If it hasn't yet arrived yesterday or today, this moment will arrive tomorrow or in the near future. The three families from Nof Ayalon, Talmon and Elad will peek out of the windows of their homes in the morning, after another sleepless night, and will discover that the street is suddenly empty.
The babbling media crews will disappear. The telephones in the three homes will ring less and less. The Israelis, the government, the army, will move on to a different issue on the agenda, and the families will discover that they have been left all alone in the difficult battle. It will be a bitter, painful, tough moment.
Of course the opposite could happen: One soldier of the thousands scouting the hills of Judea and Samaria will hear the sound of rolling stones or whispers coming out of a cave, a well or a house's basement, and will then find the three boys safe and sound.
The IDF spokesperson will release a statement about it within seconds in a desperate attempt to beat the rumors flying on smartphones and social networks.
Even before they arrive home, Channel 1 will get hold of one of the kidnapped to talk about what happened. The second will immediately be handed over to Channel 2's cameras. The third to Channel 10. The parents, brothers and sisters will wait. They will have the children for many more years.
Even before that, the outgoing president and the newly elected one will congratulate the kidnapped, and the prime minister will not miss the opportunity either of course, and the chief of staff will say some warm words, and the command chief will brief the press on the actions taken.
What can we say? We are willing to walk till the end of the world for this moment to arrive. But until it arrives, here is some advice from years-long experience:
1. Believe Hamas: Although such advice contradicts everything we have been taught until now, that the Arabs are big liars, influenced by fantasies, the experience of the past few years has shown that many times they tell the truth. If Hamas says it doesn't know where the abductees are, it probably – again, probably – doesn't know. It's definitely possible that the abduction was an individual initiative by some locals who "got away with it." In the beginning of the first intifada, people here believed that everything was organized from above, from the headquarters in Tunisia, and it quickly turned out that their left hand didn't know what their right hand was doing. People here wanted the leaders captured, and didn't know that the intifada had no leaders.
2. Don't believe stories and rumors: In the near future, terror organizations will attempt to drive you mad. It will be very difficult for you not to cling to the tiniest shred of a rumor. Try. There are still many among us who remember the thousands that gathered on Mount Carmel when a rumor was spread that the Israeli Navy's Dakar submarine was about to enter the Haifa Port.
3. Our intelligence doesn't know everything: It's the best intelligence, but Hezi Shai, for example, was in captivity for more than a year and we didn't know that he was alive. The kidnappers know that the price of a living kidnapped person is immeasurably more expensive than his body, and so – unless something went wrong – they will do a lot to keep him alive.
4. There is no shortage of terrorists: You must be reading about the captured murderer of police officer Baruch Mizrahi, who was apparently released in the Shalit deal. It's no coincidence that people are trying to emphasize this fact in order to prove to the public that those who spoke against the deal were right. If you believe the same and insist on the "national interest" – which probably matched your political views until the day your sons were kidnapped – it's your right. The prime minister and his ministers will be heroes like you until the moment the terrorists present your children and their demands in exchange for their release. If that happens, you should know that thousands of prisoners and murderers have already been released from prison after completing their sentence and as part of different deals. There is one thing the terrorists are not short of: Manpower. We are now fighting against the grandchildren of the first Fatah men from the 1960s, and the end is nowhere in sight.
And one last piece of advice: If you want to see Naftali, Gil-Ad and Eyal back home, don't let go of the government, the army and us.
We have a dream: That the entire country will laugh and mock what I wrote here, because your and our children returned yesterday to their homes safe and sound. May the Lord do this to us and more so.