My friend Jeff, whom I’ve been friends with since at least kindergarten asked, “How are you doing?” Below is a slightly longer version of my answer.
Michal and I are agitated, distraught, and doing a lot of volunteering. Five days a week we pick up laundry at a nearby hotel where internally displaced Israelis are staying. (About 200,000 Israelis have left their homes and many are being put up in hotels in the center of the country. To compare with the US, that would be 7-8 million displaced citizens!) Almost all their clothes needing to be laundered are donated, since they generally left their homes in the south or north in a hurry. Where is the international aid for them, like the Gazans are getting – but which Hamas controls? Rhetorical question…
While Israelis are now united but somewhat despondent, the soldiers, mostly reservists – married men or recent soldiers for the most part – are highly motivated and ready to annihilate Hamas and hopefully to find our captives. Michal and I are concerned for the families of the captives, but uneasy about what they demand: the return of their loved ones as Israel’s highest priority. Why our concern?
Naturally, the families want to be reunited with their loved ones, but the authorities are not 100% sure exactly how many there are, where they are located, and what their names are. Understandably, for the families this priority trumps all other. They would even have Israel release “all” the more than 5,000 imprisoned terrorists in our prisons to get our captives back alive. But from past experience (such as when more than 1,000 terrorists were released to retrieve one soldier who had been kidnapped) those released often return to their “job” as terrorists. In fact, Ali Qadhi, the architect of the October 7 pogrom which killed 1,400 Israelis, is one of those who were released at that time. The death of Ali Qadhi himself was just announced by the IDF.
So, it’s obvious to me and most Israelis that we must just proceed to destroy Hamas. We can’t be diverted by anything, especially not a ceasefire which would be a win for Hamas. Defeating Hamas must be our highest priority and freeing the captives is a corollary of that goal.
If the IDF doesn’t eliminate Hamas leadership and nearly all of its active followers, thousands of Israelis will be endangered and the existence of the State of Israel put in doubt. In the meantime, our soldiers are engaging in close battles in Gaza, families are separated, the economy is sliding, and everyone is on edge.
So, that’s how we’re doing.
Not my usual ebullient self,
ps. I can’t help but mention that it’s getting perilous for Jews in the US as well as many other Western countries. The Jew hatred in colleges portends a much less tolerant attitude as this cohort eventually comes to power. Already, colleges are less receptive to Jewish applicants, large corporation boards are reducing Jewish membership, industry jobs are being reduced and even withheld from Jews, and those who follow the “progressive” agenda are reflexively anti-Jewish and anti-Israel.
American and British Jews living in Western countries: WAKE UP!