Jack Engelhard
Jack EngelhardCourtesy

So this time it’s not 1,000 for one. Well, that’s an improvement. This time it’s 150 Arab terrorists in exchange for 50 Israeli hostages.

To some, that’s considered a win. Hey, look, we didn’t cave completely, only partly.

Did you get back all the hostages in this deal? That would have been something. But you didn’t. Abraham was also a lousy bargainer. Maybe that’s where this starts.

Frankly, I had intended to write something upbeat, especially when my IDF brothers in arms are fighting like lions inside the belly of the beast. (My guys were the Navy.)

But like you, dear reader, I am so damn depressed. Literally, where’s the light at the end of the tunnel?

I hardly hear any talk of victory any more. Mostly, the talk I’m hearing is about those “innocent Gaza civilians” and how Israel’s NUMBER ONE priority is to keep them safe.(Not Netanyahu and the government, thank G-d - they promise to go on to the end of Hamas and called its leaders "dead men walking" just last night.)

That’s the ballgame?

Secretary of State Antony Blinken thinks hardly about anything else, which is why he keeps traveling to Israel…to press the point.

There he is again this week…also to put the squeeze on Israel for “the day after,” which is a column for later.

He’s getting ready…with Biden, and the State Department…to swamp Israel ought of existence through another two-state solution, only this time with MORE land for the Arabs.

You heard that right. More land and THIS TIME they will be happy campers. Blinken is betting on this, with Israel’s money.

Which Israeli government will push back and resist? Or will it always be back to square one?

I am not confident. History tells us that leftist elements in Israel are always ready to concede for the “sake of peace in our time.” Per Neville Chamberlain.

Will it constantly be the same merry-go-round?

Nor can I forget the peaceniks who gave us Oslo, and the man, Ariel Sharon, who brought us to this pass when he gave this good Jewish land over to the Arabs. Hence, Hamas.

In earlier columns we proved that there are no innocent Gazans. They are all the same. One part does the killing, the other part does the cheering.

Dear Israel…how often will you let them play you like a fiddle? The enemy seems always a step ahead of you. Certainly the case Oct 7. Thereafter, as well.

We’re supposed to be so smart. They never produced an Einstein, and we have won 214 Nobel Prizes to their ZERO…all for what, when it comes to our survival.

Yet so often they outsmart us. We’re told that the 150 terrorists being released are really good terrorists. Quite harmless. Yet among them, we are learning, there exists car rammers, knife stabbers, suicide bombers, and outright murderers. BUT…they have been koshered by the government because they are only 99.9 percent like Hamas, not 100 percent. They did not succeed in their plans to murder Jews.

So, as of this writing, the deal is on…that is, for this group of 50…200 more to go.

Why art thou downcast O my soul? (David)

Because I know what’s coming. Hamas is going to drag this along for two years…one gift at a time…five, 10, maybe 20 hostages incrementally.

I so terribly hope I am wrong.

They can play this game down to one hostage left to taunt us with a Shalit all over again.

Meantime, the IDF will be stymied, the leadership, stalemated.

Let it not be so.

Hamas has this all figured out. Do the Israelis? How is it that Hamas gets to call the shots? Yes, Israel should have insisted on the release of all the hostages at once.

Or else, fire and brimstone of Biblical proportions. It’s what Churchill would have done…and did. Victory at all costs.

After all that, there is this: my niece Miriam, whose children live in Beer-Sheva…anyway, Miriam sends me the talks given by the Rebbe.

I listen to them every day…and they do uplift, give strength, and optimism. There shall be no despair. Israel…the Jewish People…will prevail.

Heck, I’m trying to be upbeat. Work with me.

New York-based bestselling American novelist Jack Engelhard writes regularly for Arutz Sheva.

He wrote the worldwide book-to-movie bestseller “Indecent Proposal,” the authoritative newsroom epic, “The Bathsheba Deadline,” followed by his coming-of-age classics, “The Girls of Cincinnati,” and, the Holocaust-to-Montreal memoir, “Escape from Mount Moriah.” For that and his 1960s epic “The Days of the Bitter End,” contemporaries have hailed him “The last Hemingway, a writer without peer, and the conscience of us all.” Contact here.

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