1 readers online now  |  69 million page views

The Olmert Government's Ignominious Exchange with Hizbollah

Reader comment on item: Samir Kuntar and the Last Laugh

Submitted by Paul Eidelberg (Israel), Jul 21, 2008 at 08:21

Dr. Pipes rightly contends that the State of Israel, once heroic, is now "in the hands of corrupt, short-sighted mental midgets."

He asks: "How else can one account for the cabinet meeting on June 29, when 22 out of 25 ministers voted in favor of releasing five live Arab terrorists, including Samir al-Kuntar, 45, a psychopath and the most notorious prisoner in Israel's jails, plus 200 corpses? In return, Israel got the bodies of two Israel soldiers murdered by Hizbullah."

He rightly sees in the Ehud Olmert government's concern for the families of the murdered soldiers a "distortion of priorities," indeed, "how a once-formidably strategic country has degenerated into a supremely sentimental country, a rudderless polity where self-absorbed egoism trumps raison d'ĂȘtre.""

He rightly adds: "Appalling as the cabinet decision was, worse yet is that neither the Likud opposition party nor other leading public Israeli institutions responded with rage, but generally (with some notable exceptions) sat quietly aside."

In the sequel, however, Pipes errs about public opinion in Israel. He says: the absence of outrage by the opposition "reflects a Tami Steinmetz Center poll showing that the Israeli population approves the swap by a nearly 2-1 ratio. In short, the problem extends far beyond the official class to implicate the population at large."

I question the validity of this conclusion. Surely, public opinion about the swap must be assessed before, not after, the cabinet decision in question. Even then, long before that decision was made, Israel's left-wing, dominated media supported this horrific exchange with Hizbollah. Neither the Likud nor the religious parties spoke out against such appeasement.

I mention the religious parties because they well know about the self-sacrifice of the illustrious Rabbi Meir of Rothenburg who, in the 13th century, was taken captive and died in prison, having refused, on the basis of Jewish law, to be ransomed for an exorbitant sum lest this endanger other Jews. The religious parties simply lacked the wherewithal to question the government's ignominious decision.

Submitting....

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

Comment on this item

Mark my comment as a response to The Olmert Government's Ignominious Exchange with Hizbollah by Paul Eidelberg

Email me if someone replies to my comment

Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

See recent outstanding comments.

Follow Daniel Pipes

Facebook   Twitter   RSS   Join Mailing List
eXTReMe Tracker

All materials by Daniel Pipes on this site: © 1968-2020 Daniel Pipes. daniel.pipes@gmail.com and @DanielPipes

Support Daniel Pipes' work with a tax-deductible donation to the Middle East Forum.Daniel J. Pipes

(The MEF is a publicly supported, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)3 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Contributions are tax deductible to the full extent allowed by law. Tax-ID 23-774-9796, approved Apr. 27, 1998.

For more information, view our IRS letter of determination.)