Shimon Sheves

The march of shame continues


We have hit a new low. On October 7, the government and military leaders committed an unforgivable failure; since then, they have continued to falter repeatedly, missing countless opportunities to bring our hostages home. The free, liberal, and democratic State of Israel cannot truly exist without them. Every passing day is lost forever, and each day that slips by distances us further from the possibility of bringing them back alive.

Since January 24, there have been opportunities to advance the hostage deal. However, when political survival becomes the guiding principle, clarity, and rational decision-making are lost.

Half a year has passed since the talks in Paris, Washington, Cairo, and Doha. Opportunities have come and continue to present themselves. Yet, on our side, there is always someone who ensures they are thwarted.

This week, we reached the pinnacle of the unbelievable. With all Israeli citizens already on edge, another act of sabotage emerged, destroying yet another opportunity.

As is typical of a failing government, there is always someone who complicates matters, ensuring that classified information is leaked to the public, all for one terrible goal – the survival of the coalition. This is the mark of a failing and guilty prime minister.

The numbers that the State of Israel bears are like a bloodstain that spreads day by day. Nearly 2,000 people have been killed, murdered, and slaughtered. Thousands have been physically injured and disabled, and it is still unknown how many are mentally affected. There are 120 abducted men and women, and over 100,000 citizens remain displaced from their homes.

These harsh numbers cast a shameful shadow over the past nine months. There has been no progress, no victory, nothing definitive. Where will we go from here, and where will we end up?

I have said it before, and unfortunately, reality continues to prove me right. A man burdened with unacknowledged responsibility and heavy guilt, symbolized by a black chimpanzee on his shoulder, will continue to act under its influence. This burden will dictate his agenda despite all attempts at concealment and repression.

I am no longer surprised by anything. These individuals, led by the prime minister, fail to make rational decisions, formulate strategies, or take decisive actions. They are incapable of doing so, primarily because hidden guilt erodes their leadership abilities. Consequently, they are guided by political, personal, and familial agendas, resulting in consistently poor and unbalanced decisions.

Bring the hostages back now

We, the young soldiers of the Yom Kippur War of ’73, the generation that buried thousands of soldiers in that cursed conflict, with tens of thousands injured and disabled, and tens of thousands more mentally affected, made a vow to ourselves and to each other: we will never be caught off guard again, and we will always fight with the upper hand.

After that, we started families and spoke cautiously and moderately with our children. At the same time, we began to understand the depth of the trauma that had struck us and to come to terms with the realization that our power is limited. We learned firsthand that the enemy also knows how to fight and kill us. We spoke of and desired peace and security.

We promised a dove, an olive branch, as the poet said. We made promises and did not fulfill them. The entire government system has fallen, failed, and collapsed. Bring the hostages home now. The essence of freedom and democracy cannot endure without the return of the hostages alive, and every day that passes is a day lost forever.


About the Author
Shimon Sheves was General Director of the Prime Minister's office under the late Yizhak Rabin. He is currently the Founder and Chairman of HolistiCyber, which provides nation-state level cyber security solution.