Foreign Policy

published : 2023-10-21

Bereaved Mother of Israeli Woman Slain by Hamas Expresses Concern for American Friends Amid 'Antisemitic' Demonstrations

'I turned New York into my home. I made a lot of Americans my friends. Now, I worry for them,' Hannie Ricardo said

A somber image of Hannie Ricardo holding a framed photo of her daughter Oriya as she talks about the tragic loss, taken with a Nikon D850.

Hannie Ricardo, the grieving mother of a young Israeli woman who was tragically killed by Hamas militants, is urging Americans to wake up and recognize the support behind terrorists. Speaking to Fox News Digital, Ricardo expressed her concerns amidst the rise of anti-Israeli demonstrations across cities in the United States.

Ricardo, who had turned New York into her home and built strong friendships with many Americans, worries for their safety. She lamented the fact that instead of moving into a new apartment and welcoming her youngest daughter, Oriya, she had to bury her after Oriya was fatally shot by Hamas militants.

Amidst the ongoing demonstrations, Ricardo emphasized the importance of Americans understanding the true nature of Hamas. She criticized how some rush to take sides without considering the consequences. Drawing from her own experiences, Ricardo urged people to question and doubt the narratives being spun about Israel.

As the events unfolded, Ricardo embarked on a journey back to her war-torn home country, desperate to find her missing daughter. Tragically, she received the devastating news that Oriya had been killed. Oriya, known for her courage and warm personality, was a victim of the brutal assault at a music festival that claimed the lives of at least 260 innocent civilians.

A passionate protestor holding a sign that reads 'Stop Antisemitism' during an anti-Israel demonstration in New York City, taken with a Canon EOS R5.

Ricardo spoke passionately about her daughter's vibrant spirit and beauty, both inside and out. Oriya's boyfriend, in a desperate search for answers, discovered her lifeless body. The loss of her beloved daughter weighed heavily on Ricardo's heart, leaving her grappling with the unbearable pain of grief.

Expressing her thoughts on the anti-Israel demonstrations, Ricardo highlighted the need for a nuanced understanding. She emphasized that equating Hamas with other terrorist organizations fails to capture the true extent of the group's destructive ideology.

Having lived in the United States and appreciating the value of free speech, Ricardo acknowledged the importance of discussing the interpretation of freedom when it becomes intertwined with hate. She voiced concerns about how freedom of speech can turn into freedom of hate, distorting its original intention.

Ricardo, who herself has a master's degree in Jewish studies, likened the recent attack on Israel to a modern-day Holocaust. She urged people to awaken from their complacency and question the narratives being presented, especially in academic institutions where history is being rewritten.

An emotional moment captured as Hannie Ricardo visits the gravesite of her daughter Oriya, with flowers in hand, taken with a Sony A7 III.

As this powerful message resonates, Ricardo's story serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of terrorism and the need for a broader understanding of complex geopolitical conflicts.

By Christina Coulter