Israel weaker, Hezb'allah stronger

What do Islamic radicals think when Western-style governments show their soft side? Just look at the reaction to the recent prisoner and body swap between Israel and Hezbollah, in which Israel received the bodies of two murdered soldiers and released five live terrorists and the bodies of nearly 200 more.

Were the radical Islamists moved by the magnanimity of the Israelis? Did their leaders say, "Gee these guys are willing to meet us more than halfway, maybe we should sit down with them, have a chat over a nice cold Coke?" Did they agree with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert that the swap demonstrates the "moral and ethical strength of the Israeli people?'' 

Did they agree with the Independent [UK] newspaper that this exchange "clears the way for a new beginning?" toward "Middle East peace?"

Oddly, no. They have crowed over the lopsided exchange, viewing it as a sign of Israel's weakness and their own strength.

Hezb'allah leader Hassan Nasrallah told a "cheering crowd" in Beirut that "the age of defeat is over, and the time of victory is now."

Xinhua, the Chinese news service reports, "The swap has increased Hezbollah's prestige and made them stronger.

An Aljazeera correspondent noted:

"a leading member of the [Lebanese] pro-government camp, and... a Druze member of the opposition, are here to celebrate the release of [child killer] Samir Kuntar ....  It is a new page for Lebanon."

A jubilant supporter crowed,

"This is only the beginning today. We still have [more territory] to liberate... And after that we will turn our eyes to liberating Jerusalem."

Let's hope that politicians who advocate conciliation and understanding have taken note.
What do Islamic radicals think when Western-style governments show their soft side? Just look at the reaction to the recent prisoner and body swap between Israel and Hezbollah, in which Israel received the bodies of two murdered soldiers and released five live terrorists and the bodies of nearly 200 more.

Were the radical Islamists moved by the magnanimity of the Israelis? Did their leaders say, "Gee these guys are willing to meet us more than halfway, maybe we should sit down with them, have a chat over a nice cold Coke?" Did they agree with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Ohlmert that the swap demonstrates the "moral and ethical strength of the Israeli people?'' 

Did they agree with the Independent [UK] newspaper that this exchange "clears the way for a new beginning?" toward "Middle East peace?"

Oddly, no. They have crowed over the lopsided exchange, viewing it as a sign of Israel's weakness and their own strength.

Hezb'allah leader Hassan Nasrallah told a "cheering crowd" in Beirut that "the age of defeat is over, and the time of victory is now."

Xinhua, the Chinese news service reports, "The swap has increased Hezbollah's prestige and made them stronger.

An Aljazeera correspondent noted:

"a leading member of the [Lebanese] pro-government camp, and... a Druze member of the opposition, are here to celebrate the release of [child killer] Samir Kuntar ....  It is a new page for Lebanon."

A jubilant supporter crowed,

"This is only the beginning today. We still have [more territory] to liberate... And after that we will turn our eyes to liberating Jerusalem."

Let's hope that politicians who advocate conciliation and understanding have taken note.