From The Hartman InstituteSponsored podcast

The Hostage Dilemma

Yossi Klein Halevi and Donniel Hartman discuss if Israelis could accept a hostage deal that would forfeit the goal of eliminating Hamas’ military power

Hili Cooper (with microphone) and Or Nohomovitch (right), tell protesters how they miss their grandfather, Amiram Cooper, held hostage in Gaza, at a rally for the release of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, at Hostages Square in Tel Aviv, February 10, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)
Hili Cooper (with microphone) and Or Nohomovitch (right), tell protesters how they miss their grandfather, Amiram Cooper, held hostage in Gaza, at a rally for the release of Israelis kidnapped by Hamas terrorists, at Hostages Square in Tel Aviv, February 10, 2024. (Avshalom Sassoni/ Flash90)

On Tuesday, Hamas countered Israel’s ceasefire proposal with a sweeping offer to return all remaining captives from October 7 and beyond­ – those alive and the remains of those who perished – for what amounts to a near-total dismantling of the IDF’s military effort in Gaza. Could the country accept a hostage deal that would essentially forfeit the goal of eliminating Hamas’ military power?

This week, Donniel Hartman and Yossi Klein Halevi grapple with the impossible position faced by Israel: choosing between the Zionist imperative of self-defense and the Jewish imperative of pidyon shvuyim (redemption of captives).

For Heaven’s Sake is a podcast from the Shalom Hartman Institute’s iEngage Project that revives the lost art of Jewish debate for the sake of illuminating a topic, not sowing division. The podcast draws its name from the concept of machloket l’shem shemayim, “Disagreeing for the sake of heaven.”

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