Atara Weisberger
Holistic Health, Wellness and Personal Development Coach

Dear Israeli Leaders, Help Me Understand…

iStock purchased photos: Signature #471690989
iStock Purchased Image: Signature #471690989

Dear Israeli government,

Please help me understand.

Because I woke up this morning to news that I can’t get my head around.

Please help me understand the proposed Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage/prisoner exchange so Jews around the world don’t eat themselves alive in horror and disbelief.

Please help me understand how it makes sense to trade three Arab terrorists in exchange for one innocent Israeli civilian.

Please help me understand how you can refer to the Arab terrorists here simply as “women and children,” as if they are an equal exchange for the Israeli infants and toddlers taken into Hamas captivity during the massacre.In reality, those Arab “women and children” are adult females and teens who committed attempted murder of Israelis. Muhammad Abu Katish, 17, attempted to murder a yeshivah student, partially paralyzing him for life. Ahmed Najama, a 16-year-old terrorist from Jenin, carried out a stabbing attack in Bnei Brak. Malek Solmein, a resident of East Jerusalem, attempted to murder Border Police officers at Sha’ar Shechem in 2016. She was 16 at the time. Meison Musa stabbed and seriously injured a female IDF soldier next to Kever Rochel.

Please help me understand how relinquishing drone surveillance of Gaza will save Jewish lives. Help me understand how that demand is important to Hamas for any other reason than to give terrorists an opportunity to escape or to bolster their position. If your reasoning is that you have “other means of surveillance,” to prevent the escape of terrorist, know that we lost considerable faith in you since the morning of  October 7th.

Please help me understand how the legitimate and exquisite pain of the hostages’ families is different from the same pain faced by the victims of the terrorists that you are suggesting releasing in this hostage deal with Hamas. And what of the future victims of these terrorists and their families? Because we know that if they tried to kill Jews once they will again. In fact, their arrest and release will likely embolden them to do it again.

Please help me understand how you will prevent the clearly pro-Hamas and pro-Gaza Red Cross that you are allowing in to see the hostages from leaving Gaza with terrorists or aiding and abetting them in other ways. They have shown their bias and their true “Red” colors clearly.

Help me understand how this ceasefire and prisoner exchange will be a deterrent for our enemies to take captives and commit murder of Jews in the future. Help me understand how this positive reinforcement of violence is any different then releasing a drug addict from jail and handing him his drug of choice on the way out while urging him to stay clean.

Help me understand how those criminals don’t hate Israel more for having been caught and incarcerated for their crimes. Help me understand how in the middle of a war where Israel’s security is stretched to the brink that you will keep Israel safe from these terrorists many of whom are returning to their homes in East Jerusalem, a stone’s throw – literally – from Jewish residents of Jerusalem.

Help me understand how you are not cheapening the loss of life of our soldiers and civilians in this ceasefire and hostage/prisoner exchange. Help me understand how you will comfort the families of our fallen soldiers that you are not weakening in the face of international pressure and making their loss seem senseless.

Help me understand how Hamas understands anything but brute force.

Help me understand how you are choosing to trust the untrustworthy sworn enemies of our people including but not limited to Hamas, Islamic Jihad, Hezbollah, Iran, Qatar, and the list goes on.

Help me understand how this is going to help the future of Israel and the Jewish people. How you can look history in the eye and spit in its face with arrogance as if this time – with this deal, this potentially costly gamble of yours – Hamas and our other Middle East enemies will keep their side of the bargain for once.

My heart cries for our people and our country because weakness on Israel’s part leads to more Jewish bloodshed. It leads to more terror. It leads to Jewish loss of life, limb, livelihood, land and facilitates the murder and dislocation of our people.

Dear Israeli government, please help me understand. Because I really, truly don’t.

About the Author
Atara Weisberger, MPA, is a National Board Certified and Mayo Clinic Certified Health and Wellness coach and Transformational Coach with over 30 years of experience in the wellness field. Atara coaches individuals and small groups around wellness topics including health and healing, wellness, purpose and meaning, relationship with self and others, and positive psychology. In addition to coaching, Atara facilitates workshops nationally and abroad for organizations including Holy Name Medical Center, the Cancer Support Community, Women’s Reconnection Trips (Israel) and Yeshiva University Center for the Jewish Future. She has been featured on a number of podcasts including Holy Health, Hope to Recharge and Fit for Joy, and blogs regularly on her website at Atara holds a BA in Political Science and French from University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an MPA from the University of Indiana at Bloomington. Atara is the mom of three amazing adult children and splits her time between Israel and the US.
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