Thursday, July 17, 2008

Ignoring Reality at Their Peril

Israel gave up enemy bodies and five terrorists for the bodies of their dead soldiers captured in the Hizbollah War.

So what's wrong with this sentence from this story?

The prisoner exchange with Hezbollah closed a painful chapter from Israel's 2006 war against the militant group.

Astute observers will note that only Hizbollah got back prisoners. Israel got corpses. So this was not a "prisoner exchange."

But I guess Israelis need to feel better about signing the death warrants of future soldiers captured. Why should jihadis keep Jews alive when dead Jews get live terrorists out of Israeli custody? All for the false comfort of having a funeral for a coffin with a body in it.

And not just Israeli soldiers but Israeli civilians will die, too.

How do I know this?

In Lebanon, attention centered on Samir Kantar, who spent nearly three decades in an Israeli prison after being convicted of killing a father, his 4-year-old daughter and a policeman during a 1979 attack. He denied killing the little girl.

He and the four other freed militants visited the grave of Hezbollah commander Imad Mughniyeh, who was killed in a car bomb blast in Syria in February. Hezbollah blamed Israel, which denied playing any role in his killing.

"We swear by God ... to continue on your same path and not to retreat until we achieve the same stature that God bestowed on you," Kantar said. He referred to Mughniyeh's "martyrdom," saying: "This is our great wish. We envy you and we will achieve it, God willing."

The Israelis expressed shock that gambling is going on upstairs:

Israeli government spokesman David Baker denounced the celebrations in Lebanon, particularly the warm welcome given to Kantar.

"Kantar is a brutal child murderer who instead of being rejected upon his return was cheered and greeted like a rock star, and this is disgusting and deplorable," Baker said in a statement.

As the saying goes, that disgusting and deplorable behavior is not so much a bug as a feature. Baker's denunciation is hollow. Israel pretended to close a chapter but another one is already scripted by Kantar and his cheering squad.

But hey, the Israelis kept Ehud Barak after he screwed the pooch on the Hizbollah War. They have the leader they deserve at this moment.

So get ready for the next ugly chapter. We know how that story will end. The Israelis should be ashamed. They should know better.