Photo Credit: Avshalom Sassoni/Flash90
Protestors blocking a Tel Aviv road calling for the release of the hostages.

There are moments in history in which the sense of entitlement of an ethnic and economic elite whose privileges are slipping away with inevitable demographic changes ignite such rage as to create an illusion of righteousness. Israel’s secular Ashkenazi elite is experiencing such a moment at the worst possible time, during the country’s existential war against brutal and ruthless enemies seeking its annihilation, alongside pretend allies seeking its demise at a later date. The rage at losing their hold on the country that was owned by their grandparents combines with the horror of watching all their former vassals – Arabs and Jews – rob them of their last imagined impact on reality.

And so, on a Thursday morning, when millions of their fellow citizens are driving to work on Metropolitan Tel Aviv’s main traffic artery, Ayalon Highway, they block the 10-lane highway in either direction with a big sign that proclaims: “It’s either Rafah or the hostages, we choose life.”


In Benjamin Netanyahu’s Israel, security decisions are determined by the madding crowd. On October 18, 2011, relentless demonstration of the same uppercut of the population, subverting all logical argument, forced Netanyahu’s hand to release 1,027 murderers from security prisons in exchange for Corporal Gilad Shalit who had been captured in 2006.

Yahya Sinwar, mastermind of the October 7, 2023 attack that killed more than 1,200 innocent Israelis and garnered close to 250 hostages, was among the 1,027 released prisoners in 2011.

Israel recovered eventually from the surprise attack and went on the attack. Despite the wreckage and carnage that the IDF inflicted on the Gaza Strip, it has not been able to act as brutally and effectively as the mission called for because of the fear of hurting Israeli hostages. It was also bound by a hostile US administration that forced the IDF to obey rules of war no American army had ever paid attention to. They did it, said Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin, to spare Israel the mistakes the US committed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

It was nice to see the US military that never waged a war where it had less than a 10 to 1 advantage in personnel and equipment advising a country of 9 million surrounded by about a billion enemies. It was like that recently sober member of AA who had finished off all the beer in Ireland counseling moderation to a lass sipping her daiquiri.

A colleague told me last night that she plans to vote for Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. She knows the man is on the spectrum, she knows he is not God’s gift to any intellectual discourse, but she also knows that when he says he will not leave Gaza before destroying Hamas he means it. Unlike Netanyahu, who makes promises but doesn’t promise to keep them.

But he puts settlers in administrative detention, I argued.

Yes, he does, she agreed, but killing Yahya Sinwar is more important than a bunch of really nice guys sitting in jail to appease Joe Biden and Antony Blinken.

You see, my colleague, God bless her, understands the difference between the danger of losing a small group of fellow Israelis and losing the country’s future to a terrorist government supported by a much bigger terrorist government – Iran, and furious throngs of hateful demonstrators from Milan to Los Angeles.

This is what the crowd of mostly women, some of whom – about five – are actually related to a hostage, have been unable to process. They don’t get that immortal statement made by a fictional alien from the planet Vulcan, Science Officer Spock, who said, “Logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.”

The women blocking the highway as a million Israeli motorists were being kept from earning a living (you just know they made Spock calmly angry), declared: “Entering Rafah means giving up the lives of the hostages. After they promised us for half a year that only fighting would bring back the hostages – we all understand today that the only way to save those who can still be saved is only through a deal. We call on the Prime Minister and the Cabinet from here: Do not give in to the pressure of extremists who use the hostages as an excuse to continue the war. It’s time to choose a life. Deal Now!”

Like Peace Now, a slogan that sounded like the tantrum cry of a two-year-old back when it was first conceived, and today, more than 30 years later, reminds us that we’re still dealing with emotional toddlers.

Never mind that the Netanyahu government is engaged in a deal with Hamas, and the last thing a bargaining team needs is for their own countrywomen to side with the enemy.

I remember as a child shopping for clothes with my dad, who was haggling with the shopkeeper, and I couldn’t take it. Didn’t the old man understand that if he kept haggling, the man would just sweep my desired shirts off the counter and refuse to sell us anything? I was ten, and so, I had another four or five years to still be an idiot – but these protesters turning a million wage earners’ day into a nightmare are grownup, chronologically speaking.

Those entitled demonstrators also couldn’t care less that the Americans are saying the ball is in Hamas’s court after Israel has already agreed to the most shameful terms: 18 weeks’ ceasefire, releasing hundreds of terrorists with Jewish blood on their hands in exchange for each hostage, letting the Gaza Arabs return unchecked to the northern Strip – and the Sinwar boys are still not saying yes. As a matter of fact, every time Israel concedes, they up the ante.

Any logical person, Spock included, would tell you that the surefire way to get Hamas in a more cooperative mood is for the IDF to put its boots on their necks – figuratively and literally. But that would mean a Netanyahu win, and the privileged Israelis blocking the highway as these lines are being typed with the vigor of a very angry old man, won’t have that.

And so, like that proverbial angry old man, I yell at those nearsighted Karens standing across the highway near an exit named after New York City’s first Jewish mayor, Fiorello La Guardia: GET OFF MY LAWN!

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