Through eight months of war in Gaza, the issue of the hostages has obsessed the Israeli public above all else but the dramatic operation to rescue four Israelis held captive in Gaza last week – which resulted in a massacre of more than 270 Palestinians – has revealed that a ceasefire deal remains the best option to secure their safe return.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has paid lip service to the public’s demand to bring the captives home but Israelis are coming to the realisation that the issue is a headache for him – it gets in the way of what seems to be his effort to prolong this war in order to prolong his own political career.

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Lisa Goldman – Contributing editor, New Lines Magazine

Rami Khouri – Distinguished fellow, American University of Beirut

Joshua Leifer – Author, Tablets Shattered: The End of an American Jewish Century and the Future of Jewish Life

Abdaljawad Omar – Lecturer, Birzeit University

On our radar:

In Jordan, unrest has been brewing over the state’s perceived complicity in the war in Gaza.

Producer Ryan Kohls looks at the sentencing of Jordanian journalist Hiba Abu Taha, who criticised the government’s actions related to Israel and became the first high-profile target of a controversial new cybercrime law.

Meloni’s Media Squeeze

Italian governments have always tried to have their way with public broadcaster RAI. But since she came to power two years ago, Prime Minister Giorgia Meloni has been accused of turning Rai into a “mouthpiece”.

Tariq Nafi reports from Rome, on the faltering independence of Italy’s national broadcaster and the broader implications for democratic discourse and media freedom in Italy.

Produced by Elettra Scrivo.

“Elena” – Journalist, RAI News 24

“Roberto” – Journalist, RAI News

Francesco Palese – Journalist, RAI News

Nadia Urbinati – Professor of political theory, Columbia University