Members of Hamas move a captured Israeli civilian into the Gaza Strip on Saturday, one of dozens now held hostage in the region. (Photo by Hatem Ali via AP)

‘All I’m Asking Is to Have My Babies Back Home’

An Israeli mother pleads for help. Plus, everything you need to know about Hamas's war—and the U.S. response so far.

“I want you to know they’re just normal teenagers. They just love what normal teenagers love. They fight constantly between them. They can drive me mad. And I love them to bits. And I miss them. And I want them home. Where they should be. In their beds. This is where children should be. In their home. In their beds. Living their lives. And I’m asking every mother in the world to think of her children and help me make the effort to release those people and my children.”

These are the words of a mother whose two sons, ages 12 and 16, were taken from their home by Hamas terrorists and are now being held hostage in Gaza after Saturday’s attack on Israel.

It is just one heartbreaking story among thousands from the greatest slaughter of Jews since the Holocaust.

As of this writing, more than 700 Israelis dead. At least 2,200 are wounded. More than 100 hostages are reportedly being held in Gaza. Mothers and fathers have been slaughtered. Young women raped and executed. Children kidnapped.

Others in the media are equivocating and contextualizing and minimizing what happened. We refuse to do that.

In the past 48 hours, we have been overwhelmed by your support of our coverage. We will keep bringing you the most honest reporting and analysis over the coming days and weeks, as this war unfolds.

Today, we bring you three essential pieces.

First, Tablet editors Alana Newhouse and Jeremy Stern explain everything you need to know about this war. If you have questions about Hamas; about how it carried out this attack; about Iran’s role: do not miss this piece. This is the explainer you need and that you should share widely.

Second, a mother recounts the searing story of her teenage boys, now held hostage by Hamas.

And finally, Eli Lake explains the Biden administration’s missteps in the lead-up to the attack.

Scroll on for excerpts of these stories and click the links to read in full.

For more essential coverage of the war on Israel, read Liel Leibovitz’s shocking Eyewitness Account of the Rave Massacre in Tablet; Haviv Rettig Gur in The Times of Israel on why A Wounded, Weakened Israel Is a Fiercer One; and The Wall Street Journal’s exclusive report, Iran Helped Plot Attack on Israel Over Several Weeks.

And if you believe in our work, please support us by becoming a paid subscriber today:

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