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Nov 26, 2023·edited Nov 26, 2023

It's about time for an overwhelming number of letters to the editors of the NYT and WaPo to demand coverage of Biden's around the clock negotiations as NEWS and not keep saying "some" or "it is thought" balloney. Now that we are seeng the results, all that is covered is the heartwrenching images of people hoping and waiting.

Their quest for maintaining impartiaity IS partiality by denying the public's right to know. We all know,as a commumnity that pays attention, all the real acomplishments of the Biden Administraion that only gets mentioned deep in the body of the papers, if at all.

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Unbelievable the pain and suffering on all sides with human bargaining chips...my heart breaks and my mind boggles...thank goodness for the cooler rational beings trying against hope to bring peace

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I am uncertain that diverting Israel from the effort to destroy Hamas and focusing on returning the hostages Hamas is holding after the brutality of October 7 is the wisest course. We and the Israelis have taken this course and must make it work. Two days in, the Republicans have begun: Why haven't there been any Americans released?

We get this question, from leaders in the political party that, according to Jimmy Carter's NSC Iran expert Gary Sick and others, worked to persuade Iran that American prisoners would not be released until Ronald Reagan was President and definitely not before the election. We get this question, from the political party that, according to Nixon's Chief of Staff HR Haldeman, prevented Lyndon Johnson's peace talks from working by persuading South Vietnamese leaders not to agree to a deal before the election.

I am a little older than Joe Biden and remember these events. It did not take much googling to confirm my memory. I am sure Joe Biden remembers these events, too. I am sure that he remembers the political party that was willing to undermine a Democratic President's effort to achieve a peaceful resolution to an international crisis.

The Republicans are at it again. What haven't any American hostages been released, they ask? They apparently don't count the October 20 release of an American mother and daughter. That preceded the negotiations so that, for Republicans, it does not count. Republicans forgetting two hostages who were released is not the important part. The important part is Republican willingness, when there is a Democratic President, to interfere in the process of achieving peace, the process of making Americans and others safe.

That interference is what has characterized Republican leadership -- from Richard Nixon to the present.

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More credit to the Biden Administration, Blinken and Alston in particular. These folks are engaged on the world stage via the middle east while keeping an eye on Ukraine. And yes I did notice that Hamas hasn't released any Americans ? As far as a two state solution, that would be the best, but no further comment.

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Writing about this story is quite hazardous and requires extra skepticism and empathy. I appreciate the existence and fairness of this post and would love to see more like it.

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Note that HCR is extremely careful in her use of language to not call this an exchange of hostages, but hostages AND prisoners.

While she also attempts to provide information on who and what the prisoners are and have been arrested for doing. The local paper here in Portland Maine headlines it as a hostage exchange thus promoting an equivalency between a democratically elected government following a set of laws and holding in jails threats to its existence of the people it represents to a organization that rapes, murders, and celebrates the death of any Jew no matter their age.

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Nov 26, 2023·edited Nov 26, 2023

As a side note, there has been no coverage of the three MSF doctors killed in Gaza doing the most hazardous work imaginable. MSF needs our support for all they do around the globe to alleviate human suffering and save as many lives as possible with limited resources.

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My fear is that negotiating with the terrorist group Hamas will lead to more hostage taking, Americans being more valuable apparently. However with Netanyahu’s government acting more and more like a terrorist organization, it’s hard to find a good guy to negotiate with. In fact, their response to the Hamas horror has itself been so horrible that Hamas is gaining supporters. One would like to think it’s the Palestinian people they care about, but it’s Hamas that is crowing and acting as stupid as Netanyahu, the people be damned. So far, seems that the perpetrator of this current slice of hell is winning the PR war. Hope Joe’s strategy to force a little humanity into the situation works, but power-brokers scraping over every square inch of land know little of humanity.

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Nov 26, 2023·edited Nov 26, 2023

I am ill since October 8. As a person who reveres life and who abhors and fears abuse, brutality and violence of every kind, a physician and one who has volunteered and worked overseas. I am sickened by the abuse , cruelty and the appalling murder of thousands of babies and children. I abhor all bombings ,bomb makers and all poisonous chemicals. I am sickened by what has just happened , sickened. Usually I spend a lot of time in meditation and prayer and I will try again. However since October 8 I have difficulty as when I begin to meditate and pray , I hear the cries of the injured women and children. I think of all the murdered doctors , nurses and physios and I cry and I cry.

I keep playing videos of Canadian and other physicians I admire.

Dr. Joanne Liu is an outstanding human being with impeccable moral and spiritual intelligence. I find her calm , caring and thoughtful speach very elevating although she speaks of unbelievably awful topics.

In this Dr Liu remind me of Professor Richardson. We need to learn from compassionate, nurturing human beings who have really reviewed very terrifying events and then share a helpful and hopeful response.

https://youtu.be/niehJb220nY

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I continue to pray for sanity and speed to release all hostages on both sides.

Thank you Heather, Professor Richardson, for your steadfast reporting of all that you know, as soon as you know it. You are at least offering all who read a chance to quietly consider how this man-made war has evolved and is being fought with seemingly no consideration for the thousands of human beings caught in the crossfire.

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Nov 26, 2023·edited Nov 26, 2023

In 1953 I visited Palestine refugees in Gaza, then under Egyptian control. They were housed in tents, since Egypt did not want them as immigrants.

Seventy years later the Israeli/Palestinian situation is the worst ever. After the horrendous Hamas massacre of October 7th, Netanyahu promised ‘revenge,’ the Israeli Defense Force started launching thousands of air strikes against the 2,000,000 Gaza Palestinian residents, and then a tanks/artillery/ ground forces attack commenced—with the announced target the Hamas terrorists.

The shaky hostage-release ‘pause’ seems temporary with an uncertain ‘next phase.’ Already at least 15,000 Gaza civilians have been killed, perhaps 40% of the buildings in northern Gaza destroyed or damaged, and there seems no ‘safe area’ in Gaza for Palestinian civilians.

President Biden and a number of global and regional leaders seek some sort of ‘cease fire.’ Reports from Israel and from IDF spokesmen indicate an intention of renewing a massive military initiative in Gaza once the hostage ‘pause’ ends.

I sense a strong desire by Netanyahu and others in Israel’s current government to make much of Gaza uninhabitable in a sustained assault to destroy Hamas. Some military experts opine that Hamas, as a military force, might be momentarily damaged, but, as a ‘movement,’ it could remain and even recruit a new generation of ‘terrorists.’

I have great difficulty envisaging an ameliorating ‘end game’ to Israel’s military strategy, which has included denying food, water, fuel, and safety to 2,000,000 Palestinians huddled in a tiny space.

1) Do they intend to ravage Gaza, occupy the area, and maintain draconian governance?

2) Does anyone have an alternative governance plan whereby some other other group—UN, Arab, or yet-to-be-identified moderate Palestinian leader— would assume responsibility for managing Gaza?

3) Who would initiate and fund a massive ‘Marshall-Fund-type effort’ to provide the countless billions of dollars required to rebuild a much destroyed Gaza?

Personally I am flummoxed when I try to consider a positive conclusion to this horrendous Israeli/Palestinian conflict.

I am also deeply concerned that the United States, despite President Biden’s well-intentioned efforts to moderate Netanyahu’s ‘revenge,’ will seem indifferent to massive Palestinian civilian deaths by much of the world’s population.

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So, what happens when (if) all Israeli hostages are returned? Does Israel continue destroying lives, buildings and land in Gaza? Does Israel get serious about a two state solution? If so, with whom does Israel negotiate? And, most important of all, will Biden, or Trump if he’s elected, have the sense and grace to hold Israel’s feet close enough to the fire to leave Palestine with adequate territory to build a real state? I’m not holding my breath. The US hasn’t been too successful solving problems like this. I offer our continuing failure to end gun violence as evidence of our inability to negotiate solutions when stakes are high and all sides are adamant they are right.

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"Once again, he emphasized that 'this cycle of violence in the Middle East' must end. And, once again, he called for 'a two-state solution where Israelis and Palestinians can one day live side by side…with equal measure of freedom and dignity.' He told reporters, 'There’s overwhelming interest—and I think most Arab nations know it—in coordinating with one another to change the dynamic in their region for a longer-term peace.' He noted that he was 'working very closely with the Saudis and others…to bring peace to the region by having recognition of Israel and Israel’s right to exist...'”

It strikes me that as often as I have heard the terms "two-state solution" and "Israel's right to exist," I have never once heard of the second state's name mentioned together with its "right to exist." Doesn't that seem really odd to anyone else? Doesn't having a two-state solution require open commitment to two states' right to exist?

Unless nations can regain a respect for the necessity for international law and an effective international criminal court, the worst elements are left to resolve their conflicted ambitions by violence. If we did not value the rule of law and access to courts, why shouldn't we expect to see vigilantes and gangs of thugs doing the same at smaller scales across our own neighborhoods?

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I continue to hope. Hope that Biden and his team have a very tight rope around Netanyahu and his crazy generals in the IDF and the Likud Party. Joe has given Bibi many warnings about his response towards Hamas. Hamas is abhorred by some of the Arab nations but not by Iran nor Lebanon. They are definitely a terrorist organization which gained weaponry, intelligence, and training from members of ISIS. They have proven that they are tunnel rats with sophisticated means. On top of that, they are murderers and rapists. They now are dangling carrots, the people they kidnapped, and if Israel doesn’t do what they demand, then those citizens are left in peril.

Over 14,000 Palestinians have been killed. We simply cannot forget about them. Leadership on all sides must change, like yesterday! Joe is the only one everybody listens to. He is the ONLY ONE. It’s our duty to hold him up.

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Surely there has been a problem this vexing in the history of warring sides. But one centered in such a small area of land? And one this far from our home that has brought out so much overt irrational hatred? It’s all so hard to fathom.

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Nov 26, 2023·edited Nov 26, 2023

This is encouraging news. However , I still feel that not all the hostages will be released. Netanyahu is a authoritarian who will only negotiate so far with President Biden. I pray 🙏 for the Israelis and Palestinians in Gaza. This war is far from over.

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