How can I explain to you the feeling of an Israeli who goes to sleep with one reality and wakes up into another? The news that our soldiers actually went into Rafah and rescued two hostages was like a warm hug.
Reading the details of the operation made all of us swell with pride at the bravery, intelligence and self-sacrifice of our soldiers, especially the special forces of the Israeli police (Yamam) and the Shabak who, under the cover of darkness, walked into a Hamas stronghold at one AM, braving terrorist fire as they stealthily approached an apartment building and climbed to the second story. Blowing open the door with an explosive device, they shot the Hamas jailers, and using their own bodies, sheltered Israeli hostages Fernando Marman (61) and Luis Norveto Leinberg Har (70), to a waiting tank which took them to a helicopter for the short ride to an Israeli hospital.
The photographs of their joyous first meetings with their families, some of whom were also held in Hamas prisons and freed in earlier deals, was like a like balm to our national wounds, soothing our long-afflicted hearts.
Israeli hearts are bursting with pride, gratitude, and happiness, tempered by the tragic loss – only hours before the daring rescue attempt – of Sergeant First Class Adi Eldor, 21, from Haifa and Sergeant First Class (res.) Alon Kleinman, 21, from Tel Aviv who were killed by an anti-tank missile in Khan Yunis. May their memories be a blessing.
This successful rescue comes at a wonderful time to counter all those who have swallowed the Hamas propaganda that only a ceasefire and releasing Hamas murderers will free the hostages. Now in a very public and undeniable way, Hamas’ line has been shown up as a fraud. It has also had the effect of shutting up the many foreign governments urging Israel to stay out of Rafah. Similar to the Shifa Hospital scenario, where Israelis were demonized, our soldiers kept going anyway, proving that it was all a terrorist cover. And so it will be with Rafah.
They are right about one thing though: if Israel is forced by Hamas to free the hostages in Rafah through a military operation, there will definitely be a bloodbath among Hamas terrorists. The rescue took an hour and a half and our forces – facing gunfire and missiles – reportedly killed 100 terrorists and injured 200. Multiply that by the 134 remaining hostages, and you are looking at 13,400 dead terrorists, and twice that number injured. Hamas can easily avoid this, however: unconditionally free our hostages and surrender NOW.
Already the great exodus from Rafah has begun, Hamas losing its human shields in Rafah who are running away even before getting an IDF leaflet. Hamas, no one is going to pressure Israel to give up and give in! You are being defeated! Internalize it. Or, as one very angry Gazan put it on a Facebook post this morning: “If you had one ounce of nationalism left in you, you mentally-ill person (one of the nicknames now used on social media for Sinwar) and those with you, you would have already shown yourselves. The people here are losing their minds and you are sitting in your hole. Get out of there, if you have an ounce of nationalism in you, don’t betray yourself. Go out and fight and die, you and those who are with you. Because this reality has become impossible for us and it’s as if you are a partner in this plan.”
Another welcome outcome of the hostage rescue is this: A text in Arabic that appeared this morning on an unofficial channel affiliated with the Palestinian Authority. The translator from Abu Ali Express says he rubbed his eyes in disbelief when he read it. To wit: “It must be recognized that the events of October 7 contradict the Islamic religion and do not represent the Palestinian people, and that the killing and kidnapping of women and children is not what the Messenger of God urged, and that the principle is peace with the Jews according to Islamic law.”
Well, well, well. I guess the Arabs are seeing the handwriting on the wall and want to distance themselves as much as they can from Hamas before it’s too late. Sadly, we have to recognize that it is only Israel’s victories on the battlefield that the Palestinians and other Arabs respect and which will bring them into line. Only that. The more we win, the more we destroy in Gaza, the more people die, the more civilized they will become. Sorry to say this is their mentality, and it is the only way.
I had an interesting phone call with Morton Klein of the ZOA this evening. Morton and his organization are among the very few American Zionist entities that have consistently over the last thirty years had their heads screwed on straight. While the ADL, the Reform Movement and of course J Street, have been calling for Two State Solutions and demonizing Jews living in the historic land of Israel in Judea and Samaria, supporting appeasement and delusional land for peace deals like the failed Oslo Accords and the disastrous Disengagement, ZOA correctly recognized these ideas for the threats they were to Israel’s security. They were all over Morton Klein when he called BLM antisemitic years ago.
And now, these same organizations, having learned absolutely nothing from October 7, are falling into line to back a Palestinian State, another Holocaust in the making. I urge you not to give money to these wrong-headed institutions. Not to support their leadership and their disastrous Diaspora-thinking, which is more to protect themselves from opprobrium than to protect their brothers and sisters in Israel.
And if this statement makes some people angry, you can kiss my mezuzah. Enough is enough.