Of all the posts I’ve written, I have to say I’m finding this one the most difficult. And that is surprising. After all, these past two days have seen at least a dozen Israeli hostages brought out of Hamas captivity. Believe me, it was heartwarming to see a man embrace his wife and two little girls. I had seen him sitting alone on a park bench bereft for over a month, and my heart ached for him.
Then why is this post so difficult for me? Because I and the rest of the country feel a deep sense of humiliation. Yes, we wanted to free our hostages. But not this way – taking dictates from the scum of the earth, people who should be dead by now. Having to put up with their demands for prisoner releases, truckloads of aid, and then to hear them whine it isn’t enough, we are not releasing the prisoners … Really, I haven’t felt such rage since October 7.
I don’t know if entering into negotiations with Hamas was a mistake if we get some of hostages back, perhaps it’s the only way possible. Then why does it feel like a mistake, and a colossal one at that ? Why is the pit of my stomach aching with frustration and rage?
Because what I needed, what all of us in Israel needed, was to find our hostages and free them Entebbe-style, not in this humiliating, disgusting capitulation to Hamas extortion; not with this show of bowing to demands from people who should be six feet under by now, their mouths filled with earth so they can never say another word, and certainly not issue demands.
When the deadline came tonight at five, and then six, and then eight and new demands came through – not enough trucks with stuff coming in, not the right Hamas terrorists being released, we are not letting the hostages go – I felt two things. First fury, and then a sense of tremendous relief because in response our government finally issued its own demand: by midnight, or we start bombing again.
I wanted them to start bombing. And so did everyone else in the country except for the relatives of the hostages to be released tonight. Our soldiers wanted it too. They have taken time off from their lives and families to do a job and now our government has them sitting on their hands. It’s enraging.
The Israeli army spokesman tried to put a good face on it, talking about our moral responsibility to free our hostages. Yes, but not in this way. Another Shalit deal.
The only ones who are happy that the deal got saved are Qatar and Iran and probably Egypt. And the pressure to keep the ceasefire going is just getting worse and worse. If this ends with Hamas gloating, it is a mortal danger to Israel – maybe not militarily, but for our morale and self-respect.
I hope I will feel differently when I see those kids come home to their families.
I hope I will be able to overcome my repugnance and humiliation and summon up some of the real joy that this event should rightfully bring to us as our family members are saved and returned to us and their lives.
We shall see.