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Israel's Dilemma: Weakening Hamas or Releasing Captives - Yedidia Stern's Perspective

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Shivani Chauhan
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Israel's Dilemma: Weakening Hamas or Releasing Captives - Yedidia Stern's Perspective

In a recent dialogue, Professor Yedidia Stern, engaged in a thought-provoking discussion with Guy Zohar on the dilemma facing Israel: whether to prioritize the weakening of Hamas or the release of all captives. Stern's viewpoint reflects a growing trend towards an 'awakening' from humanitarian systems and the adoption of an anti-liberal approach as a critical survival strategy for the state.

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Awakening from Humanitarian Systems

Stern argues that without this shift in attitude, the state risks extinction. He identifies Israeli emotionalism as the 'Achilles' heel' of the nation, a weakness that Yahya Sinwar, the leader of Hamas, recognizes and exploits to his benefit. Stern's concerns stem from his observation that Israel's resolve against its enemies has waned, a change that he believes is detrimental to the nation's survival.

The US-Israel Relationship Amid the Gaza Conflict

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Meanwhile, across the Atlantic, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has urged Israeli leaders to avoid repeating the scale of destruction and displacement seen in the northern Gaza Strip. As Israel prepares for a military push farther south to eradicate Hamas, Blinken and other Biden administration officials are in talks with their Israeli counterparts about protecting the thousands of civilians who have fled to southern Gaza.

NORPAC Advocacy and the Truce in Gaza

Advocacy group NORPAC, championing a strong US-Israel relationship, has recently met with legislators, seeking support in the wake of Hamas' brutal massacre and capturing of innocent civilians in Israel. As the truce in Gaza extends to allow for more hostage and prisoner releases, negotiations are becoming increasingly difficult. Hamas continues to hold more hostages, and the Israeli government is bracing for the next stage of the war in Gaza.

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