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Gaza War Diary: 28 JANUARY 2024

It was a huge, rowdy demonstration, held in the rain in Jerusalem, organized by the heavily-financed and well-staffed Hostages and Missing Persons Families Forum based in Tel Aviv which focuses solely on the suffering of hostages. Their agenda, to free the hostages at any cost, seems oblivious to the obvious question. What then? Hamas is demanding an immediate and permanent ceasefire, the release of all Hamas prisoners, including the Nohkba group responsible for the rapes and incineration of babies on October 7.

If Israeli forces unilaterally withdraw, then Hamas’ cynical and obscene strategy of taking Israeli hostages to further their genocidal agenda against the people of Israel, will have won. And where does that leave the rest of us, every Jew in the world, as we face these homicidal, Nazi-inspired maniacs?

This doesn’t seem to be a question that bothers the protestors, who have tunnel vision. Perhaps, I too, would have tunnel vision if my loved one was being held in an airless Gazan tunnel prison and Hamas had declared it was going to execute all the hostages if its demands weren’t met.

Israel has already paid a price beyond measure to free the hostages – hundreds of its best and brightest in the IDF have given their lives, leaving their own loved ones behind. Such a ceasefire, which would leave this Nazi organization in place to kill, maim, rape, and kidnap another day, not to mention the release of those responsible for past atrocities is completely unacceptable, negating all the sacrifices made not only by bereaved families of IDF soldiers, but by everyone in the country who has been uprooted, lost their homes and jobs, and now face an uncertain future. For Israel to give into these demented demands, is to say these sacrifices were all for nothing.

The model for this kind of thinking started when Gilad Shalit, an IDF soldier, was kidnapped and his parents mounted an unrelenting campaign to free him even at the cost of over a thousand Hamas murderers, including Sinwar, being released from Israeli prisons to continue their terrorist activities.

I can tell you for a fact that Netanyahu’s wife Sarah was instrumental in convincing the Prime Minister to agree (at least she told me this when I interviewed her years ago – she was proud of it.) The result is not only that these freed butchers killed many, many more Israelis, but that Sinwar himself was let go, and got it into his head that kidnapped Israelis were a great weapon, even better than tunnels. He was right. If I was Gilad Shalit’s parents, the photos of the present hostages would give me no rest. And I commend Netanyahu for standing strong and not giving in. He’s learned his lesson. He said yesterday of the demonstrations: “This is giving strength to the demands of Hamas.”

These demonstrations are widely covered in the Arab press and I say without any doubt or hesitation that they are not only giving Hamas new hope and convincing them not to negotiate, but also hurting any chances to get the hostages released alive. It is a blind, stupid, emotional outpouring which completely disregards its effect.

There is a growing counter movement in Israel by the rest of us, initiated by IDF officers who served on the Gaza front, to oppose this defeatist agenda. This group includes the families of hostages still in Gaza who oppose the idea of freeing their family member at the cost of endangering the existence of their country. Called the Tikva Forum, it in contrast to the Tel Aviv based organization, supports the government’s agenda of using overwhelming military force to get the release of Hamas’ hostages, and opposed the idea of giving into Hamas demands.

An article in the Times of Israel, written by Mati Wagner describes their activities. “Cradling a picture of his son Eitan, 23, who is being held hostage by the Hamas terror group in Gaza, Tzvika Mor explained to a group of high school students why he opposes freeing Palestinian terrorists jailed in Israel in exchange for his son’s release.

“It’s not just about my personal suffering as Eitan’s father; it’s about the nation as a whole,” Mor told the girls in late December at the Tohar religious Zionist high school in Yad Binyamin, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) east of Ashdod.

“I can’t let my personal hurt take priority over collective interests,” said Mor, shifting the weight of the shoulder strap supporting his Glock 19 handgun. “Letting terrorists go free endangers Jewish lives. And Eitan wouldn’t want that.”

Mor is a co-founder of the Tikva Forum, made up of relatives of hostages in Hamas captivity. “Tikva” in Hebrew means hope; the national anthem is called “HaTikva.”

This coming February 8, a large counter demonstration is being organized in Jerusalem. I shall certainly do all in my power to be there. It is time to fight as one, for the same goals, and not to give the enemy the joy of an undeserved and catastrophic victory that will only see us back with similar scenarios again and again and again. It is time to think of the greater good, and to teach Hamas that its psychological blackmail will not work on the Israeli people yet again because we’ve finally learned our lesson.


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18 comments on “Gaza War Diary: 28 JANUARY 2024”

  1. Cynthia

    Naomi, thank you for your diligence in sharing your heart. It helps me in this horrendous time of history. I wonder how many, and if any, of the hostages are still alive. I guess there is no way to know: prayers and deep concern about how the world changed on Oct 7th.

  2. Carol P.

    I agree with everything Naomi has written. I hope Israel won’t fall for the inducements to suicide that are offered by Hamas, and, unfortunately, Israel’s frenemy, the USA. Am Yisroel Chai!

  3. Kenneth Duthie

    “The conquest or chastisement of Algiers, upon any other principle than that of annihilating this wretched system of government, or rather robbery, is the most futile thing possible. The French, the British, and the Spaniards, have all in their turns humbled them, as they have recently been humbled by the Americans, but it has never abated their insolence in the slightest degree, when they recovered from the panic.”

    Croker, Capt. Walter. The Cruelties of the Algerine Pirates: Shewing the Present Dreadful State of the English Slaves, and other Europeans, at Algiers and Tunis . Digital Text Publishing Company. Kindle Edition.

    I came across the above quote while carrying out research for a book. The Barbary States had captured and enslaved hundreds of thousands of people over the years, and they had turned it into not only a source of labour but a source of income – for at least some of the slaves were ransomed, and the authorities in the European countries where the slaves had come from paid this “tribute” for many years. Did this work? No. Paying these “tributes” only perpetuated the evil trade in slavery/ransom, and gave the Barbary States a reason to continue.

    The comment by Captain Croker seems appropriate in this instance.

    May I say that my attention was drawn to your website the other day; I applaud you for it, and I would like you to know that I have just bought one of your books from Amazon (The Covenant) and I look forward to reading it.

    Yours,

    Kenneth Duthie.
    Author of “The Road to Gomorrah: Britain’s War 1939-1943”

    • Ryan Keogh

      Thanks Kenneth, nice to see someone who knows about the Barbary wars. The Barbary states used to regularly break their own treaties and attack ships, to the point that going near the Mediterranean was considered very hazardous, and hindered world trade. A war against pirates such as them couldn’t be done today, for accusations of “imperialism”.

  4. Ryan Keogh

    I will tell of a story from the second world war about fighting the Nazis. Joseph Stalin (admittedly an evil man on par with Hitler) had his son, Yakov captured by the Germans. In 1943, the Soviets captured Field Marshal Friedrich Paulus, after Stalingrad was encircled. The Germans offered to exchange Paulus for Yakov, but Stalin said “All of them are my sons”, referring to the other prisoners, and also said “Just think how many sons ended in camps! Who would swap them for Paulus? Were they worse than Yakov?”. Evil as he was, I think a wrong clock is right twice a day, and this was one of those times. Trading his son for Paulus could have made the war more difficult and caused more Soviet deaths.

    • Kenneth Duthie

      Also from the second world war:

      On 16th May, the British Chiefs of Staff recognised how dangerous the Arctic convoys were becoming and recommended to Churchill that the outgoing convoy PQ16 should be postponed.27 Churchill was now faced with a dilemma. There was an accumulation of supplies in Iceland that had not been sent through to Murmansk,28 and Churchill knew that Molotov was about to visit Britain to sign a treaty between the two countries. The British did not have many levers of influence that could be used with the Soviets, and if Churchill had cancelled one of the convoys, it would not only have lowered his standing as a wartime leader in the eyes of both the Americans and the Soviets, it could have put the treaty in jeopardy. On the other hand, if Churchill sent out the next convoy, it would almost inevitably cost lives.

      On 20th March 1942, Churchill had sent a telegram to Stalin that showed that showed just how far he was willing to go to maintain a wartime relationship with the Soviet Union. Churchill wrote,

      Ambassador Maisky lunched with me last week and mentioned some evidences that Germans may use gas upon you in their attempted spring offensive. After consulting my colleagues and the Chiefs of Staff, I wish to assure you that His Majesty’s Government will treat any use of this weapon of poison gas against Russia exactly as if it was directed against ourselves. I have been building up an immense store of gas bombs for discharge from aircraft and we shall not hesitate to use these over all suitable objectives in Western Germany from the moment that your armies and people are assaulted in this way.

      It is a question to be considered whether at the right time we should not give a public warning that such is our resolve, as the warning might deter the Germans from adding this new horror to the many they have loosed upon the world. Please let me know what you think about this and whether the evidence of preparations warrants the warning.

      There is no immediate hurry, and before I take a step which may draw upon our citizens this new form of attack I must of course have ample time to bring all our anti-gas preparations to extreme readiness.29

      If Churchill was prepared to use chemical weapons against German citizens as a display of support for the Soviet Union in the expectation that such weapons would subsequently be used upon British citizens, then he was not going to stop PQ16 from sailing at this critical moment. The relationship with the Soviet Union had to be preserved at all costs. On 17th May, Churchill wrote to the Chiefs of Staff:

      Not only Premier Stalin but President Roosevelt will object very much to our desisting from running the convoys now. The Russians are in heavy action, and will expect us to run the risk and pay the price entailed by our contribution. The United States ships are queueing up. My own feeling, mingled with much anxiety, is that the convoy ought to sail on the 18th. The operation is justified if a half gets through. Failure on our part to make the attempt would weaken our influence with both our major Allies. There are always the uncertainties of weather and luck, which may aid us. I share your misgivings, but I feel it is a matter of duty.30

      As Molotov was flying west in a Soviet bomber to sign the treaty between the two countries, convoy PQ16 was sailing in the other direction, towards Murmansk. The Soviet Foreign Minister arrived at Tealing Airfield just north of Dundee on 20th May, then travelled south by train to London. When discussions began the next day, Molotov pushed for Britain to recognise the Soviet territorial claims in Poland, Romania and the Baltic States.31 The British disregarded the American position, which been explained by Welles at his meeting with Halifax, and agreed that the Baltic States would be under Soviet rule. However, the British refused to allow the Soviets to lay claim to the territory in eastern Poland that had previously been occupied by the Soviet Union under the terms of the secret protocol of the Nazi-Soviet Pact.32 There the issue stood, until Stalin sent a telegram to Molotov and told him to forget about reaching territorial agreements with the British government. If the Soviet Union could not get what they wanted right now using political means, then the question of Soviet territorial expansion would be resolved in due course using military force.33

      On 24th May, as these discussions with Molotov were taking place, Churchill received a “Most Secret” Naval communique which stated that

      U589, one of the six U-boats disposed to the S.E. of Jan Mayen to intercept convoy PQ16, reported engine-room defects at 1900 on 21/5, and was ordered back to Narvik. At 1035 on May 22nd, U 586 reported the wake of several ships Eastbound in 690 45’ N 040 30’ W and hydrophone contacts heard previously during the night. The five remaining U-boats were then moved at maximum speed North-Eastward to positions approximately 170 miles W.S.W. of Bear Island.34

      The Germans had found PQ16. Churchill had let the Chiefs of Staff know that he was ready to sacrifice up to half of the boats in the convoy if it meant keeping Stalin onside until the Anglo-Soviet treaty was signed. Now the butcher’s bill would have to be paid.

      Duthie, Kenneth. The Road to Gomorrah: Britain’s War 1939-1943 (pp. 95-97). Kenneth Duthie. Kindle Edition.

      • Ryan Keogh

        Thank you Kenneth, great information and incite. I might have to check out that book.

        • Ryan Keogh

          Another thing Kenneth, my Great-Grandfather was actually in the US Merchant Marine as a ship’s Captain during the Second World War, sending troops to Melbourne. I was thinking about him last night, how he could have easily been sunk by a U-Boat near Africa, and I wondered if he was ever attacked. He was from Bergen, which during the war ironically was being used as a U-Boat by the Germans, and his wife was from Swansea, so I think the war may have had some significance for him and his family. As I said, he easily could have been killed, but it would have been a needed sacrifice.

          • Kenneth Duthie

            Ryan,
            Thank you for your response. My own family has a deep connection with the sea. My dad and both grandfathers were all fishermen. I served an apprenticeship as a marine engineer (some 40 years ago now.)

            I remember visiting the Imperial War Museum in London several years ago. There was a sign on the wall at one of the exhibits, which said that serving in the Merchant Navy was one of the most dangerous things you could do in the second world war.

            When I was researching that book, I figured out how to navigate my way around the National Archives. (I also spent quite a bit of time in the American archives.) I wonder if it would be possible to find anything out about your great-grandfather’s service during the war? Do you know the name of any of the boats he was aboard, or where he sailed from?

          • Kenneth Duthie

            It may also be possible to find something about your great-grandfather and great-grandmother in the British archives, if they were married or lived in the UK (Newspaper announcements of their wedding, and so forth.)

            I did a small research project for one of my neighbours, who thought she might be related to my mother. It turned out that there was a connection, if you went back a few years. It turned out that my neighbour’s son, who I had gone to school with, and I, were related! That sort of information is out there.

            So it might be possible to find out some information about your family tree, If you know any wedding dates, for example, you can always look here, for a start:

            https://www.britishnewspaperarchive.co.uk/

          • Ryan Keogh

            Kenneth, I do not know about any ship he was on, but I would love to find out. The reason I know he went to Melbourne was from his 1957 New York Times obituary. I do know that he went to Melbourne, and that is it. I don’t know if the Archives will be a help, but I will check. I will also be sure to see your book.

  5. George Austin

    I stumbled across an interesting point in the Scripture which reveals something about the Hamas. I found this in an interlinear Bible.

    In Genesis 6:11 it says, “…and the earth was filled with violence.”

    This is the record of the time Noah built the ark, before the worldwide flood.

    Violence in Hebrew is pronounced, “HAMAS”.

    How appropriate. The Lord rid the earth of hamas (violence) and saved the righteous.

    I pray that is what we will see happen again, soon.

  6. Mary Lou Sinkey

    As an American and Christian, I constantly declare (aloud) my total support of Israel. I love your country and it’s people. Pro-Palestinian protesters in America are blocking bridges, roads to JFK. It’s disgusting. Interesting, isn’t it, how none of these pigs want to head to Gaza for their supposed support. Know that I pray daily for Israel and all Jews who encounter this hate. And thank the lord, my church does too – otherwise I would not attend. And many times I share your diary with my Bible study group. God’s army is with israel. Yes, Biden is pure evil and I agree a puppet of Obama (Obumma). Shalom. Mary Lou.

  7. David Bornstein

    I feel desperately sorry for the relatives, but in all truth I really believe some of the victims wish they were dead. Even if they were released the psychological damage is likely permanent, especially for the female victims but also the young males whom I have no doubt have been severely brutalised.
    I agree with you wholeheartedly, Hamas must be utterly destroyed.
    Israel should be making threats and demands of its own. Starting with the billionaire scum in Qatar and elsewhere. Either release all victims immediately (with a deadline) or face death. And it should be carried out!

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