Putting life above all else puts principled Israel in no-win situation

Putting life above all else puts principled Israel in no-win situation

People wait for the convoy carrying newly released hostages from the Gaza Strip, in Ofakim, Israel on Sunday, Nov. 26, 2023. (AP Photo/Tsafrir Abayov)

Putting life above all else puts principled Israel in no-win situation

Author Joel Rosenberg says Israel had no choice but to bring back the hostages taken by Hamas. Now, he says, the Jewish nation hopes Joe Biden won't be a roadblock to finishing the job against the terrorist group.

The negotiated temporary cease-fire (extended Monday for two more days) in Israel's effort to destroy Hamas has resulted in the release of more than 40 hostages. Another 10 hostages are expected to be released Monday. But that comes with a mix of joy and concern. Almost 250 hostages were taken by Hamas terrorists on their murderous rampage against Israeli civilians on Oct. 7.

The Israel Defense Forces have taken control of Southern Gaza, the home of Hamas headquarters, but has yet to meet all its stated mission objectives. In the middle of the conflict, Israeli leaders have made a conscious decision to place the lives of the few ahead – potentially ahead – of the lives of the many.

The cease-fire agreement calls for Israel to release several convicted terrorists in the exchange. It's not the first time Israel has brokered such a deal, and the last time came with consequences, according to Joel Rosenberg.

"The price that Israel is having to pay is high, and nobody in Israel is happy with it, because we don't want to be negotiating with terrorists; and we don't want to give away Palestinian prisoners who were convicted of trying to stab people, kill people, attack our soldiers," Joel Rosenberg, a noted author and the publisher of All Israel News, said on American Family Radio Monday.

"But this is the no-win situation that we have – and we are putting life, the lives of our hostages, above all else right now. This is our principle, and this is where we are."

Markell: Lives of hostages paramount

In a conflict of civilized society against uncivilized terrorists, Israel had no choice, Jan Markell, founder and president of Olive Tree Ministries, said on her radio program last week.

Markell, Jan (Olive Tree Ministries) Markell

The stated purpose of the brokered cease-fire between Israel and the Hamas terrorists was to allow time to facilitate the release of hostages taken in the brutal October 7 terrorist attack perpetrated by Hamas. Markell has issues with President Joe Biden and the Qatari government, the primary mediators in the peace talks. Qatar has been a prime sponsor of Hamas, The Hill reported.

"I'm initially troubled by the fact that it's kind of brokered by the Biden administration and Qatar, at least they had a major hand in it," says the leader of the Messianic ministry. "But I'm concerned that Hamas isn't going to keep its end of the bargain. I think that's the biggest concern. They are a bunch of liars, murderers, thugs."

But Markell acknowledges at the same time the safety of the hostages remains paramount.

"The Israelis value life. The Islamic world does not value life, so this is why they're doing it. Our concern is that it's just going to give Hamas the opportunity to regroup, to refuel, to re-arm – and then to start attacking again. However, the consensus is that Israel really did not have a choice."

Rosenberg: Return of hostages is answer to prayer

As difficult as the terms of the cease-fire are for Israel, the return of the hostages has to be viewed as answered prayer, Rosenberg told show host Jenna Ellis.

"You and others in your audience and so many millions of Christians have been praying for the release of these hostages, and it's happening. So, this is good. There are many more to go. We've got about 200 more hostages that have to be released, and it's not exactly clear how that's going to happen, but I think the fact that there's movement is a positive thing," Rosenberg said.

"We need to thank the Lord. We also have to pray for the release of all those hostages and that Israel then goes back and finishes the job to completely dismantle Hamas."

The concern among many Israelis, Rosenberg said, is the resolve of the American president. Many are asking if Joe Biden will pressure Israeli into ending hostilities short of its goals by threatening to halt the supplies of U.S. weapons to Israel.

Rosenberg, Joel Rosenberg

"He's sending a lot of mixed signals," Rosenberg said. "When he's talking to Prime Minister [Benjamin] Netanyahu or a pro-Israel audience, he sounds very tough. When he's talking to the U.N. or to Europeans he sounds like, 'Enough is enough.' That's what every Israeli is afraid of: that Biden is going to end up tying our hands."

Israeli leaders have vowed to resume the war once the cease-fire is finished. Anything less could leave open the door of a replay of the Gilad Shalit exchange.

Shalit was a 19-year-old IDF soldier when he was captured by Hamas during an Israeli raid into Gaza in the summer of 2006. His detention became a focal point of Israeli politics and society. Ultimately, Shalit was released on a controversial exchange that saw Israel give up 1,027 Palestinian prisoners for one man.

"Everyone in Israel felt that generally speaking, [the prime minister] did the right thing because we consider every Israeli life precious, and we would never want to see any of our people left behind enemy lines with savages and barbarians," Rosenberg said.

Chief planner of attacks was once a prisoner of Israel

Among those Palestinians released back then was Yahya Sinwar. As Rosenberg explained, Sinwar became one of those "consequences" of dealing with terrorists.

"He is [now] the head of Hamas, and he is the mastermind of this whole Oct. 7 invasion and massacre. We released the very guy who a decade or so later came back to murder more Israeli Jews [than] at any time since the Holocaust. So, is it going to encourage more terrorism? Yes, but what is our option right now?" the author wondered.

"We're just going to leave our 240 innocent babies, grandmothers, mothers and fathers? We're just going to leave them there? No, there's a social contract, right? These are not soldiers that were fighting. These were people sleeping in their own beds, and they were kidnapped. It's just so evil, so wicked," Rosenberg said.

The cease-fire has drawn the anticipated criticism from many in Israel, Rosenberg continued.

"[Many have said that] Israel's making a big mistake. I understand that sentiment, but we have to do it. The big question is: are we going to give up and not continue fighting Hamas?" Rosenberg said.

As the cease-fire agreement is written, Hamas gets a day free of Israeli attacks for every 10 hostages it releases.

"The expectation is that Hamas will exploit this – but again, what are our options?" Rosenberg lamented. "After we get all or most of our hostages back, are we going to see, 'Okay, that's enough?' I don't think any Isarel is going to agree to that. We have to defeat Hamas. We have to destroy them."