RELEASE: Gottheimer Hosts American Hostage Families for State of the Union Address

Alexander Family from Tenafly, New Jersey & Jonathan Dekel-Chen from Connecticut

Mar 08, 2024

Above: Gottheimer with constituents from Tenafly, NJ Adi and Yael Alexander, parents of American hostage Edan Alexander.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, March 7, 2024, U.S. Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5) announced that he is hosting American family members of hostages as guests at the State of the Union address. Gottheimer’s guests include the Alexanders, parents of hostage Edan Alexander from Tenafly, NJ, and Jonathan Dekel-Chen, father of hostage Sagui Dekel-Chen. Both hostages are Americans.

Yesterday, Gottheimer gathered more than a dozen American hostage family members and more than a dozen bipartisan members of Congress to call for an immediate return of the hostages. 

“I’m honored to have as my guests to the State of the Union address American hostage family members, including the Alexander family from Tenafly, NJ. Their presence helps make sure that no American forgets that Americans are still being held hostage as we speak. We must get these Americans back home now,” said Congressman Josh Gottheimer (NJ-5). “For five months, American hostage family members have been living in fear as their loved ones remain captured with no updates on their whereabouts or condition. The Red Cross has not been allowed to asses their states. It is a war crime. It blows my mind that this isn’t talked about every single day in this country.”

In Congress, Gottheimer has continued to advocate for the release of hostages held by Hamas and the need for continued support for our democratic ally Israel.

  • Led a bipartisan letter with 15 colleagues to the President calling on him to leverage the US-Qatar relationship to put pressure on Doha to get the hostages home.
  • Led a bipartisan letter to UN Secretary-General Guterres asking him to investigate the failures of UN Women and why it took so long to condemn and acknowledge the heinous acts of Sexual Violence and brutal murders of 10/7.
  • Led 113 bipartisan members of Congress in a letter to President Biden to continue to support Israel, thwart Hamas terror, hold Iran accountable for its role in funding Hamas, impose maximum sanctions on Iran, end Iran’s oil trade to China, and put pressure on nations who support Hamas, including Qatar and Türkiye.
  • Helped pass a bipartisan resolution condemning rape and sexual violence committed by Hamas in its war against Israel.
  • Helped pass a bipartisan resolution calling on Hamas to immediately release hostages taken during the October 2023 attack on Israel.
  • Helped pass bill alongside Rep. Mast (FL-21) that imposes sanctions on foreign persons, agencies, and governments that assist Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), or their affiliates.
  • Helped pass a bipartisan resolution Standing with Israel as it defends itself against the barbaric war launched by Hamas and other terrorists.
  • Voted to authorize $17.6 billion in aid to Israel in February 2024.
  • Voted to authorize $14 billion in aid to Israel in November 2023.
  • Co-led the “Operation Swords of Iron” Iron Dome Supplemental Appropriations Act, to appropriate an additional $2 billion to Israel to replenish its Iron Dome in October 2023.


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