Releasing the hostages will start heal Israel

These days Israel is facing an increasing international pressure to end the war against Hamas in Gaza and reach a cease fire, 6 months since the October 7th horrific terror attack by Hamas which left 1400 Israelis killed and 240 taken hostage.

Israel is a country who unfortunately went through multiple wars and terror attacks during its 75 years of independence, and now it seems to be in its darkest hour. When the war began on October 7th, most of the western countries supported Israel’s right to defend itself and fight Hamas by a military operation in Gaza, and therefore the legitimacy Israel got within the international community has been skyrocketing. But as time goes by, this support is diminishing and now reached its lowest level when even the US, Israel’s strongest ally, has had enough and President Biden publicly called for Israel PM to reach a deal with Hamas of ending the war and in return bringing back all the remaining 133 hostages, after Israel Unintentionally killed 7 international aid workers in Gaza , adding that Israel is not taking enough safety measures to protect innocent people in Gaza.

With every day that goes by, the chances of the Israeli hostages to stay alive in the tunnels of Hamas is decreasing and quite often the Israeli media publishes based on the IDF intel that more hostages had been killed by their captures and therefore time is on the essence. History will judge those who will leave them in the nightmare of Gaza. The state of Israel is a resilient nation and according to senior officials at the IDF has mentioned recently , will know how to endure and handle with the consequences derived from an execution of a hostage deal, and of course there will be such.

Once this happen, Israel, on the one hand, while continuing to mourn and remember the 1400 who have been brutally murdered at the Nova festival and the Kibbutzim at Otef Gaza,  might be able from the other hand and at the same time to be mentally capable celebrating its 76 years of independence with a deep sense of sincerity that despite going through October 7th horrors it didn’t leave behind those who were kidnapped and reunited them with their families. Just imagine that this upcoming Independence Day will be conducted as usual while there are 133 Israeli hostages being held in Gaza by Hamas. This horrible scenario is something that for many Israelis will be just too much to bear and no country can accept.

Different Israeli security experts have explained on Israeli media that the thing that Hamas Leader Sinuar is most afraid of is that Hamas will lose its regime in Gaza to an alternative Palestinian organization which is not Hamas.  At the moment, no such plan is being implemented not even being discussed and therefore Hamas is still taking his time with a hostage deal and continue to believe that he can still control Gaza. This is a mechanism that Israel together with the US and the Moderate Arab countries such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and the UAE can join forces and build together for the benefit of the entire region that will change the strategic security position of Israel in front of both it’s enemies and allies and might put some pressure on Hamas to release the hostages as soon as possible or else it has a lot to lose. I believe that despite that the Palestinian authority is weak and have difficulties controlling in the west bank, Israel should not rule out the idea that they will take over Gaza after Hamas in support of other Arab countries and perhaps an additional international presence. It’s about time that we will acknowledge this reality that seems most likely to happen and reflect this truth to the Israeli public instead “selling” false stories of total victory which is right around the corner and is using as an excuse to keep the hostage deal on hold for the “right moment”.

From my point of view, and it might not be a popular opinion, I think that the Israeli government should put the release of the hostages at the highest propriety, even before defeating Hamas, which most probably take a few years according to different security experts.  Getting all its hostages back will benefit Israel in many aspects. This step can improve dramatically Israel’s image at the international community by emphasizing the stories of those hostages survived the atrocities and war crimes committed by Hamas violating international law, explaining to the world that Israel is the moral side who fight Terror and not against the Palestinian population while Hamas is the responsible to the killing of both Israelis brutally murdered and Palestinian which are being used as human shield in Gaza. In addition, this step can raise Israel National moral, provide a boost to its economy and most importantly can renew, even if just on a small scale the trust that so many Israelis lost in their political leaders and institutions following their failure to provide the protection needed during the October 7th Massacre.

The hostages and their families have suffered enough and now it’s time for the Israeli government to put politics aside and take a brave decision to free all of them immediately. The Israeli leadership must show empathy to those families and treat them with the utmost respect which they all deserve and communicate with them more often. Some are claiming that their demonstrations calling to remove Netanyahu from power as the one who is holding back the execution of such hostage deal just encourage Hamas to set higher demands. It’s perfectly clear that no one should judge those people who are living through a constant nightmare for more than six months begging to reunite with their loved ones and taking any step possible to raise support for their struggle and engage with business and political leaders and influencers to keep this story alive 24/7.  Instead, Israel must embrace those families and assist them as much as possible. Bringing back all the remaining hostages will enable the post traumatic Israeli society following October 7th, to start its healing process that it’s so desperately yearns for.

About the Author
Eli has a proven track record with more than 10 years of experience in, business development and strategic partnerships both in government and the private sector, most recently overseeing the Innovation segment at the consulate general of Israel to New England in Boston, Promoting International Collaborations between Israeli Tech companies with the New England ecosystem in different industries, consulting early-stage startups penetrating the US market and conducting business events showcasing Israeli Innovation.
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