“This is a dark time for the Jewish people,” IDF spokesman Rear Admiral Daniel Hagari recently said. “But we are rising up.”
I agree with both statements. But dark doesn’t even begin to cover it .Today is the 30th day since our people experienced the unspeakable atrocities Hamas unleashed on Israelis in the South. In Jewish tradition, the 30th day after a death is a time for prayers, remembering the deceased, and slowly getting used to a new normal. After the death of her husband, Facebook executive Sheryl Sandberg wrote: “I have lived thirty years in these thirty days. I am thirty years sadder. I feel like I am thirty years wiser.”
Unlike a person mourning an individual, Israel is mourning the death not only of thousands, but many of her cherished beliefs, those things that made Israelis feel safe, feel proud. The cleverness of her secret service. The invulnerability of her army leaders. The wisdom of her political choices in making peace agreements with her enemies. Oslo. The Disengagement. All those certainties are gone. We live now with a new reality, that includes the recognition of our fragility, our own, and that of the Jewish people worldwide.
There is no question that we will win this war. Twenty thousand Hamas terrorists and their supporters have already been killed. But as a nation, we now question if our political leadership will once again and for the umpteenth time sacrifice our hard won military victories in the political arena.
Already there are signs that Joe Biden, despite his professed strong support for Israel after his initial viewing of the barbarism, is wavering, beginning to forget, putting pressure on Israel to make ever more concessions for the “innocent Palestinians.” We do not view Gazans as innocent, not while they continue to hold 240 Israelis hostage, and hide 200 actual perpetrators of the atrocities underneath Shufa hospital, Hamas’ well known military headquarters, in violation of international law. Its placement there is a war crime. As Israeli soldiers move into Gaza, they are finding more and more such war crimes: rocket launchers in children’s playgrounds and pools; in schools and mosques.
Any concessions that will allow Hamas to walk away from what is going to be, should be, and must be, total defeat and destruction, with some kind of victory that will only encourage them to continue. And that will be a catastrophe for Israel.
There is no doubt much political currency is to be earned by America in forcing a premature Israeli ceasefire on the brink of victory. Surely, the Arabs will be grateful. But it will doom Israel and her people to an untenable position that threatens our country’s life.
Another thing that makes it impossible for us Israelis to conclude our thirty day mourning period, are the masses of people worldwide howling for Jewish blood, as well as the uncertainly of the fate of our kidnapped brothers and sisters. We simply cannot move on until those things are dealt with.
What Israel needs now is unconditional love, and unconditional support to finish the job that we are risking the lives of our precious soldiers to complete. The only country I see which has been that unwavering is ironically, or perhaps understandably, Germany. You will not see Hamas supporters shouting for Jewish blood on German streets, unlike Great Britain and the United States of America, especially on college campuses. We need to see this kind of public hatred, the swastikas, the cries that Hitler didn’t finish the job rhetoric, decisively shut down everywhere it is taking place.
There need to be laws in place to jail and deport the new Nazis. We need unconditional surrender not only on the battlefield, but also on the streets of Western, freedom loving nations. Denial of the October 7th atrocities needs to become a crime as severe as Holocaust denial, with actual arrests and punishments. We need to see political leaders and college presidents pay the price for their immoral indecisiveness. We need the unconditional return of our loved ones from captivity. We need Yahya Sinwar’s head on a stake.
There was great consternation when Heritage Minister MK Amichai Eliyahu was facetiously asked if he wanted “an atom bomb dropped on Gaza” and he replied, facetiously, “that’s one of the options.” Unamused, our Prime Minister banned him from attending further cabinet meetings.
In truth, there are many reasons Israel would never do it. Our hostages and the atomic fallout for example. But that doesn’t mean that the Gazans don’t deserve it, the way the Japanese deserved Hiroshima and Germany deserved Dresden. Not only isn’t Hamas ashamed of what they did, they filmed it and live streamed it, and have promised to repeat it “two, three, four” times, until Israel is destroyed. Certainly if ever a movement exemplified unredeemable evil it is Hamas, and all those who support it.
Instead, our soldiers are forced to work their way delicately through the booby-trapped houses and land-mined streets, often while attacked by rocket fire and involved in close combat. The lives of a million Hamas terrorists are not worth the life of one of our wonderful soldiers.
This is my opinion. If you want to stop reading my diary, stop. That’s what I believe. I’m never going to change my mind.
Having researched the Holocaust, what I found most horrific was the fact that the perpetrators were allowed to just walk away into new lives after defeat. Most never got punished at all, or even shamed. The Allies, who used them for their Cold War spying, rocket making skills, in general didn’t really care, because the Allies were not imprisoned in Auschwitz, or in the ghettos of Europe, or the killing fields of Lithuania and the Ukraine.
This war is different. This enemy did this to our people. We are the ones that viewed their bodies and their homes and the terrorists’ Go-Pro camera footage. We are the Allies. They cannot be allowed to walk away from this. Only when our hostages are freed, Sinwar is dead, and other Hamas billionaires get a bullet in their heads, can we begin to truly end our mourning and begin living a new normal.
That moment cannot come speedily enough.
I ask everyone to please mark this 30th day of mourning by lighting a memorial candle.