Tuesday, September 05, 2006

This Government's Got to Go

From today's Haaretz:

ANALYSIS: Israel's response to kidnappings had little effect
By Amos Harel and Avi Issacharoff,
Haaretz Correspondents

According to government spokesmen, Israel's harsh military response to the kidnappings in Lebanon and Gaza has taught our enemies that from now on, there will be a heavy price to pay for kidnappings.

However, this response has not persuaded the Lebanese and Gazans to release the soldiers without getting something in return. In exchange for Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, in Lebanon, and Gilad Shalit, in the Gaza Strip, Israel will have to release hundreds of prisoners to Lebanon and the territories. Names that mean nothing to the Israeli public may delay progress on the Lebanese channel. Yihyeh Sakaf, a Lebanese citizen, is one of 11 terrorists who took part in the attack on an Egged bus on the coastal road in March 1978, which murdered 35 Israelis. Nine terrorists were killed in the rescue, but only eight bodies were identified. The whereabouts of Sakaf's body are unknown; the security establishment believes that carelessness resulted in it being buried in an unknown location. However, Hezbollah and the terrorist's family have created an imaginary scenario in which Sakaf is still alive and being held secretly in an Israeli jail. The missing body is now one of the obstacles to a deal.

Israel long ago gave up gave up on its public demands for information on the three soldiers missing from the 1982 battle at Sultan Yakoub, Yehuda Katz, Zachary Baumel and Tzvi Feldman. But the current deal, which is expected to include the release of all Lebanese prisoners in Israel in return for Regev and Goldwasser, will greatly diminish the chance of finding out what happened to these three soldiers, or to missing airman Ron Arad. The documentary that will air on Lebanese television on Tuesday about the Ron Arad affair is also not unconnected to the present talks: It signals that the fate of Regev and Goldwasser might become a mystery as well unless Israel gives in.

[NOTE: Arabs, good businessmen that they are, NEVER give something for nothing. Only Jews do that.]

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