At this bitter hour of loss and calamity there are countless matters that need our attention, but I wish to address only the most crucial and important issue – namely, our loved ones, who have been murdered, wounded, abducted, or who are missing.
The most pressing issue right now is to put forward a practical offer on the table. I, Yigal Carmon, a former Colonel in the IDF Intelligence Corps and a former counterterrorism advisor to two Israeli Prime Ministers – Shamir and Rabin – who in late August published a report on MEMRI's website, the Middle East Research Media Institute, warning of the danger of a looming war in September-October – a report that nobody heeded – I propose to approach all international bodies as well as all Arab countries that speak to us – Jordan, Egypt, Morocco, the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and make the following offer:
Hamas demands the release of all the Palestinian prisoners incarcerated in Israeli jails. We say yes. In fact, we are the ones offering it ourselves. We are willing to release them all, without delay, without precondition, without exception, in return for all our loved ones who have been taken hostage, who are missing, who have been murdered, injured, dead, alive. In return for all, we will immediately release all of the prisoners to any destination they choose, including Gaza, including Egypt and Jordan. This is our bargaining chip, and we offer it all.
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It is crucial that the families and all Israeli citizens know that we offered everything – everything – in return for our loved ones, and if Hamas refuses this offer, the entire world, as well as the citizens of Israel and their families, will know that there is no choice but to continue pulverizing Hamas. The families of the Palestinian prisoners will understand this as well.
Now to another matter. The Hamas attack cannot be compared to the '73 war, which is a war that we now miss. Not even to the massacres of the Islamic State. The comparison to animals made by Israel Defense Minister Gallant is also not appropriate, since no animal commits murder out of sheer cruelty. The only appropriate comparison is to the Einsatzgruppen, the paramilitary death squads of the SS of the Nazi Germany, who were attached to the 4th Wehrmacht Army groups that invaded Poland and Russia in the outbreak of World War II. Their one and only mission was to murder Jews wherever they found them. That is the only relevant comparison, and I propose to anyone that has a heart to stick to this comparison.
My institute, MEMRI, is currently establishing a Telegram account in the spirit of Yad Vashem, to document the murders, including of Holocaust survivors, that Hamas committed on that day, October 7. This is a project that should have been undertaken by the Israeli government, but nothing can be expected of this government. We must document everything. These Einsatzgruppen murderers have committed the same kind of murders that their predecessors did. So that the world will know, and so that Israeli children will learn about October 7, 2023 in schools. So that the world doesn't forget and is not allowed to forget.
I ask anyone who has in his possession relevant videos of these atrocities to send them to MEMRI.org. We will post them in the appropriate manner, since we have to keep in mind that they are not suitable for any viewer, just as materials to be documented as acts of horror, like in the Holocaust. Even the horrors of the Holocaust no one can watch. But still, we created Yad Vashem to document the Holocaust.
*Yigal Carmon is President and Founder of MEMRI.