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Living in unstable times with multiple scenes

Vaseline 2 months ago

The morning newspapers of Friday, April 19, contained articles stating that Israel was unlikely to retaliate against the massive Iranian missile and drone attack on Israel on April 13.

However, in the wee hours of Friday morning, before the Friday newspapers had been distributed, it was reported that a rocket and aircraft attack had taken place on an Iranian air base in Isfahan province, attributed to Israel.

As the hours passed, information began to spread – initially anonymously – that what had been attacked was the defense system around the Iranian nuclear power plant at Natanz in Isfahan.

Iran seemed inclined to downplay the severity of the attack, apparently to avoid further escalation of the situation. But we’ll have to wait and see where all this will lead.

The news broadcasts in Israel on Friday evening at midnight and Saturday morning at 7 am were virtually identical and said very little about the events of the previous day. The headlines in both were that five people had been killed in separate traffic accidents in different locations in Israel on Friday.

The only addition in the morning news was an attack in Iraq on a pro-Iranian militia camp near Baghdad; both the US and Israel denied involvement. Who was responsible remains a mystery, and we were given a vague idea of ​​the events and how they are all connected or not.

Unanswered questions about the hostage crisis

RAINDROP FALLS on a poster of hostage Liri Albag during a rally earlier this year in Yehud, near Tel Aviv. (credit: Jonathan Shaul/Flash90)

The hostage issue is also one in which more is unknown than known. We know that there are 133 Israeli and Israel-related hostages in the Gaza Strip and that they have been there since October 7 and a few before that. We also know that none of them will participate in a Passover Seder. We don’t know how many of them are still alive.

What is also unknown, and only a matter of speculation, is why Israel has not recovered more than the hostages it received from Hamas or released itself, and whether the government is in any way responsible for this grim reality.

Could we have received ten more hostages at the end of the previous round of returns? And today we could have received twenty live hostages, after Hamas announced that it does not have forty live hostages in its possession, who fall into the category of women, children, elderly, injured or seriously ill hostages, who, according to the Parisian, had violated the agreements of should come back in February in the first round of a new deal? The government refused to settle for just twenty, even though these twenty might not survive much longer.

It is no wonder that most families of the remaining hostages are becoming increasingly radical in their verbal expressions and actions. Life for them has become a daily hell as hope is running out, that is if the government and whoever is in charge can show more compassion for all those directly involved – dayenu.

Recently I was watching a TV program about the life and death of Yoni Netanyahu – the Prime Minister’s older brother, who was killed during Operation Entebbe in Uganda in 1976, which took 105 hostages from an Air France flight that was hijacked to Entebbe . were released from their German and Arab captors, an operation Yoni had commanded.

In this program, Benjamin Netanyahu describes the personal fear of the experience for himself and even more so for his parents. As I listened to him, I wondered why he seems unable to show more empathy for the hostages and for the hostages’ families, who have had no news of their loved ones for a long time and have no idea if they are still alive . .

And then there are tens of thousands of evacuees from the areas bordering Lebanon, whose situation appears to be much worse than that of the evacuees from the Gaza border area. It is said that many, if not the majority, of these evacuees will never return to their homes on the northern border – certainly not until Hezbollah is pushed back from the Lebanese border with Israel to the site of UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006. determined that this should happen. withdraw, and the Lebanese army and an effective UN force are installed to ensure peace between Lebanon and Israel.

Anyone who saw Itai Anghel’s film last Thursday on Channel 13, in the Hamakor program, about the current fate of Metulla – Israel’s northernmost city – which was a quiet seaside resort until just over six months ago and is now virtually completely abandoned, couldn’t help but feel sad.

Besides some armed forces, the only residents of Metulla today are a local emergency crew in charge of an operating room and a few eccentric individuals who persevere relentlessly. The city has a lot of physical damage and a general feeling of abandonment.

Metulla is one of many towns, kibbutzim and other forms of settlement in this situation, and no one knows how long this will last or what kind of solution will be found. Security Council Resolution 1701 cannot possibly work in its current wording.

In general, one of the many causes for the sense of unrest and instability in Israel today is the lack of clarity on the Northern Front. Sporadic fighting continues between Israel and Hezbollah. Still, the fighting could spiral into full-scale war at any time – with or without Iran’s direct involvement. The Americans would like to resolve this situation diplomatically, but as far as we know no formal discussions are taking place on the work floor. moment.

The situation regarding the Gaza Strip also appears to be in limbo, and the only development appears to be that the amounts of humanitarian aid entering the Gaza Strip have continued to increase. However, due to the total impasse over negotiations for the release of the hostages, with the withdrawal of most of the Israeli forces from the Gaza Strip, there are more question marks than answers over the prospect of an Israeli land operation to seize the city of Gaza. occupy. Rafah on the Gaza Strip’s border with Egypt, which would allow Israel to put an end to what remains of Hamas’s organized forces and infrastructure; with the political wing of Hamas considering leaving Qatar and possibly moving to Turkey or elsewhere; and with total uncertainty about the future governance of the Gaza Strip, the situation seems quite grim.

For Israelis: growing hostility abroad, accompanied by the spread of various forms of boycotts against Israel; a gradual deterioration of the Israeli economy, as well as the downgrade of Israel’s credit rating by S&P a few days ago; and, last but not least, the poor performance of the government, with no elections in sight, all contribute to the sense of instability and uncertainty.

Despite everything, hopefully most of us will be able to celebrate the Passover Seder peacefully with our families tonight. Hopefully, for those of us who can’t do this next year, things will be better – not worse.

The writer worked for many years as a researcher in the Knesset and published extensively journalistic and academic articles on current affairs and Israeli politics. Her most recent book, Israel’s Knesset Members – Comparative Study of an Undefined Job, was published by Rutledge.