Photo Credit: Rona Bar and Ofek Avshalom
Posters of the hostages on a wall in the New York City subway.

Nitzan Mintz got a call from her mother alerting her to the horrific terrorist attacks by Hamas on October 7. Mintz and her boyfriend, Dede Bandaid, are artists who planned, with a residency, to be working in a studio. But after the deadliest day for Jews in nearly 80 years, they decided to give it up and work with Tel Aviv colleague and graphic artist Tal Huber to make posters of the hostages and raise awareness of the efforts to bring them home.

“It reminded us of the Holocaust or a huge program,” Mintz told The Jewish Press. “This was something else. All the Israelis around the world were thinking that our enemies want to wipe us off the face of the Earth. It’s scary for everyone you love, and you hear stories of those monsters of what they do to people. You feel useless. You feel helpless. But we thought immediately about how we could do something to bring awareness. We built a file of the hostages, and it took about two days.”


The couple went on the streets of Manhattan with 2,000 posters and duct tape and hoped someone would help them, but people didn’t. So they did it themselves. In consultation with Huber, they decided they would allow people to print their own from a website.

Nitzan Mintz is one of several to spearhead the global movement with posters of the hostages.

“It went viral,” Mintz said. “It spread online and people from all over the world were putting up the posters. You know there’s a point where if you’re just sitting and watching the news on TV, you feel helpless so it’s important to do something. We’re happy it has become a global movement.”

Mintz said she saw many videos of people appreciating the posters, as well as some of people ripping the posters down.

She said she believes the ripping down of the posters was partly due to reports in many news outlets, including The New York Times, with a headline that an Israeli strike hit a hospital and killed 500 people.

Israel provided evidence that it was a rocket that misfired from Gaza, and President Joe Biden said his Defense Department told him Israel was not responsible. A BBC investigation and open-source investigations pointed to a rocket from Gaza. The hospital was not hit, though the parking lot was.

Mintz said while this was a catalyst to make people rip down posters, they would have done it eventually anyway.

She said people should be more intelligent.

“It became trendy on social media to rip posters down,” Mintz said. “They don’t care that the people on the posters are real human beings being held in dark tunnels. They look at the posters. When they tear them down, maybe they feel like they are ripping the entire Jewish entity or ripping the idea of Israel’s existence. They don’t stop to think that that is a baby or grandmother, so it brings the worst out of people. It kind of reminds me of the Nazis and the darkest times in history. This is history repeating itself.”

“We want peace and freedom,” said Bandaid. “That’s all we want.”

Huber, who lives in Yavneh, about 40 kilometers from Gaza, went to her bomb shelter on the day of the attack.

“We soon understood it was a disaster,” she said.

She decided that she would temporarily stop work with her branding agency and devote the team’s time to getting word about the hostages out.

The three work independently and are not assisted by any government.

Huber, who also worked with Shira Gershoni on the project, said people handle stress differently.

“When a catastrophe happens, you can stop or push forward,” she said. “Israelis know they must push forward. I can’t fight with a weapon. But I can fight with art and awareness. Each person has a way they can help and all help matters. This work is the most important work that I have done.”

She said she gets thankful messages from people all over the world. This project humanizes things as one can see a face of a cute child, a beautiful young woman, or a kind and jovial grandfather.

So why would some rip the posters down?

“I think it’s disgusting,” said Jeffery Lax, a professor at Kingsborough Community College, who founded S.A.F.E. CUNY to assist Jewish students in their battle against antisemitism on CUNY’s campuses.

Lax, who appeared on Fox News Channel, told The Jewish Press that as a grandson of four Holocaust survivors, he was appalled to see a video of students taking down posters and in another, taking a selfie while giving the posters a middle finger.

“This is not political,” Lax said. “Babies were beheaded, women were raped, people were burned alive. Holocaust survivors and children as young as two or three were taken hostage. It’s been 18 days and we don’t know exactly where they are or how they are. Civilians. If you have a problem with these posters, there’s a problem with you.”

Lax placed blame on professors who he says are indoctrinating students with the belief that Israel is an evil colonialist power. He said the antisemitism, which was already out of hand has only been increasing.

“We will be strong,” Lax said.

Liora Rez, executive vice president and a founder of Stop Antisemitism, has been posting videos of people taking down signs. One video, originally taken by Miami resident Blake Warman, who runs a cookie shop in Miami called “The Blakery,” showed two men that were apparently ripping down posters. One was a dentist who was fired due to the video, according to CBS News Miami.

There was a similar case of a female dentist fired in the Boston area for ripping down posters.

Warman, who is Jewish, told The Jewish Press that he saw the men “smirking like there would be no repercussions.”

“I was disgusted,” Warman said.

There were then several fake reviews of his shop on Yelp claiming that the service was bad or there was a hair in a cookie, to which he responded to each person that it was a fabricated review, and comments were then disabled.

Rez said the practice of taking down posters of the kidnapped is unacceptable and people should not think they can get away with it.

Strangely, there were even videos of some Jews taking down posters, including Brooklyn resident Noah Shafer, whose father told the New York Post that his son is not antisemitic, and Boston University student Anna Epstein, who on video told someone rebuking her that “you have no right to tell people their beliefs are wrong.”

On The Megyn Kelly Show, Dr. Gad Saad, a Jewish-Canadian professor, explained that such students have been infected by a parasitic mind that allows them to ignore terrorism.

The posters are in cities all over the world in different languages and can be found on the website There were even billboards of them in Manhattan.

Hillel Fuld is a tech and marketing guru in Israel who has appeared in numerous media outlets in support of Israel. His brother, Ari, was murdered by a Palestinian terrorist who stabbed him in the neck from behind in September 2018. Despite being mortally wounded, in the last second of his life, he managed to shoot his attacker and save a woman’s life.

Fuld gave credit to the three who took it upon themselves to make the posters and said history will judge those who ripped them down.

“It says that this nation is incredible,” Fuld told The Jewish Press. “We are all in this together. And that is why we will win, because we’re together. The people ripping down the posters are the embodiment of immoral evil. They will go down in history as terror sympathizers and history will never forget. Their kids and grandkids will know about them that they chose the side of modern-day Nazis. Let them live with that.”

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Alan has written for many papers, including The Jewish Week, The Journal News, The New York Post, Tablet and others.