In an attempt to persuade me to participate in the planting ceremony held on Tu B'Shvat for the release of the hostages, one of the organizers told me that "the State of Israel has no right to exist if the hostages do not return". This sentence joins other pompous and blown up sentences such as "If the hostages do not return, it means that we lost the war" or "the families of the hostages are allowed to do everything" etc.
It is hard to teach music to the deaf, but I tried to explain anyway: there is a concept called "individual" and there is a concept called "community". With all the pain for each and every hostage and their family, there is something bigger: the existence of the entire Jewish people! If an agreement is signed that keeps Hamas in a position of power, it is a clear and immediate danger to all the Jews of the State of Israel.
The lives of 136 kidnapped Jews are not more important than the lives of seven million Jews.
The forces behind these campaigns – which were also behind the failed Oslo Accords, the disastrousGaza Disengagement, the calamitous Shalit deal, threats of draft refusal and the no-holds-barred anti-judicial reform protests (not the legitimate opposition tit, which there was as well) – must be rejected by us.
After all the 'good' they brought to the people of Israel, they received Nobel Prizes, applause, money and positions of power – but those who paid the price for their being so honored are the thousands of Jews who were murdered; October 7th is a direct descendant of these people.
When you are asked to join one of the initiatives for returning the hostages, check who is standing behind it: are they the heroic families of Forum Tikva, whose message is to strengthen the IDF's fighting in order to pressure Hamas; or is the Kaplan Force which is simply continuing its raucous protests against Netanyahu in a new guise, which some distraught hostage families do not realize?
We pray for the return of the hostages, and common sense tells us that increasing military pressure will help bring them back; however, the existence of the State of Israel and the perpetuity of the Jewish people will not be endangered if we continue to fight.
Tens of thousands of Jews have been killed during the wars in Israel, and the people of Israel live - and will also continue to live this time.
The bad will pass.
The good will prevail.
With God's help.