The improbable rescue Monday of two Argentinian-Israeli hostages from Hamas captivity in Gaza has sparked speculation about the role of Argentinian president Javier Milei’s visit to Israel just a few days before, in which he prayed repeatedly in Jerusalem.
As Breitbart News reported, Milei went directly from the airport to pray at the Western Wall, or Kotel, the holiest site in Judaism. Before wrapping up his visit, he also made an unannounced, late-night return visit there, where he prayed, and danced, and sang.Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News Joel B. Pollak / Breitbart News
Both of the rescued hostages, Fernando Simon Marman, 61, and Louis Har, 70, are Argentinian immigrants to Israel. Har was greeted by family members upon his release, including several grandchildren who were wearing Argentinian soccer jerseys.
In addition, members of the Marman and Har families visited the Ohel, or gravesite, of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, Menachem Mendel Schneerson, in New York just last week to pray for the release of their loved ones. (Milei visited there in November.)
Moreover, a story is circulating in the religious Jewish community about a recent event at which Har’s daughter and son-in-law spoke to an audience in Tel Aviv. A rabbi’s wife then challenged them to light Sabbath candles and put on tefillin, leather boxes worn during some prayers. The daughter reportedly promised to give a pair of tefillin to her father to use after he was released. The daughter’s family took on the obligation of lighting the Sabbath candles, as did Hur’s wife, who was abducted and released.
Such patterns have led many observers to note the power of prayer. One viral video goes further, suggesting that Milei may be a messenger whose arrival heralds the coming of the Messiah (though the video mistakes the date of Milei’s visit to Yad Vashem).
Milei also visited the Vatican on Sunday, enjoying an audience with Pope Francis, at which the two reconciled past differences — just hours before the operation to rescue the hostages.
Whether you are a believer or not, the pattern is evoking great interest.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News and the host of Breitbart News Sunday on Sirius XM Patriot on Sunday evenings from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. ET (4 p.m. to 7 p.m. PT). He is the author of the recent book, “The Zionist Conspiracy (and how to join it),” now available on Audible. He is also the author of the e-book, Neither Free nor Fair: The 2020 U.S. Presidential Election. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.