The release of 50-plus hostages over the course of four or five days is a positive development in the sense that their restraint and possible literal torture will be at an end. But for many of these children and the parents who will accompany them, the trauma will not be over. Some will learn of relatives dead, and will be dealing emotionally and physically with what happened during their captivity. According to Israel’s Channel 12, the soldiers who will be bringing them out have been instructed not to answer the question, “Where are mommy and daddy,” only to reassure them that they are now safe. Those soldiers are also being told to ask if the children are hot or cold and whether they want or need to be carried, or want their hands held. Read that without tears springing to your eyes and tell me you’re still human.
Then there’s the fact of the 180-190 hostages who will continue to be kept by the demons in Gaza as bargaining chips, and it needs to be said: This is not a time to celebrate. Nothing “good” will be happening over the next couple of days. And I suspect Israeli public opinion, which is the only thing that matters now, will not greet the release of these children and women by thinking, as so many parlous American Jewish leftists will, “Oh good, now we can make sure the ‘ceasefire’ remains and Israel will be halted in its forward movement to destroy Hamas.” Oh, no, you moral bottom-dwellers: Israel is more likely to come out of this more hardened, more determined, and less inclined toward any kind of conciliation. They will, instead, demand of their government that it win this war with dispatch, and then they will turn their attention to the domestic failings that have brought it on. And what we in America think about it will be of no moment to them—except inasmuch as they will take strength from our support, our prayers, our continuing struggle against the people here in America who wish them and the Jewish people harm—and our love.