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Gaza War Diary: 25 NOVEMBER 2023

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.

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12 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 25 NOVEMBER 2023”

    • Jem

      Hi Naomi
      History should be heeded.
      The Irish v Britain lasted over 800 years of occupation.
      Israel only 76 years of war to date.the occupier is best recruiting Sgt for freedom fighters / terrorists Martyrs etc
      Who cannot ever be beaten ,eliminated
      By military force
      The drive towards freedom is only through monstrous inequality and inhumanity
      Humanity is the only option for peace

  1. Randi Blumenthal Guigui

    WOW. You REALLY know how to put your finger on the pulse and tell it like it is. I have been having trouble watching the news because I want to hear about our children and families coming back to safety but also not this way. It is frustrating and scary. They also have not been releasing the children, the infants as reports said they would, what can Israel do about that??

  2. CW Joiner

    Thank you so much for being you. As a gentile who loves Israel and those Jews in my life who made it what it is today, again I thank you for putting into words what so much of the world feels.

  3. Gary Davis

    Agree with your your sentiments, just to add to Joel’s post, I’m guessing Russia is also pulling Iran’s strings. Keep strong everyone, let’s hope Hashem has a plan to finish this correctly asap.

  4. Yardena Jacobs

    My dear Naomi, I too am enraged and shamed for our Israel and how we had to grovel before these demons and the world for justice in returning our precious souls to Artzenu. The only way I can mentally contain this swap of Jewish kidnapped with these subterranean creatures is, I think that the Israelis are concerned that the longer these demons hold onto our people the worse it will be for them all. Winning this war will take nerves of steel and Israel wants to bring home any “stolen” Jewish person they can. Our collective hearts cannot heal if these creatures have our Jewish people captive and families are left suffering, so Israel again has to make the moral decisions as well as the tactical ones and they decided to make this deal with the devil and at least have some captives reunited with loved ones. Hamas knows our “weak” point (which is always our strength – “rachmanute” (compassion) and they play that card while still holding onto others for more
    macabre deals down the road. Better to have our Jewish people with us than with the beasts. Their cruelty knows no bounds.
    I can’t even imagine the hell these poor captives have had to endure, and the hell that those still being held are enduring. It’s
    As another person here commented, I too believe that HaShem will somehow bring good/justice from this horror and I pray that it happens quickly and completely. Until then may Kol Am Israel and all good and decent people of the world stay united in supporting Israel’s military and citizenry in multiple ways in order to bring the kidnapped home, succeed in Israel’s mission of winning this war against Hamas and have the “chayalim” (soldiers) return home without having their humanity destroyed.
    May HaShem give everyone the strength for it all.

  5. Dot Olsen

    Thank you for putting into words what millions of people are feeling. May all the captives come home soon, every single one, and may the wicked enemies of Israel be destroyed, every single one.

  6. Gloria Valentine

    I totally agree with every word you wrote today. It’s how I’ve been feeling exactly. And you voiced it for me.

    I found myself agreeing aloud as I read on. And weeping and weeping.

    Thank you for your words which are so difficult to bear.

    Your daily observations keep me going. I’ve been sending them to my Israeli family who try to spare me their anguish.

    GOD bless you and them and all Israel.

    May GOD grant Israel strength, wisdom and victory soon.

  7. Barbara Ellen Calderon

    I’ve been afraid of what’s going on now at least they stopped bombing. Hopefully more prisoners will be free.

  8. J Klingrr

    The deal with the devil was a horrendous Mistake for Israel.

    After all the hostages are back, will the missiles be stopped forever?


    The posturing has been entirely about the hostages, no longer exterminating Hamas.

    With the return of the hostages, the world will not let the Jews finish what must de done.

    The French have already set up a field hospital in Khan Younis. If Hamas uses the French hospital for shelter, Will Israel bomb it…no.

    When King David’s family were taken as hostages, he did not negotiate. He understood the personal risk and the bigger picture- he went and got them. .

  9. Joel Laker

    Naomi, the Difference Between us and them is they have no Yetzer Ha Tov. I expected them to jerk us around which gains them what they desire a perceived edge over Israel.
    You want to rage focus where it belongs a guy named Natenyahu who got caught by Hamas with his pants down by not taking Israel’s security first over his own narcissistic need for power. Rage at him to reign. Try to understand your enemy so you can crush them. Hamas is only a spoke in the wheel you have to focus on the root cause being Iran and the the Ayatollahs. They need to be crushed and Hamas and the other terrorists will disappear. New leadership in Israel and an aggressive war against Iran.

  10. Jilly

    Oh dear Naomi, I’m not a Jew and I live in UK. but my heart is with you, I feel so angry, on Israel’s behalf, that Palestinian prisoners have been freed, and more in numbers than the innocent precious hostages. It makes me SO angry. BUT, I’m praying that God somehow turns this around in a miraculous way, that very soon we will see that God’s divine plan has been unfolding before our eyes, and watch in amazement and awe, as all hostages are safely returned. I’m human, and I’m inpatient. I care deeply, and I’m impatient. I cannot begin to imagine how you feel.I pray you all know how many Christians around the world are praying for you all. We are committed to praying, we won’t stop! I will pray for you all every day til the day i leave this earth. I pray you can take some comfort knowing that SO MANY are praying and care deeply.

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