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hostage swap

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

Submitted by ken schwartz (United States), Feb 3, 2004 at 09:33

i was present at a meeting last night with 2 important members of the knesset (from famous israeli families), one labor, one likud. this issue was discussed. it was clearly very painful. both supported it as did the overwhelming majority of israelis. i generally agree with dr pipes, and in fact agree in this case with the listing of the possible negative consequences. the article however, simply does not address the motivations of israeli leadership and the support of the population. these are:
a - the security every soldier knows that, if killed, he will be "brought back"
b - the fact that the easing of the pain of these families is far more significant in such a small and intimate country
c - the fact that most of these prisoners were "short-timers"
d - the fact that israel will have greater strategic flexibility against hezbollah now
e - the positive effect of this swap on the serious movement of hezbollah from military to political organization (due to variety of pressures).

i am an american jew, and a very strong supporter of israel.
my position is that i get a vote only when i make aliyah, which i do not intend to do.
i try very hard to understand israeli positions and criticize them when i disagree.
all parties said that this decision represented the better of two very painful alternatives.
i have never heard public figures speak with such obvious pain as i heard these two last night. dr pipes' correct points notwithstanding, it's their call.

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