Israel’s 39th Day of War

39 days into the war with Hamas and the numbers continue to grow. 44 of our troops have died in the fighting to date with 365 killed since October 7th while 239 hostages remain in captivity in Gaza. The IDF now claims it is in control of Gaza but seemingly not sufficiently so to have been able to identify where the hostages are being held. The frustrated and worried families of the hostages began a walk to Jerusalem from Tel Aviv today as a protest against the perceived inaction of the government on this issue.

The IDF confirmed this morning that 19-year-old Cpl. Noa Marciano, a soldier in the Border Defense Force, was killed while being held hostage by Hamas in Gaza. On Monday, Hamas published footage showing Marciano’s body. The circumstances of her death remain unclear. A representative of the IDF visited Marciano’s family on Monday after the genocidal terrorist group earlier released a video of the captive soldier, still alive.

On the northern border with Lebanon, cross border incidents continue with the IDF reconsidering its strategy regarding Lebanon.

The IDF is coordinating the transfer of 33 incubators for newborns as well as three adult respirators from an Israeli hospital to Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza, the military stated early Tuesday morning. “The IDF remains committed to upholding its moral and professional responsibilities to distinguish between civilians and Hamas terrorists,” the military spokesperson said. In a phone call released by the IDF, an officer from the Coordination and Liaison Administration (CLA) to Gaza, speaking with the Director General of Al-Shifa Hospital, can be heard offering the incubators as well as helping evacuate children and patients from the facility. The only question that remains is whether Hamas will permit the hospital to accept the incubators given that yesterday they did not permit them to accept fuel supplied by Israel.

A number of my readers have asked me how I think the war will play out?  My assessment is that at some point the domestic pressure on President Biden may be so strong that he will have to reluctantly contact Prime Minister Netanyahu and say “enough.” It will be a painful move for the President, as I believe he knows in his gut that it is bad for us and for the entire world not to complete the work that Hamas forced us to undertake.

However, while we would like to think that we can make independent decisions of this type, the fact is that we are dependent on the good graces of the US for the continuing supply of ammunition, Iron Dome anti-rockets, and the like which the US has been supplying non-stop. So, on a practical basis, if we don’t have US support, reason indicates that it will be logistically impossible to continue our military activity at its present level.

Should that occur, a lot of questions remain unanswered. What do we do about the hostages? What do we tell the families of the 239 captives in Gaza? How do we justify to those who have lost loved ones in battle that perhaps we cannot actually “finish the job?” What does Gaza look like if we have to stop? What would it look like if we did finish the job? Who will take control of Gaza on a permanent basis?  Will our people return to live in the south if we have not finished the job?

All we have is a lot of questions and the hope that there are sufficient strategic thinkers among our political and military leadership who are wrestling with these issues and can figure out how to deal with them.

For those of us who have faith, we retain our belief that the good Lord is on our side and will guide us to the correct decision. May that be so.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 29 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Immediate Past Chairperson of the Israel Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.
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