The couple Liat Beinin and Aviv Atzili were kidnapped from kibbutz Nir Oz in Southern Israel during the Hamas rampage on Oct. 7. Liat is an American citizen descended from Holocaust survivors, and her family has been fighting for her and her husband’s release ever since. Liat’s father, Yehuda Beinin, grew up in the U.S. and then emigrated to kibbutz Shomrat in Israel’s north, where he still lives. Her sister, Tal Beinin, left Israel years ago, in part to escape the rockets shooting out of Gaza, and now lives in the U.S.
The family — including Netta Atzili, Tal’s nephew, who also survived the Hamas attack by holding closed the door of a safe room — has now been thrust into a public world of high-stakes hostage diplomacy even while they deal with unimaginable personal grief and uncertainty. Yehuda and Tal first spoke to me in late October, about three weeks after the Hamas attack, following a Zoom call with President Joe Biden and a lobbying trip to Washington that included meetings with senators and Vice President Kamala Harris. Despite the paralysis on the Hill at the time — the House was still speakerless with a potential government shutdown looming — Yehuda told me he’d never been so proud to be an American citizen and contrasted what he described as a compassionate and focused U.S. response to the hostage crisis with that of his own government. Israel’s approach to the hostages he called “lame, beyond lame” — the government seemed slow to start trying getting the hostages back and now is content to rely on American help.
We spoke again a few weeks later, with an Israeli ground invasion into Gaza ongoing, the Hamas-run health ministry reporting Palestinian deaths in excess of 10,000 — and still only a handful of roughly 200 Israeli hostages, including at least nine Americans, having returned home. Protesters and some politicians, in the U.S. and elsewhere, were calling for a ceasefire. Tal wanted to know why they weren’t demanding a return of the hostages, including her family members, first.
Father and daughter see the first priority as getting their family members back. When we spoke again this week, news of a possible hostage deal was trickling out, but the outlines seemed too modest to guarantee their family members’ release, and Tal said she was not hopeful. Yehuda is also trying, in his encounters with U.S. leaders, to shape their thinking about the day after the current war, specifically how to negotiate a permanent peace deal that addresses Palestinian concerns. But he sees a rollercoaster ahead for his family. “One of Hamas’ negotiating techniques is the employment of psychological warfare, and they’re very good at it,” he told me this week, more than five weeks since the first attack.
These two interviews were conducted by Zoom and have been edited and condensed for clarity and length.
Kathy Gilsinan: I first want to know about Liat and Aviv. What are they like?
Tal Beinin: My sister Liat, she’s nine years older than me, so she’s 49, and I’m 40. She’s always wiser, she has her shit together, whereas I’m like, I wonder where I’ll be in a decade. I live in Portland. So they just came here for a bat mitzvah that we had. And we went to Yellowstone. And it was really beautiful to just have an adult conversation with her.
She’s a teacher. She also works at Yad Vashem, which is the Holocaust Museum in Jerusalem. The events that are occurring right now, these really traumatizing events, it was like, ‘OK, who do I turn to to cope with this?’ And she’s missing. And I really feel that loss.
As for Aviv, they were together since they were 18 or 19. So I’ve known him for most of my life, and [he’s] always a calmer voice than our family. We tend to get a bit rowdy at times.
Yehuda Beinin: Rowdy over politics.
Tal Beinin: Not really. Everything.
Yehuda Beinin: Everything. OK.
Tal Beinin: He was always the voice of reason in a family that really gets worked up about stuff. He’s a hard worker, he works in the fields, he’s a very typical Israeli kibbutznik, very artistic, a great dad. He always taught his craft to his kids. The kids are 22, 20 and 18. I left Israel about nine years ago, and I kind of missed their adolescence, so I only saw them like once or twice a year. And then when Covid hit, I missed two years of their growing up. So it was a real treat to see them now as young adults.
Yehuda Beinin: Liat is a very dedicated, very hardworking person. She’s a history and civics teacher, which makes her work doubly difficult for her because she always is touching upon sensitive topics, current affairs and stuff like that. And of course, coming from our family, her position is usually more left than center, and with some people in the high school that’s OK; there are other people who tend to be more right-wing, so sometimes there are confrontations over that, issues with parents that so far she’s been able to handle very well. The idea of being able to express different opinions without it turning into a fistfight — up until about three weeks ago, that was rare in Israel. I know today the story is entirely different. I spoke with my wife this morning, and the people of Israel are in an uproar. The people have almost overnight jettisoned the left-right, secular-religious differences in society. And people are coming together in the center, which, it’s about time. It’s something that certainly needed to happen.
Aviv is a genius mechanic. And an artist.
Tal Beinin: He would take tools from the garage and paint images from his life on those tools.
Yehuda Beinin: Plow blades that are spent so they can’t be used anymore. So he has basically a big hunk of steel that he’s painting on.
Gilsinan: Can you tell us about what happened to your family on Oct. 7?
Yehuda Beinin: My wife and I live up north, so we heard news that there’s something going on down south. We called Liat at like 6:25 in the morning, and obviously she was wrapped up in what was going on around her, and we didn’t have a long conversation. She said, ‘It’s crazy, I’ll call you back,’ or something to that effect. By 9:30 she hadn’t called back. So we called her again, and she didn’t have time to talk. She did not elaborate on what was going on. One of her friends actually recorded a conversation with her. You can hear the desperation in her voice as to the situation around her house. I’ve never heard her speak like this. It was very, very desperate, very low tone of voice. She may very well have been trying to be quiet, not to make noise. And that was basically the last anybody heard from her.
[In] the aftermath, Aviv’s brother went over to the area with the army people and told us that the terrorists killed the three-legged dog. There were no signs of blood in the house or outside.
Tal Beinin: The house was burnt. And from what we gathered, they smoked out the houses so that people would get out, in order to kidnap them.
Yehuda Beinin: That fits in with the general story of what happened in Nir Oz. We need to talk about Netta, her middle son. We had a WhatsApp exchange earlier in the day, where he said that the terrorists came into his house. You have a 20-year-old kid who is in a safe room, the distance between him and the terrorist was two inches of an iron door. And he succeeded in staying alive by holding the handle closed on the door.
Tal Beinin: Nir Oz was attacked by 150 armed terrorists. They just swarmed kibbutz Nir Oz, killing and kidnaping people, and executing people, babies, dogs. They also went into the houses, ransacked the houses, stole things like my nephew’s computer. My other nephew that was also there saw them taking cars and riding the streets and just shooting at whatever they wanted. They also destroyed the kibbutz. Burning things, houses, equipment, stealing the cars, stealing the fuel, the tractors from the fields, because that’s how the kibbutz makes their money, from the fields. And then [they] went back to Gaza with over 200 people, killing [more than a thousand] in the way. Let’s not forget that for a second. And unfortunately, my sister and my brother-in-law were two of the people that were taken, and two of my nephews had to witness [the attack on the kibbutz]. My nephew, the only reason he survived was because he held the door so that they couldn’t come in and they noticed, ‘Oh, look, a computer, we’ll take that.’ Forget my nephew, basically.
Gilsinan: [Yehuda,] you’re an American and an Israeli. What drew you to life on a kibbutz?
Yehuda Beinin: My parents were members of a Jewish youth group called Hashomer Hatzair. They’re a very deeply socialist Zionist movement. My parents were members of this movement, my mother in Philadelphia, my father from the Bronx.
After World War II, my parents moved to Palestine. My father was a student and my mother worked in the oil refinery as a secretary. When the War of Independence broke out, my parents left the country. My mother was pregnant with my older brother. And my father had basically been traumatized by battle and World War II, and he couldn’t take the thought of fighting. Growing up in Philadelphia in the 1950s, I grew up in a Zionist environment second to none. It was inescapable that I would end up moving to Israel in the framework of Hashomer Hatzair with a group from the movement. And we ended up in kibbutz Shomrat in the north. And I live there to this day, with our friends that I know, some of them from the age of 11. I have to ask what would have happened if I didn’t end up on a kibbutz in Israel? That would be the question.
Tal Beinin: It’s not a question, Abba. When people ask me why you guys moved to Israel, I was like, ‘You were Zionist and you went to build the country.’
Yehuda Beinin: I’m not going to argue. She’s my wife’s daughter.
Gilsinan: Tal, why did you go to the States?
Tal Beinin: To be honest, I did not enjoy living in Israel. I suffered a minor trauma living up north during the Second Lebanon War, where I was in charge of a lot of the youth and younger kids. And after that war, I was like, ‘Peace, I’m getting out.’ And I moved to Portland, but I decided to move back to Tel Aviv to get my education. And in those seven years rockets started to come in from the Gaza Strip.
Yehuda Beinin: Tal whips out her little blue book. [Holds up a U.S. passport.]
Tal Beinin: Put that away. It was just an option that I had. Our family are Holocaust survivors. And I was like, ‘I’m just going to leave before it gets worse.’
Gilsinan: And now you’ve both gone from simpler lives to being hostage negotiators on the world stage, while also dealing with this unimaginable situation for your own family. What has that been like, and what are you telling leaders that you think they need to hear?
Yehuda Beinin: The reason that we were in Washington is because the response of the Israeli government was so lame, beyond lame. Where my daughter is concerned, I’m not waiting around for them to do something. Other Americans very quickly took matters into their own hands and began to organize groups to go to Washington in order to lobby senators and congressmen. Also, the immediate response already on Sunday [the day after the attacks] was to contact the [U.S.] embassy. A friend of ours got me the number, because I was not capable of functioning in a rational way at that point, to report about the situation of my daughter and son-in-law. And they were unbelievably understanding and helpful.
And right away, within a day or two, I had already spoken to representatives of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and from the State Department. And there was a case, a case number, a case manager, the whole works. On Nir Oz there were other Americans. So I learned [of] one of the groups that was organizing and I hooked up with them. They were providing airfare from Eilat [where Nir Oz residents had been evacuated] to Washington, D.C., airfare and train fares. It was a very well-organized, well-funded venture to get people on the ground, relatives of Americans who were kidnapped and to have them working the Hill. In the meantime, another group of Americans had organized an additional trip that was in conjunction with the American Jewish Congress. So I was in Washington the entire week, meeting with the leaders that were on their program. I also managed to arrange two private meetings with Sen. [Chris] Murphy from Connecticut and Sen. [Chris] Van Hollen of Maryland and also congressman [David] Trone from Maryland. And I passed on my personal message to them.
Tal Beinin: My state representatives were also extremely helpful. I know that [Sen. Ron] Wyden [D., Ore.] was on a special committee, and he is also in a family of Holocaust survivors. So it was really important for him to do what he can to help bring back the hostages, especially the American citizens. So my message when I went to Washington was just, ‘Please help us.’ The Israeli government has been inept in doing a lot of the negotiations. My sister, her kids, are all American citizens. So are others that are being kept hostage, and not that that makes them different than the rest. But I would expect the American government to do what it can to bring back its citizens.
Gilsinan: Yehuda, what was your message to folks?
Yehuda Beinin: I understand that people can express their grief or their trauma in any one of a number of ways. And everything is valid from my point of view. But I’ve grown up in a very political atmosphere. I think I might be remiss if I didn’t mention my brother [Joel Beinin] is a professor emeritus of Middle East studies at Stanford. His views [are] further left than my own, not by all that much. So always at family gatherings there are some pretty hot political discussions.
My message to Sen. Van Hollen and Sen. Murphy was that in addition to my personal story, at the same time I’m asking: ‘Guys, what about the day after?’ And what gave me the impetus to ask that question was the Zoom meeting that we had with President Biden [and] a number of relatives of the hostages. President Biden there laid out his vision. First of all, he expressed a level of identification with the victims that was so, so deep, so heartfelt, so sincere. He left no doubt in my mind that he really, really identifies with the hostages and the families, and he is doing everything in his power to make sure that these hostages come home as quickly as possible, no doubt in my mind.
The president also described how he viewed these events. And very clearly the Hamas attack on Israel was also an attack on the United States of America, and on President Biden’s specific agenda for the Middle East and Asia. The Hamas attack was meant to disrupt developing relations between Israel and Saudi Arabia.
The United States of America could not not react to this. That would be a terribly wrong message, that an organization like Hamas can come and disrupt the agenda of the United States of America and get away with it scot-free. That’s just not on the table. If someone doesn’t understand this, then they don’t know what game we’re playing here.
So it seems to me that it’s President Biden’s agenda to get to Hamas, to destroy Hamas. And he was providing Israel with all the information and technical advice to do that in a manner that reflects all the lessons [of] American experiences in Afghanistan and Iraq, so that this time Israel would do it right in full compliance with the rules of war and not lose the moral high ground in attaining this goal. We met with the vice president. We met with the president’s special envoy for hostage affairs, Roger Carstens, as well as agents from the FBI. And the question was asked [by someone else]: ‘Well, why can’t we just go in there and level the place?’ And the vice president and Roger Carstens were very adamant and saying that, ‘Listen, ladies and gentlemen, we are the United States of America. We hold ourselves to a higher moral standard. And we have to act like that. The whole world expects us to do that. And we can’t lose that high ground. We can’t lose that advantage. We can’t behave like those animals in Hamas.’ And I can accept that. Even though every impulse may be to just go in there and level the place. That’s not the right way to go about doing this. If the idea is to win this war, then it needs to be managed appropriately according to the rules of the game so to speak.
I know, from the president’s remarks, he made it clear that his agenda is a two-state solution, and that’s what he intends to achieve at the end of this.
Gilsinan: Biden’s message that you mentioned — do you feel that the Israeli government is receptive to that message? You’ve mentioned your political past and being on the left. I’m curious whether and how these events have changed your views about the future of Israeli-Palestinian relations?
Tal Beinin: Can I answer that before you do? I think both questions are valid. I think that until the hostages are returned, there’s no point in discussing them. The day after is going to be the day after, and whether or not the Israeli government somehow manages to survive this event or not, or what happens between the Israeli-Palestinian relationships after that or what the solution is for this war that we’re having right now — I think it all needs to start with the return of the hostages. I think returning the hostages is the number one priority here. And whatever happens with the Israeli and Palestinian relationship after is secondary to that.
Yehuda Beinin: By all means, absolutely. This is a multi-level, multi-faceted problem that’s facing us. I think that one of the reasons the current stages in the conflict are being done the way they’re being done is because of the hostages. There’s a double-edged problem here. On the one hand, you want to move forward with a war. On the other hand, you want to make sure the hostages remain safe. I love politics, but let’s stay focused here. The number one priority without any shadow of a doubt is to obtain the release of the hostages. All the hostages.
But I’m talking about the day after, when the dust settles, regardless of what the outcome is. Personally, our family will either rejoice or mourn. But when that’s done, we’re still left with the fact that between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea there are 14, 15 million people, half of which are Arabs. And this issue needs to be addressed. That’s why I think that the president’s stating clearly, in uncompromising terms, that his goal is a two-state solution, is important.
I would like to make clear to you that the president and the vice president and all of the advisers in the Biden administration are 100 percent aware of the nature of Netanyahu’s government, who’s there, what they stand for, what they’re doing, what they’re causing. It is clear that there are elements in Bibi’s coalition that, from my point of view, they’re religious messianic fanatics, and they have no place at any kind of negotiating table that’s functioning within a framework of Western civilization. The right wing, their outlook is so antithetical to a Jewish tradition, it does not represent the normative development of rabbinical Judaism in the last 2,000 years. They are outliers who’ve managed to get their hands on the levers of power, and everyone in Israel, I believe, now understands that was a mistake.
After the dust settles, what I mentioned to Senators Murphy and Van Hollen is that there are NGOs in Israel and Palestine today who work towards reconciliation, towards creating a shared society. These organizations rarely get a mention, but they’re so important. And I point to, in Northern Ireland, how there was a political agreement between the different parties. But the people who did the heavy lifting on the ground were the NGOs. And this model is certainly apt for Israel and Palestine, and following the end of these hostilities, assuming that President Biden achieves his goal of removing the radical messianic religious elements from the board, we can move forward, keeping in mind the work that all these different groups who are working towards reconciliation and shared society will need to be part of the solution. And not all of this nonsense that Bibi and his followers are spewing. And they’re toast by the way. It should be clear. You don’t agree, Tal?
Tal Beinin: I think it’s irrelevant as long as Liat and Aviv are being kept held in Gaza, and the other 200-some people. It’s irrelevant.
Yehuda Beinin: I’m not going to argue with you. I think that I made it clear that the number one priority is to release the hostages. We’re not going to be talking about shared society and reconciliation right now at this moment. I just want for people to know that in the past, discussion has never gotten past the ceasefire or armistice agreement. I think this time around we have to get past that. And if [Itamar] Ben Gvir and [Bezalel] Smotrich [Israel’s far-right ministers of national security and finance, respectively] and Hamas aren’t part of the endgame, it should be easier to move forward. I think that people on both sides, Palestinians and Israelis, want that or can be convinced that’s a better path forward for all concerned rather than a continued implementation of some kind of religious, messianic political agenda. My job was to bring it to their knowledge.
Gilsinan: Who has been the most helpful to you in this immediate goal of getting the hostages back? Of getting Liat and Aviv back?
Yehuda Beinin: Most of the work has been done at an intelligence level, by the intelligence forces. So other than saying that this is what’s happening, they’re not sharing specific details of what they’re doing, obviously. I don’t know how much it’s the United States, how much is Israel. These are things that are not being spelled out. But our caseworkers for our loved ones and families were talking to us, explaining what they’re doing, how they’re doing it. And this was information that was not for the public discussion.
Gilsinan: But it sounds like you’ve been happy with America’s involvement overall.
Yehuda Beinin: I’ve never been more proud to be an American citizen than after having experienced what I’ve experienced on the Hill this week.
Gilsinan: Which is interesting to hear, given what else has been going on on the Hill this week. It sounds like you’re saying that the U.S. government can still function.
Yehuda Beinin: You know, I was pre-interviewed by Fox and Friends. They never called me back. I spoke with the president face-to-face, and whatever they’re saying about Biden is just a lot of nonsense and it’s mean. It’s un-American. It’s just total bullshit. And they have to stop. I explained to this guy from the National Review that, ‘Listen, guys, this attack by Hamas and Israel was an attack on the United States of America. And your readers and American citizens need to understand that there are storm clouds gathering on the horizon, and people have to buckle in and knock off all this nonsense, this disgusting public discourse that is so un-American.’ And that’s a message that needs to be brought to the American people. This is serious stuff. The Hamas attack was intended to be a disruption. And that’s what they are. They’re disrupters of Western civilization.
Tal Beinin: I would like to add that both my senators, [Ron] Wyden and [Jeff] Merkley [of Oregon], I felt really good after meeting with them, I felt like they really listened and are going to do all that they can to help. And I felt the same in the meetings with all the other representatives as well. My dad also gets updates from the IDF.
Ultimately, there is a person that is helping them from the IDF and also the mental health services. Those services in Israel are also being very helpful to cope with the trauma that my nephews and my parents have had. I’ve also been contacted by some mental health professionals. People have been very helpful on both the political side and the coping mechanism side. We have gotten a lot of support. The one body that has not been very efficient is the Israeli government, unfortunately.
Gilsinan: [Is there] anything else I should have asked or that you want to make sure that people hear?
Yehuda Beinin: You see here a difference in Tal’s approach and my approach. I want to make it perfectly clear that I understand Tal. If this is how she feels, that is 100 percent legitimate. I have to accept that. She’s my daughter. I love her very much. On the other hand, from speaking with the senators that I’ve spoken to, it seems that there’s a dire lack of comprehensive understanding of the nature of the situation. And I was heavily complimented by them for my approach. So maybe I contributed my two cents to influencing a different endgame here than what we’ve seen in the past. If I’ve managed to accomplish that, then so be it. I’m happy. And if Tal has anything to add, by all means.
Tal Beinin: I do think that the number one priority right now is bringing back my sister, my brother-in-law and the rest of the hostages. And I appreciate other people trying to make this into a bigger issue. I do not see it that way. I really want the focus to stay on the horrific acts that were done by Hamas and, by some reports, other Palestinian civilians. The kidnapping, the looting, the raping, the murdering, all those horrific things that happened to noncombatant civilians.
Yehuda Beinin: But that’s what’s happening.
Tal Beinin: Is it? It’s been 21 days [as of Oct. 28].
Yehuda Beinin: These things take time. The idea is to eliminate Hamas and return the hostages.
Tal Beinin: How about we return the hostages alive [as soon] as possible?
Yehuda Beinin: They’re working on that. The discussions that we had with the State Department and the FBI, they are aware of this duality and they’re making every effort to deal with this and to do it right. This is not an easy one. First of all, it’s not clear if their location is known, actually. There are all sorts of things that they were not at liberty to say. And sometimes it’s frustrating, unbelievably frustrating. But they’re working on it. In American English, they are leaving no avenues unexplored.
Yehuda returned to Washington for another round of meetings this week. I spoke with him and Tal on Thursday [Nov. 16].
Gilsinan: How are you feeling now? Any news since we last spoke?
Tal Beinin: Things seemed to be going well there [in hostage negotiations]. And then they took a turn. So honestly, right now I feel like crap. Because since last we spoke, literally nothing has happened. Except, you know, more people died. [A reported potential hostage deal] was supposed to be with 100 people, then it got dropped to 50 people. I was really hopeful when the number was higher, because my sister’s an American citizen, and she’s a woman. And then when the numbers started dropping, it was like, these numbers only cover kids and elderly, which is great, don’t get me wrong. It’s not very hopeful at the moment.
Yehuda Beinin: This is going to be a roller coaster ride. One of Hamas’ negotiating techniques is the employment of psychological warfare, and they’re very good at it. This is one of the hallmarks of a terrorist organizations, and they do it to wear down their their opponent. Aside from the fact there are apparently some real communication issues as far as Hamas, it’s not clear they even know how many hostages they have because they’re spread out over an area in the southern Gaza Strip. So that complicates matters.
My way of dealing with this is that I will not budge on my position one way or the other until I see the whites of my daughter’s eyes and of Aviv.
[Liat and Aviv] were kidnapped from their homes. It’s terrible. But you hear stories of other people from Nir Oz whose families were murdered, where babies were executed and women were raped. We were in a meeting of the Senate Foreign Relations committee yesterday, we see Sen. Chuck Schumer — he broke down crying. Senator Elizabeth Warren, tears streaming down her face after listening to these stories.
We’re very fortunate in that the administration is working on the hostage problem from the top down and not from the bottom up. What’s more concerning to me is the sunlight between the Israeli versions and the American versions. That just pisses me off, because that goes to show that there are some some people who are just not serious.
Gilsinan: Can you explain what the difference is?
Yehuda Beinin: [According to the U.S.], all the intelligence branches at the disposal of the administration are working on this issue. You listen to the Israelis, it’s, ‘Oh yeah, we’re getting some help from the Americans.’ What the hell is that? Come on.
There was a World Jewish Congress dinner. I’m sitting at this table, and there was this member of the Knesset from the [right-wing] Yamina party. He introduces himself with a big wide smile on his face, I say, ‘I’m Yehuda, I’m from kibbutz Shomrat.’ You never saw a smile disappear from someone’s face so fast. These guys know they fucked up, and they don’t have the guts to stand up and resign. That’s despicable. And we have this hostage situation. This is not a time for this kind of small politics.
Gilsinan: What message are you carrying on this trip, and is it different from your last trip?
Yehuda Beinin: Kibbutz members are the core of what could be called a peace movement. And yet Hamas perpetrated this attack with no regard whatsoever to that. They don’t really care, it’s not their thing. They see their role as disruptors of Western civilization. This was an attack on the United States of America. Which is why President Biden is so adamant that this Arab-Israeli conflict has to end. It’s getting in the way of American interests in the worst way.
Our job is to make sure that the subject of the hostages remains front and center. And we were told that in [so] many words by Jake Sullivan, the national security adviser: Keep pressuring politicians because when push comes to shove, there are many other considerations that go into how the situation is.
Gilsinan: When we last spoke, you expressed concern about Israel maintaining the moral high ground. How do you feel about that in this moment?
Yehuda Beinin: We were informed that actually that Israel’s performance has improved on that score.
Gilsinan: I know some hostage families have demonstrated for ceasefires. But you’re not in that camp?
Yehuda Beinin: Sen. [Bernie] Sanders, I see him as a symbol of the progressive left Democrats. I implored him to come to Israel to address some of the NGOs in Israel and to kickstart a wider group of people seeking reconciliation. Bernie Sanders — and he heard all the horror stories, he was visibly shaking. The bottom line here is that Bernie Sanders voted against the resolution calling for a ceasefire. He said you can’t have a ceasefire with somebody who’s trying to kill you. Here’s a guy, old-time leftist like me, and he sees Hamas for what they are. I hope that he is able to convince other people. We had a meeting afterwards with Sen. Warnock. He doesn’t understand the nature of Hamas. Yes, the killing in Gaza is horrible. The number of civilian casualties in Gaza is horrible. I believe for the most part, Israel is conducting itself in accordance with the rules of war, and those civilian casualties are on Hamas. And if that wasn’t the case, by the way, there would be a lot more noise coming out of Europe.
By the way, this is entirely the result of Bibi Netanyahu’s policies. This is all on him.
Tal Beinin: Hamas had something to do with it, but OK.
Yehuda Beinin: Bibi is the one who grew the Hamas. He could have stopped that any time. And he didn’t. Bibi used Hamas to divide and rule the Palestinians. It was a very nefarious agenda coupled with Bibi’s personal problems that drove the situation to this point. And he was 100 percent responsible. And everybody knows that in the administration.
Gilsinan: Any last words or reactions you want people to know?
Tal Beinin: I don’t really have a political agenda like my father. It’s not really my thing.
Yehuda Beinin: That’s perfectly fine. You’ll have a calmer life.
Tal Beinin: I understand that there’s a lot of suffering on the Palestinian side as well, and that’s not to be ignored. But in my perspective, there are also over 200 people that were kidnapped. Everybody’s really focused on Israel’s response. It’s like, instead of yelling ‘ceasefire, ceasefire,’ why don’t you focus on ‘release the hostages, release the hostages’? To me, at least, it seems very clear-cut. Why is there a war right now? Because people were killed, and people were abducted. Let’s bring those people back home, and then you can have your ceasefire.