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Gaza War Diary: 23 NOVEMBER 2023

I’m sure that the families of our kidnapped spent a sleepless night only to awaken to the disappointing and heartbreaking news that the hostage extortion was going to take another day. Now they say (Qatar, that Hamas- supporting, antisemitic terrorist state is now somehow in the driver’s seat! Appalling!) that the ceasefire will start at 7AM and 12 hostages will be released at 4PM. Right before Shabbat. If those liars and extortionists, sexual deviant rapist murderers, baby-killing kidnappers are to be trusted. Do you think we should trust them? Yet, if it was your little girl they had in their hands, would you ignore the one chance of seeing her come home to you out of that darkness?

It’s an impossible situation. And all the people who write me exactly what Netanyahu and Israel should do or mustn’t do, or that he and the country are making a fatal mistake…Well, it’s so easy to talk when you don’t have to face the families.

But I agree that we cannot allow another Gilad Shalit fiasco when all the soft-hearted and soft-headed people in Israel agreed to let mass murderers out of prison because Sara Netanyahu decided to convince her husband to let them go. The parents of Shalit were camped outside the Netanyahu’s house for months. And as a mother of a soldier, she felt deep empathy for the Shalits. I know this because I interviewed her. This weakness resulted in the freeing of people like Sinwar, responsible for thousands of Israeli deaths, and a war which killed hundreds of soldiers. Those in change need to think with their heads, not their hearts.

In the past, I remember so many conversations with Israeli politicians touting support for horrifyingly wrong decisions on the grounds that it would be worth it “if it saves the life of only one Israeli soldier …” Such was the conversation I remember having with Ehud Olmert before the disengagement. Olmert was all in. Giving up all of Gaza, dragging peaceful Jewish inhabitants from their homes, was in his version a move that would “bring peace and save lives.”

We all see how that wound up. As for saving the lives of our soldiers, there is only one way: killing every last Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist and their supporters, taking their weapons and preventing their rearming, and keeping security in Gaza and on the borders of Lebanon and the West Bank in Israeli hands.

The West Bank. Another stupid decision Yitzchak Rabin and Shimon Peres dreamed up, putting arch terrorist Yassir Arafat in control. How many of us died for that mistake which – let’s face it – we were forced into by American and the European pressure? Bill Clinton, that philanderer. Jimmy Carter, that antisemitic peanut head. “A nation that dwells alone,” our Torah tells us. Hard to bear, but that is the truth.

As for the hostages, I don’t know what the answer is, and I’m glad it’s not up to me. But after this deal, cooler heads have to prevail and do what is best for the country. Sinwar says in order for him to release our kidnapped soldiers, he wants us to empty out our jails of every Hamas monster. We can’t do that, of course. And so the next step is to empty out our rifles and our bombs until Sinwar isn’t dictating terms anymore.

As for the other hostages, I look at their beautiful faces, so young, so hopeful and my heart shatters If only we could be sure they are still alive and weren’t murdered like Corporal Noa Marciano in Shifa “hospital.” The visit from the Red Cross that was discussed with Qatar? Well, now they are claiming they “don’t know anything about that.” We have to stop negotiating with Qatar.

By the way, the director of Shifa, the one that was giving orders to the IDF about what they could and couldn’t do, claiming that entering his “hospital” was a “war crime” right up until the IDF uncovered the weapons and the tunnels. The director has now been arrested and is being interrogated by the IDF. He has much to answer for, including allowing Hamas to steal the “hospital’s” supplies for terror purposes, not to mention letting Hamas keep their fighters and weapons there. Videos on CCTV cameras inside the “hospital” show Hamas brutalizing hostages under his nose. He was in charge of the “hospital” when Hamas murdered 19 year-old Corporal Noa Marciano. Despicable.

And I will end with some good and hopeful news: since the Hamas massacre on Simchat Torah, 17,629 babies have been born in Israel. This is our strength. May tomorrow bring the longed for reunion with some of our kidnapped and great joy to a few of the families.

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9 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 23 NOVEMBER 2023”

  1. Dalya Horowitz

    I have been reading your diary since the beginning and I love the way you tell it like it is – no frills, no backing off. And I love that you said to the people who don’t like what you’re saying to stop reading now.
    Please continue to give us your opinions and stories – they keep us in contact and strengthen our bonds. We here in the US are doing all we can to advocate and pray for total Israeli success.
    Thank you for a stimulating, realistic assessment and some great writing.

  2. Gary Davis

    David Bornstein, I agree with you 100%, but unfortunately it’s not that simple.

  3. Joel Laker

    The tail wagging the dog. It has been Israel’s problem for a long time.
    A Prime Minister who only cares about himself with a history of making bad decisions. Like Trump. Now he’s caught between a rock and a hard place. You can’t negotiate with Hamas as they will pull the rug out to create more terror and show they have the upper hand. How can you say we are negotiating with Hamas and also say in the same breath “by the way we are going to kill all of you. I said in a previous post we need great leadership and Chachma. It would also be extremely valuable to have Women at the table to help with these decisions. Call Hillary. A blessing on all Jews and Israel with the hope that we can get through this chapter and flourish. Shabbat Shalom

  4. David Bornstein

    Sinwar wants Hamas out of Israeli jails? Israel wants the hostages back? So either he releases all the hostages, or the jails start getting emptied by execution of prisoners with blood on their hands. On the hour, every hour a hostage is not released. Starting with the most high profile. Barghouti for instance. Israel needs to dictate the terms. They are the terrorist murderers after all. Death penalty for terrorism now.

  5. Abi

    “killing every last Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist and their supporters” That’s definitely what we feel, but how could this ever be done? Over so many centuries Jewish communities have “redeemed” the kidnapped – pidyon shevuyim, the Rambam setting that as one of the highest mitzvot. While those communities did not release killers, the money they paid supported anti-Semitic acts and pogroms. On the other hand, we are told to destroy Amalek. I suppose the biggest difference in our collective approach is the sovereignty we now process. Still, so many Jews who live outside Israel don’t truly have sovereignty with anti-semitism run amuck. They too must be considered. The idea of a peaceful resolution as advocated by Olmert, or Sharon, was and still is hypothetical. Perhaps possible, perhaps not. Like you, i am grateful i am not the one making the decision. My heart is too soft.

  6. Arlene

    I look forward to reading your posts every day. I am not in the habit of commenting but I must say I always enjoyed your writing but these posts are so touching and so informative. I have encouraged many of my friends to sign up. I believe this will be your next book but hopefully one with a “happy ending”. I also agree with you completely but of course I do not have a loved one being kept hostage. Thank you for sharing.

  7. Golda

    If Israel wants those 17629 babies to grow up terrorist free Israel has to keep bombing Hamas into hell from 50 victims to 13
    Reduce the murderers to be released according ly
    As gut wrenching as it is
    If it were my children a bullet would be a blessing
    And they will ckontinuing their kidnapping as long as Israel keeps alive terrorist in Israel prisons
    That is their reality
    My grandson is back in Israel
    Work obligation
    He got to see his hospitalized grandpa hoping it won’t be the last time alive
    I pray for all of Israel’s Jewish children
    The rest can burn in hell for twenty generations

  8. Barbara Ellen Calderon

    I understand wanting all the hostages to come home but I’m still afraid this is another mistake and that these murderers won’t do something terrible when the idf in Gaza are unprepared.

  9. Ryan Keogh

    I knew the “hospital” story was a sham when they had Kalashnikovs next to the MRI machine. Do you know what happens to metal when it gets turned on? I hope that at least of some of the hostages can come home safe tomorrow, and that our pea-brained politicians try to support Israel a little more in destroying these terrorists once and for all.

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