Ariel Beery
Dedicated to solving problems facing humanity with sustainable and scalable solutions

Words the world needs to hear

Minister Benny Gantz seen during a meeting of with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US President Joe Biden in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023. (Miriam Alster/ Flash90)

The speech our prime minister should give on the 151st day of the war

The following is the speech I would advise our Prime Minister to give a week before the start of Ramadan, after more than 150 days since Hamas brutally broke the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel. I would advise he direct the speech to the international community, at a press conference on the outskirts of Gaza, with the burnt-out buildings of the kibbutzim as his backdrop.

Dear people of the world, I am here today to represent my people, the citizens of Israel, on the week before the holiest month of the Muslim year, to ask for your help.

Over 150 days ago, the ceasefire between Gaza and Israel was brutally broken by the ruthless rulers of Gaza. You all bore witness to the savagery unleashed on innocent Israelis – Jews and Arabs – and on the Thai and Nepalese and Tanzanian people they murdered, raped, brutalized and left for dead. Since I know you have seen the videos the terrorists themselves shared of their evil deeds, I need not recount the violence of that fateful day. Nor will I spend the precious minutes we have together to speak about the more than ten thousand rockets and missiles Hamas has fired into our community centers, into our homes, nor the hundreds of thousands of Israelis made refugees since Oct 7th.

Instead of speaking about the past, I would like to speak about the present. I would like to ask for your help to end this war. Because it can end. My people feel no pleasure in fighting a war we did not choose. We fight because we must. We stand together and sacrifice our young soldiers in order to save our fellow citizens. Our mothers, our fathers, our children. The innocents who were dragged by Hamas into Gaza and held hostage for 150 days.

We do not seek glory in this war. We bear the sorrow of innocent Palestinians who have been killed in the crossfire. We mourn mothers and children used as human shields by their elected representatives, who decided to build their bunkers and attack launchpads under their hospitals and schools instead of building a future. We grieve for them alongside our own, as our tradition holds that every human has been created in the image of the Creator. We have and will continue to do what we can to get these innocents food and fuel and shelter, to ensure that food and fuel does not go underground to feed the demons who continue their war on us.

At present, Israel is doing what any people, what any person, what any mother or father would do to rescue their child. Nothing, I repeat nothing, will stand in our way to get to the people who perpetuated such horrible crimes and are still torturing, raping, brutalizing our loved ones. We are willing to kill and be killed if it means rescuing our loved ones from such a fate. Since I know each of you love as strongly as we do, I know you would do the same.

Which is why I am here today to ask for your help. The month of Ramadan is upon us. We know Islam is a religion of peace, and we share in your hope for peace. We would like nothing more than to end this war. To have Ramadan mark a new period of peace, a period of contemplation and spiritual cleansing. Join us to demand Hamas return our sons and daughters, our fathers and mothers, our husbands and wives. Raise your voices with us in a call for them to do what is right. Return all hostages, immediately.

There need be no preconditions. Just as Hamas unilaterally attacked and murdered on the morning of October 7, they can begin the road to peace and reconciliation by returning, immediately, the hostages they abducted. We will respond to war with war, and we will respond to peace with peace.

I know some of you would tell me that asking Hamas to unilaterally return our loved ones is unrealistic. I am here to tell you it is the only realistic option. Because we will not relent. Asking us to leave our daughters in the hands of rapists, asking us to leave our sons to be tortured in the darkness, is unrealistic, is unconscionable. Only once our loved ones are back in our embrace, only once those who were murdered and whose bodies are held are buried with the dignity they deserve, will we be able to begin the long process of reconciliation. Only then can we return to the ceasefire broken by Hamas on October 7.

No more innocent people need die on either side of this conflict. We can make peace, as we did with Egypt. We can build fruitful economic relations that will uplift all peoples, as we have with our friends in the United Arab Emirates. We can help you transform Gaza into a prosperous center where international donations are invested above ground in civil infrastructure as opposed to below ground into military infrastructure. It all begins with the release of our daughters and sons.

Let me be clear: until our children are home we will not relent. Let there be no misunderstandings: Hamas and the violence it represents will never scare us away. Terror only begets more violence, and we are not afraid from doing violence to those who threaten our children. We are going nowhere, and will defend ourselves and our right to live in our homes. In our home.

Thousands of years ago, the Babylonians conquered us and dragged us away. We returned. A thousand years after that, the Romans did the same. We returned. A thousand years after that, the Crusaders tried to clear us from the land. We are back, and are going nowhere. There will never again be a time where Jews are exiled from the River to the Sea. Instead of spilling blood to attempt to exile us once more, help us cease fire by doing the right thing: call on Hamas to return the hostages before the start of Ramadan so that we can all observe the month of Peace.

About the Author
Ariel Beery is a strategist and institution builder dedicated to building a better future for Israel, the Jewish People, and humanity. His geopolitical writings - with deeper dives into the topics addressed in singular columns - can be found on his substack, A Lighthouse.
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