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Gadi Eisenkot, former Chief of Staff, who lost a son and a nephew in this war, is perhaps the main reason Israelis have faith in the war cabinet.

We get to know him better today, thanks to the extraordinary work of Ilana Dayan.

“Rachel from Ofakim,” she was called. The woman who, while she was held hostage, baked cookies for the terrorists holding her and her husband hostage. She got a hug from President Biden. She even became a meme of sorts, in both Hebrew and English.

But, as Israeli news reported yesterday, none of that really made a difference for her husband, David. During the nineteen hours that she and her husband were held, something broke in David Edri. After he and his wife were saved by Israel’s Counterterrorism Unit, they were physically safe, and she became a bit of a folk hero. But not David. He didn’t speak, rebuffed anyone who tried to engage him.

He died yesterday at the age of 68 and was buried in the cemetery of Ofakim, where he had lived, and where he had been held hostage in his own home.

How many people were killed on October 7? What we know is that we don’t know. We know how many people were physically murdered that day. What we do not yet know is how many people died, but are still walking the earth.

There’s a reason some people here will tell you that today’s date it October 149, 2023.


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WEDNESDAY (2/28):   Yair Ettinger, a veteran Israeli report who is now with Kan TV News, has been featured in a number of the clips we’ve shared. Today we focus on his recent book, now translated into English. Entitled Frayed: The Disputes Unraveling Religious Zionists, won prizes for its Hebrew version, and the English translation was just named a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award. We sat to discuss some of the elements of his book and how they play out in the political scene now developing in Israel.

THURSDAY (2/29): Much discussion has been devoted to newfound devotion to Israel that has been unleashed since October 7, and we’ve cover a good bit of that. But there’s another side of the coin—people who have just decided that the war, the stress and the uncertainty are too much for them, and are taking their families to Europe and leaving Israel. It’s a side of Israel we need to know about, and we cover it today.

FRIDAY (2/30):  In the aftermath of October 7th, Israelis are beginning to come to terms with the impact of their not knowing Arabic and not understanding the mindset of many Arabs in the region. The Israeli press has been addressing this gaping chasm in Israeli education and we will share some of the viewpoints that have recently been discussed.

Israelis are facing an unfolding crisis, but also an important opportunity to rebuild. If you would like to share our conversation about what they are feeling and what is happening that the English press can’t cover, please subscribe today.

Lt. Gen. Gadi Eisenkot served for four decades in the IDF, holding various positions in the Golani Brigade, the Bashan Armored Division, the Judea and Samaria Division, the IDF Operations Branch, and the Northern Command.

In 1999, he was appointed military secretary to the prime minister and minister of defense. He was named deputy chief of general staff in 2012, and then served as the Chief of Staff from 2015 to 2019. He succeeded Benny Gantz, who’s emergency government Gadi is now a member of as a war cabinet observer.

In recent years, he has served as a Member of Knesset and as a part of the Foreign Affairs and Security Committee.

Eisenkot tragically lost his youngest son, Master Sgt. (res.) Gal Eisenkot of the 551st Brigade’s 699th Battalion, on Thursday, December 7 in the Gaza Strip. Two days later, Gadi’s nephew, Sgt. Maor Cohen Eisenkot of the Golani Brigade’s 12th Battalion, was killed in Khan Younis.

Today’s video features a compilation of various segments from Gadi Eisenkot’s interview with Ilana Dayan on “Uvda” that we thought were important to highlight.

Ilana Dayan is one of the most celebrated and respected journalists in Israel. She has anchored “Uvda” (Israel’s prestigious investigative TV program, similar to 60 Minutes) for 30 years. Ilana was the first woman correspondent for Israel Army Radio and has been voted as one of the most influential women in Israeli culture.

In the compilation of segments, Eisenkot and Dayan discuss who Gadi holds responsible for what he calls “the worst failure since the state of Israel’s establishment”, why the return of the hostages is the highest and most important task for him, and why the Israeli public will need to head to elections, as well as a small look into his word’s at his son’s funeral.

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Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis
Israel from the Inside with Daniel Gordis
Israel from the Inside is for people who want to understand Israel with nuance, who believe that Israel is neither hopelessly flawed and illegitimate, nor beyond critique. If thoughtful analysis of Israel and its people interests you, welcome!