Home World This War Is Different – Seth Mandel, Commentary Magazine

This War Is Different – Seth Mandel, Commentary Magazine


Yahya Sinwar is counting on Israeli exhaustion to save him. The architect of the Oct. 7 massacre is refusing to accede to any deal that removes him from the Gaza Strip—no comfortable exile for this monster. So he’s offering a structured hostage release in return for Israel ending the war in Gaza and exiting the Strip.

Preposterous, of course. Except—Israel is a democracy, and democracies are susceptible to public pressure, and the pressure is on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to bring home Hamas’s remaining captives.

In the past week, rallies have been held in Jerusalem and Tel Aviv, as well as near a private home of Netanyahu’s in Caesaria, demanding progress on the hostage negotiations. Relatives of the captives stormed the Knesset, Israel’s parliament, in an attempt to shame the government into action. “Israel and the relevant countries in the region need to sit at the table—without eating or sleeping—and make this terrible situation end,” said one of them.

That comment reveals much about how “this terrible situation” affects Israel. So much of the public is going without eating or sleeping, in a state of indescribable anxiety and fear. Israel’s people’s army is famously made up of “our children,” a term Israelis use to reference the shared pain that comes with shared…

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