Proof of Life

Hirsh Goldberg-Polin smiling in a car.

Amid all the bad news in the world, I was overjoyed to read that Israeli-American hostage Hersh Goldberg-Polin is alive in Gaza. I don’t know Hersh or his family, but my daughter, like many Americans who have visited Israel in recent years, got to know him, and so my family has felt a closer connection to him than to any other hostage. Hersh was abducted from the Nova music festival. He and his friends took shelter during the attack, and when one of the terrorists threw a grenade into their shelter, Hersh picked it up and tried to throw it outside. But the grenade exploded, tearing off part of his arm. Ever since, Hersh’s family, and especially his mother Rachel, have been tremendous advocates for the hostages around the world.

Hamas’s propaganda video is loathsome and vile, but it does seem to show Hersh alive. I have to say that I feared and assumed he was dead. His survival seems like a miracle. Now that we know he is alive, I hope that our own government will take every action military, diplomatic, and other action possible to free this young American and punish the terrorists who maimed and kidnapped him, and I hope that our government will continue to support the Israeli government in achieving the two goals of the war, rescuing the hostages and destroying Hamas—goals that our government claims to share.

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