Select Page

The tragic dilemma of the Hamas hostages

The tragic dilemma of the Hamas hostages

At last report, more than 150 men, women and children have been kidnapped by Hamas terrorists and are being held in secret locations in Gaza.  These folks are not prisoners of war – subject to international legal protection by law and treaty.   And even that is no guarantee against abuse, torture, or death. 

The people held in Gaza are hostages – subject only to the unimaginable cruelty and barbarism of cut-throat terrorists – political sociopaths.  Islamic terrorists not only relish committing acts of brutality – including murder — but they also publicize grotesque torture and murders for effect and personal pleasure.  They celebrate their savagery – as do terrorists across the region, including Iran’s Supreme Commander the Qasem Soleimani.

No decent human being could possibly celebrate the actions of bloodthirsty terrorists — as has Iran’s Supreme Leader.  But he is not a decent person.  He is one of them … a terrorist parading as a religious leader.

It is one thing to recognize evil, and another to deal with it.  The reality is that Hamas holds at least 150 people – likely including some Americans.  Hamas sees them as bargaining chips to avoid retribution from Israel – perhaps even some money in the future.  Especially with any American hostages.  They understand the history of hostage taking.

The critical issue is what is to be done by Israel and its allies this time.  What is the United States to do about any American hostages — as well as the already 14 confirmed dead Americans. In the past, that would be considered an act of war.

In a sense, the hostages are like Putin’s nuclear arsenal — used by the evil bullies as a threat to avoid retaliation and accountability for outrageous criminal activities in the form of attacks on sovereign nations and innocent people.

The first thought is how to get the hostages back.  Back down on a military response and open negotiations?  Try to locate the hostages and send in special forces in an attempt to release them?  Concede something for their return?

And how far will the United States go in dealing with any American hostages – and the dead Americans.  Will the Biden administration lament the situation or take action?

The fate of the hostages is in the hands of the same psychopathic terrorists who summarily slaughtered hundreds of other innocent victims.  There can be attempts to rescue them, but the odds are that some will die in the process – maybe most of them.

The threats by Hamas to kill hostages as a monstrous serial reality show cannot dissuade the need to crush Hamas as quickly as possible – and their counterparts and sponsors in the longer run.  The issue is not whether Israel and the United States should back down in the face of the threat, but what Israel and the United States will do if Hama carries out its threat.  There can be no backing down.

The war in the Middle East is now a fundamental battle between good and evil.  The GOOD people on both sides are the victims.  Hamas and its supporters in Gaza and throughout the Middle East – and in the United States — are on the side of evil.  That distinction has never been clearer since World War II.

The hostages are being held by evil people.  They alone will determine that fate of 150-plus innocent (good) men, women and children.  Hamas and its network of evil cannot be allowed to exist by hiding behind the innocent – whether it is hostages or innocent Palestinian citizens.  Israel and the civilized world need to do everything possible to free the hostages – short of acquiescing to evil.

So, there ‘tis.

About The Author

Larry Horist

So,there‘tis… The opinions, perspectives and analyses of Larry Horist Larry Horist is a businessman, conservative writer and political strategist with an extensive background in economics and public policy. Clients of his consulting firm have included such conservative icons as Steve Forbes and Milton Friedman. He has served as a consultant to the Nixon White House and travelled the country as a spokesman for President Reagan’s economic reforms. He has testified as an expert witness before numerous legislative bodies, including the U. S. Congress. Horist has lectured and taught courses at numerous colleges and universities, including Harvard, Northwestern, DePaul universities, Hope College and his alma mater, Knox College. He has been a guest on hundreds of public affairs talk shows, and hosted his own program, “Chicago In Sight,” on WIND radio. Horist was a one-time candidate for mayor of Chicago and served as Executive Director of the City Club of Chicago, where he led a successful two-year campaign to save the historic Chicago Theatre from the wrecking ball. An award-winning debater, his insightful and sometimes controversial commentaries appear frequently on the editorial pages of newspapers across the nation. He is praised by readers for his style, substance and sense of humor. According to one reader, Horist is the “new Charles Krauthammer.” He is actively semi-retired in Boca Raton, Florida where he devotes his time to writing. So, there ‘tis is Horist’s signature sign off.


  1. Dan tyree

    Not on Trump’s watch

    • Tom

      Yeah, he said “Hamas is smart”. I’m sure Hamas sees him as a sympathizer and would happily give them to Trump. But they too are being “duped by the Don”. He is just saying that to gain news coverage and support. Trump may actually be getting donations from folks in Hamas.

      • larry Horist

        Tom … I think Trump’s statements are needlessly provocative — unless you consider his need for attention. But to use the “may” word to suggest he is getting money from Hamas is really shameful speculation. You MAY be getting money from the Mafia. You MAY be a spy for Putin. Come on Tom. You are better than that. And saying bad people are smart is not an endorsement. It is a stretch. I think it was a bad comment — typical of Trump. I think Trump’s comments about Netanyahu were worse — but then a lot of Americans have ssid worse things about Netanyahu — even a lot of Jews. I think we need to keep the eye on the ball. Israel has a war to win and there is not moral equivalency between the two sides. The Palestinian people are not evil, but Hamas and its supporters among the Palestinian people and elsewhere are.

  2. Doug corrigan jr.

    Like it or not, but the path to tamp down violence and protect the innocent doesn’t simply lie in smashing terrorist groups. The oxygen and sparks are provided by Iran and allied terrorist states. The snake’s head — not its tail — must be severed.

    Iran calls the shots, provides political support, offers weaponry and furnishes other expertise. The U.S. and allies crushed Saddam twice in quick order. Iran must feel impending disaster, including the knowledge that it it unleashes weapons of mass destruction, then Iran will be nuked forever.

    Hostages cannot be allowed to freeze massive retaliation to acts of war.

    • larry Horist

      Doug Corrigan jr … I think you will like my commentary that just went online re Iran.

  3. Jude

    These people are savages and always will be unless God changes their cruel hearts. Biden is a complete idiot though he is just the puppet doing what his masters bid him to do. I pray for the innocent people in Gaza and of course the people in Israel. The hostages are in dire straights as they will probably not survive this or may already be dead. These animals, if they refuse to change, must be completely destroyed in my opinion, otherwise you will have thus same situation in another few years or before. Israel has every right to do whatever it takes to protect their country and their people.

    • Benjamin Flanagan

      God has been giving Muslims for thousands of years every chance to repent but you have to want to change and as long as a single copy of the Quran exists nothing will ever happen. Muslims actually believe the evil words written by a Homosexual named Mohammed that says to kill all non-believers.

  4. LMB

    Yeah, call me crazy, but!! These creatures are still living in the 4th Century! Exterminate all HAMAS, their family, their children, their relatives!!! Anyone that supports HAMAS must be exterminated as they will produce more evil beasts that will do this again and again!! An Eye for an Eye, a Tooth for a Tooth!!!

  5. Darren

    Sad to say but the Hostages are already considered dead.
    If Hamas lets them go, Hamas will be blown to bits.
    They are considered them selves to be dead as they invaded with nothing to loose.
    A one way mission for sure.
    Even if they were to give up, they would kill every hostage before surrendering.
    Why anyone in this day and age with the world the way it is go to other country’s is just
    beyond my imagination.
    Europe, Mexico, just stay the hell out of there.

    • Tom

      I agree with you on Hamas and its outcome. People travel to Israel for many reasons like faith, business, pleasure, etc. I just got back from China a month ago. There was no obvious indication of any problem on the horizon. To put things in perspective, more people get killed in schools and malls by guns in the US than all of the hostage deaths by Hamas. Why would anyone come to the US is a fair question as well.

  6. Benjamin Flanagan

    We have an inept leader in Joe Biden. Wanting to negotiate is a sign of weakness. Iran is behind this whole mess and the Biden Crime Family knows this however please tell me why Joe and company are trying to protect Iran? Is more payola involved with the Ayatollah like in Ukraine and China?? When we have a corrupt president and his son taking bribes and why is Biden allowing millions of get aways into our country that thousands may be terrorist’s? Sounding farfetched just what the heck are Biden and his Administration really up to???? Bidens are only interested in $$$$$$$$$$!

  7. andy

    The hostages are toast. Anyone who thinks Hamas is going to exercise restraint is an idiot. Israel should go after Hamas irrespective of the hostages, and wipe Hamas off the map.

  8. frank stetson

    Yes, Larry, this is a screed.

    It’s a tragic horror story complicated by Israel’s prisoner trades in the past and the God-given, absolute necessity to get a measure of justice for what Hamas has done. A full measure. Israel will do the first part, they will go in. But there’s much more. The money must be followed and the donors destroyed. Accomplices and those who escape Israel must be tracked down and dealt with. Like Bin Laden or ISIS, it will be years to diminish and we may never destroy. In the past, the hostages have been held for some time, years often, and then traded for large amounts of Palestinian prisoners. But this is a very large number of people and that might allow for some to be sprung faster.

    The choices here are kill hostages as the bombs drop by bomb or as Hamas has threatened but not announced they have done or during battle, human shields either in battle or by location as in the tunnels where Hamas has already said they are, hold them for later trades as Hamas has indicated that nothing will happen until the field conditions change (probably means ended). They have held folks for five years. Children, the aged, and the infirm are very bad for holding. It does not matter how they die, it will be on Hamas.

    Some, myself included, agree feel that Hamas was surprised at their results and did not expect such ease of penetrating Israel’s defenses and thus getting over 190 hostages. Hostages are only good when alive. Healthy men are far easier than the elderly or the very young in this regard. Why such brutality will probably never be knows, but it’s inhuman. Totally inhuman. These are subhuman at best, total Satanic evil at worst.

    The attack was well planned, must have been planning and preparing for years, and no doubt they planned for taking a certain number of hostages which, if exceeding expectations, means they have to transport, house, and feed extra folks which are not planned for. Sounds simple except they have to do that and not be seen. The missiles took years to get there, there had to be training, somebody outside Hamas helped.

    There have been no immediate demands, just threats which, so far, have not be acted upon.
    But the numbers of taken, having to hide them, may work in Israel’s favor in getting some intel or in Hamas wanting to exchange a certain number, especially of the frail, ASAP if just to be able to manage the rest according to their plan. I can only pray.

    Hamas cannot win this and they are a doomed organization because of their “success” here. Not sure where the brutality comes in. To do that, you are either really pissed beyond the lines of humanity, an experienced sociopath, or young —- probably one of the second two. Gaza has an average age of 18; it is a Lord of the Flies society that also attracts sociopaths looking for work. Many of these inhuman sociopaths employ mailable children to do the “work.”

    Hamas is not beloved by all Palestinians. This move will not help that. Whether planned or not, the brutality will never be forgotten. While I disagree with Mr. Horist that this is the worst since WWII, Pol Pot comes to mind, but it’s as bad as it gets for sure. It was not war, it was not protest, it was a rampage of the Manson Family variety that changed the world. Anyone who feels for the plight of Gaza must leave it behind in seeking the justice Hamas deserves.

    Hamas may have felt their world was shrinking with the Abrams Accords now that Suadi Arabia normalized relations with Israel while pouring billions into Israel investments through Jared Kushner’s brand new Middle East investment firm. The Arab normalization of Israel now surround Hamas on all sides outside of Israel and it looks like that trend will continue. Not even close to an excuse.

    Israel too is facing a humanitarian disaster beyond the shelling and the bullets due to time. As the siege continues, the lack of water, power, hospitals, etc. will seem more criminal with every passing day. Given the brutality clock is running, even if they don’t know the hostages are out of the battle zone, I don’t see how they can wait too long before they go in.

    Israel too has been warned, up to Trump, that apartheid has consequences. Trump basically lowered the guardrails allowing Israel to do whatever they wanted without even a peep, much less condemnation. That’s why Trump Heights exists in Israel as testament to Trump backing off what all previous Presidents did not. Biden brought us back, not really visibly before the attack.

    Going in is what Hamas wants. It’s one of their goals to paint Israel as the evil overlord starving, not giving water, from citizens before they bomb and shoot them. Hamas is begging Israel to kill Palestinians so they can recruit more to Hamas and gain more funding from haters of Israel. They don’t want to trade hostages to save citizens; they want their soldiers and leaders back, they want publicity, and they have exceeded expectations and must realize they overstepped, their organization is over, and they have no chance of further existence, much less success. That’s a bad place to be coming from or to try to deal with.

    My guess is we might see the frail let go or traded soon. But pretty sure the rest will be hidden away for later deals.
    Meanwhile, if the original plan was of less success, Hamas may have figured a pretty quick Israeli response, some Palestinian deaths, great coverage, more recruits and more funding. But with much more success, they are in a different game and may be way ahead of their headlights not having a clue what to do next. If one believes this was “success” well beyond the plan, there’s a good chance they are way beyond their plan in terms of next steps now. Now, Israel promises to eradicate Hamas even if that takes leveling Gaza city. They are coming. If Hamas sticks, it will be building by building, tunnel by tunnel. Will take weeks or even months. As they ask the innocents to head South, it appears that a number of roadside bombs are attacking them; good chance that’s Hamas trying to get people to stay in Gaza City. It’s totally fucked up, a clusterfuck, Israel is coming, the hostages are in the middle (or hopefully taken away), and Gaza is done for. That’s round one, but for years we will chase Hamas and it’s enablers across the globe: whatever it takes. Or at least, this citizen says that’s what we should do.