, founded the “Degel Israel” (Israeli flag) movement, which he still heads, and started dreaming of creating a new left-wing protest party on the ashes of the defunct Labor and Meretz.

One of the first things he did was use Degel Israel as a base for a lecture series calling to eliminate Netanyahu’s power base by shutting down the right-leaning Channel 14.


After October 7, Tzur was one of the founders of the headquarters of the families for the return of the hostages and the missing and became the group’s director. His relationship with the families under his leadership was often troubled, especially when he pushed them to attack Knesset committee members during hearings the same way the anti-reform hooligans had done before the war. One mother told Srugim that Tzur walked out of a Zoom call after the mother of one of the hostages criticized him. Rami Igra, a former Israeli hostage negotiation official, accused Tzur of sabotaging the release efforts, and raising the price Hamas felt it could demand for the hostages.

On Sunday, dozens of hostage families signed a petition demanding his departure. They wrote that “a consensus is needed in order to approve a deal for the release of the hostages, and one of the important prerequisites is operating under a leader who is not painted in one political color or another, through his fault or not.”

Tzur tweeted an entirely different version, which did not jive with the months of complaints from many families about his outspoken conduct. He blamed … Bibi.

“At the meeting of the families of the hostages that took place this morning, the families expressed grave concern about the reactions of political parties in the coalition to my involvement in the management of the headquarters.

“Evidence was presented at the meeting that some of the families received threats during their visits to the Knesset and during meetings with coalition members who provided their assistance to the families of the hostages in changing the composition of the headquarters leaders.

“In this difficult and painful moment for the families, I do not intend to allow any political party to directly or implicitly threaten the families of the hostages and make them hostages of unscrupulous political parties.

“It was decided with a full agreement that from now on a team of families selected by them will lead the activities of the headquarters, and the volunteer team will advise the families.”

In the words of the immortal John Lennon, “Whatever gets you through the night.”


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