There has been growing tension within Israeli society over where to prioritize a hostage deal – at what cost (in terms of how many and which Palestinian prisoners from Israeli prisons should be part of the deal and the length of any temporary ceasefire).

At the same time, the sense of urgency behind Israel’s hostage cause in capitals around the world is…drifting. Not disappearing, but drifting. A turning point seemed to be when the UN Security Council passed a resolution – 14-0 (made possible by a US decision not to veto) – that, for the first time, did not call for a ceasefire that was conditioned on the return of the hostages.

It’s a sense we get from families of hostages, who are in regular contact with media, NGOs and governments around the world.

It’s against that backdrop, that we sat down in person with Maya Roman, who was in New York and Washington, DC.

Maya Roman is an Israeli journalist from Tel Aviv. Two of Maya’s cousins – Yarden Roman-Gat and Carmel Gat were visiting Carmel’s mother, Kinneret, in Kibbutz Beeri on October 7th for the Simchat Torah holiday. Carmel and Yarden were taken hostage, Kineret was murdered.

Yarden was released as part of the hostage deal last November. Carmel is still being held.

Since 10/07, Maya has not stopped organizing or advocating for the release of her family. When we hear of the hostage families movement, Maya is the kind of person who has been in the middle of it. In our conversation, Maya talks about what they have learned from Yarden since her return from captivity, and where the hostage movement may go from here, at this crucial and very raw phase.

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