Free at Last?
There is no “on the other hand” when it comes to supporting the deal to free the hostages. The members of Bibi’s cabinet who voted against and those who attempted to get a Supreme Court injunction are members of a radical minority inside what is already a radical minority government that will go down as the worst in Israel’s history.
Israel’s President Isaac Herzog stated, “This is a moral and ethical duty that correctly expresses the Jewish and Israeli value of securing the freedom of those held captive, with the hope that it will be the first step in returning all the hostages home. The State of Israel, the IDF, and all the security forces will continue to act in every way possible to achieve this goal, alongside the restoration of the absolute security of the citizens of Israel."
There is no price too high for the freedom of hostages: not the released Hamas terrorists, not the respite a ceasefire gives Hamas to regroup before the war continues – and it will. The first 50 (hopefully quickly growing to 98) children and women will finally return home. This remains a fragile agreement. There are hostages (30 of them it is estimated) held by terrorists who are not part of Hamas. The next few days will be used to try to locate them and bring representatives of the Red Cross to see and treat them. It leaves more than half in captivity. It is unclear (to me) what the plan for them is.
The scenes we will see from the rubble that is Gaza over the next few days will make it harder for Israel to continue the war later, but I have no doubt the war will continue. Mossad and CIA leadership are in Qatar and the collaboration with the U.S. remains close. This critical support will be tested in the days to come. Israel is fortunate to have such strong support from the White House.
The news will evolve faster than I can keep up in the Bulletin and I am certain you will follow the media closely. In the meantime perhaps read Herb Kenion’s "What Makes Israel Special and Vulnerable" and maybe also Bret Stephen's "The 'Cease-Fire Now' Imposture."
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