Act as if the hostages are dead

Act as if the hostages are dead.


Even writing that sentence chills my own body. Saying those words out loud terrifies my soul. Defiance then requires saying those words again.


Act as if the hostages are dead.


The Israeli mentality has always been about preserving human life. Judaism teaches us to value human life. The Torah commands us to do whatever is necessary short of murder, adultery and idolatry to save a life.


Sadly, sometimes saving a life inevitably leads to even more deaths in the long run.


When Israel traded away over 1,000 hardened Palestinian terrorists for Gilad Shalit, Jews rejoiced over saving his life. One Jewish academic even admitted that the deal was “a mistake worth making.”


This sentiment is as wrong as wrong can be. It was a mistake that led to deadly consequences on October 7th of 2023. It also set a precedent. Rather than learn from this mistake, Israel has repeated this mistake. They recently gave away three Palestinian terrorists for every one Israeli hostage.


Even America has gone down this destructive path. The Obama administration released five Taliban terrorists in exchange for one American military deserter named Bowe Bergdahl. The Biden Administration surrendered a Russian international arms dealer to bring home a basketball player.


These deals are all based on a flawed premise. Although every human being is created by God, we are inherently unequal in terms of negotiation value. Any nation placing the release of its hostages as the top priority is failing to understand the purpose of waging war.


War has a defined purpose. War is designed to completely crush an enemy until that enemy is unwilling to fight.


President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address freeing the slaves only mattered because of Union General William Tecumseh Sherman’s March to the Sea. General Sherman burned Atlanta to the ground. This broke the backs of the South, won the war, and preserved the Union. General Sherman’s brutality saved thousands of lives that would have expired due to a continuation of the Civil War.


President Harry S. Truman dropped atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. This killed 100,000 Japanese people, many of them innocent civilians. President Truman’s action led to a rapid Japanese surrender and an end to World War II. Again, this saved thousands more lives.


In recent years, concepts such as proportionality have corrupted Western militaries. Fear of collateral damage have led to strategic impotence.


Every life is precious, but saving one life in exchange for 1,000 future deaths is not noble, wise, or in line with Torah values.


The Israeli Defense Forces have a golden opportunity to permanently crush Hamas. They can flood the Gaza tunnels and force the Hamas Jihadists out of hiding and straight into Israeli gunfire. The only thing delaying the flooding of the tunnels is the possibility of Jewish Israeli hostages being held captive in the tunnels.


Act as if the hostages are dead.


The family members have every right to place their own loved ones at the top of their personal priority lists. The rest of us must follow John F. Kennedy’s maxim “Ask not what your country can do for you. Ask what you can do for your country.”


We Jews are descendants of Abraham. He was willing to make the ultimate sacrifice of his beloved Isaac.


Jews everywhere must demand that the Israeli military do what is necessary to preserve the survival of the world’s only Jewish state and Judaism itself.


It may kill our souls to put winning the war over rescuing the hostages. That pain is temporary. It will kill our civilization if Judaism is eliminated permanently.


The Israeli military must finish the job. This is incompatible with putting the hostages first.


Finish the job. Flood the tunnels. Crush Hamas. Win the war.


As much as it pains our hearts, this cannot be done if living hostages can be used as bargaining chips.


Win the war first. Apologize later.


Act as if the hostages are dead. Bring their murderers to justice.



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