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A demoralizing defeat

Reader comment on item: Hezbollah's Victory, Israel's Decline

Submitted by Richard L. Rubenstein (United States), Feb 3, 2004 at 09:43

As usual, Daniel Pipes got it right. When Shimon Peres engaged in a somewhat similar exchange years ago, I thought no right-wing Israeli leader could ever do anything like that, but I was mistaken. The assymettrical character of the exchange couldn't have been worse. In exchange for three dead Israeli soldiers, hundreds of dangerous terrorists were released. If Israelis can be expected to endure the horrors of homicide bombings, the least that could have been expected of the soldiers' grieving families was to let the bodies rest wherever they might be. There was absolutely no imperative to their return now. As far as the business man was concerned, he was where he had no business to be. They should have left him there. In any rational exchange, something is gained by both sides. All Israel got was three corpses and a shady business man. The Sharon government has created an indefensable strategic disaster. Perhaps it is time for a replacement in the Prime Minister's office.
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