Human Conscience at the expense of strategic stupidity, or a major impending breakthrough in the workings? The Mystery of the "Release of Missing Israeli Captives"Published under Iran, Israel, Lebanon, Middle East, Mideast Negotiations, Palestine, Syria Jun 30, 2008
The Israeli Government has just announced its agreement to procure the "release" Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, the two Israeli soldiers abducted by Hezbollah in the summer of 2006, in exchange for releasing several Lebanese prisoners including Samir Kuntar, the man who in 1979 murdered 3 Israelis in their home, including a 4-year old, and who caused the hiding mother to suffocate her 2-year-old daughter as she tried to quiet her crying.
What is the problem?
- Sheikh Nasrallah ordered the attacks and incursions that brought about the Hezbollah-Israel war in 2006 with the stated goal of releasing Kuntar; Nasrallah outlined how he would capture Israeli soldiers to use as bargaining chips to bring about the release of Kuntar; now, 2 years after such devastating war and a month after having turned his guns on Lebanese people that supported the Lebanese government, he is being rewarded;
- Goldwasser and Regev are apparently dead, so the Israeli government is inviting terrorists not just to try to capture Israeli soldiers, but to kill them if they so please, as Israel will be willing to exchange their bodies anyway, for precisely the objectives that terrorists wish to attain.
I feel horrible for the families that lost Ehud and Eldad. But besides the perverse and ominous incentives this deal creates, it is also going to turn Hezbollah’s Nasrallah from a formidable hero into a mythic legend in the eyes of many in the Arab world.
The timing is particularly regrettable because for the first time in 20+ years, Nasrallah had lost a little of his luster when he showed his color and attacked fellow Lebanese civilians. This will restore his stature and more.
Unless there is a secret grand bargain in the making that, with Lebanese/Shaba farms, Syrian, and Palestinian negotiations will settle the Israeli-Arab conflict and distance Israel’s neighbors from Iran, today is as tragic a day for civil society as it is a cause for celebration for those who espouse violence as a tool for political leverage.
Below is the text of the Israeli government’s outline for the agreement on releasing the abducted soldiers in Lebanon: