In bartering five Lebanese prisoners for two of her kidnapped soldiers who, unbeknownst to her, were dead on arrival, Israel has shown grace and humility under extreme provocation. She can be proud of that.
In embracing as heroes the killer quintet – one, who bludgeoned a four-year-old girl to death in 1979, and the rest of whom are Shiite Muslim Hezbollah lowlifes – Lebanon has unveiled the evil which lurks in her heart and the shame of her ways.
An eye for an eye? That is in the eye of the beholder.
The intention to enjoy a public gloat while sticking it to the Israelis – and as a bonus to the Free World, too – was crystal clear when Lebanese President Michel Suleiman, Prime Minister Fouad Siniora and Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri joined Hezbollah’s top terrorist, Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, to greet with debauched ceremony convicted child, cop and man killer Samir Kuntar, and the four men captured during a 34-day war sparked by the July 12, 2006 hijacking of Sergeant First Class Eldad Regev and First Sergeant Ehud Goldwasser, whose bodies were returned last week in body bags.
The prisoner swap, which included 200 bodies of Hezbollah and Palestinian terrorists killed in the month-long battle, was declared a national holiday in Lebanon as further proof of the grossness of terrorists and their sponsoring states. When world leaders demonstrate such a public disregard for the deaths of innocents that they feel a need to swing from the chandeliers, it is time to re-evaluate their moral standing and capacity for humanity. Could we expect any better from a pro-Islamist nation, which considers Hezbollah a bona-fide political party with a stake in the current Cabinet?
Israel has shown that she is willing to transact good-faith decisions on behalf of her citizens; back in January, 2004, she released more than 430 Arab prisoners and the bodies of approximately 60 Lebanese terrorists in exchange for the bodies of three Israeli soldiers and an abducted Israeli businessman. Israel’s resolve to return her soldiers home, dead or alive, is as strong as her purpose to thrive in a region where jealousy reigns, terror rules and the devil is hard at work, every moment of every day.
That much is clear from the statements of Hezbollah’s commander in southern Lebanon, Sheik Nabil Kaouk, who bragged that the prisoner swap was Israel’s “official admission of defeat” and indicative of a “humiliating military and political defeat in its confrontation with the resistance.”
What’s to rejoice about the murder of a toddler girl? In 1979, Kuntar and a group of gunmen broke into the apartment of the Haran family in the sleepy coastal town of Nahariya on the Lebanese border and took hostage 28-year-old Danny Haran and his four-year-old daughter, Einat.
“I will never forget the joy and hatred in their voices as they swaggered about hunting for us, firing their guns and throwing grenades,” Smadar Haran later told the Washington Post, recalling how she hid with their daughter Yael, 2. “I knew that if Yael cried out, the terrorists would toss a grenade into the crawl space and we would be killed. So, I kept my hand over her mouth, hoping she could breathe. As police began to arrive, the terrorists took Danny and Einat down to the beach. There, according to eyewitnesses, one of them shot Danny in front of Einat so that his death would be the last sight she would ever see. Then, he smashed my little girl’s skull in against a rock with his rifle butt. That terrorist was Samir Kuntar. By the time we were rescued from the crawl space hours later, Yael, too, was dead. In trying to save all our lives, I had smothered her.”
Lebanon’s jubilance over Kuntar’s release is for madmen to debate, as is its affiliation with Hezbollah.
In its 24 years of existence, Hezbollah, or “The Party of God,” an ultra-militant Lebanese Shiite Islamic organization, inspired by the Iranian Revolution of 1979, has been tapped by international intelligence agencies as being a terrorist organization, whose blood-thirsty thugs have kidnapped approximately 30 Westerners and carried out numerous bomb plots in an effort to kill hundreds of innocent people.
Its innocent victims from the Free World include US Marine Col. William R. Higgins, who was tortured to death; CIA Beirut station chief William Francis Buckley, who suffered a heart attack while being tortured; American reporter Terry Anderson; journalist John McCarthy and ecclesiastical envoy Terry Waite, both British; and Brian Keenan of Ireland.
Hezbollah is suspected by US authorities of plotting and launching the April 1983 bombing of the American embassy in Beirut, which killed 63 people. Hezbollah stands accused of bombing a replacement consulate in East Beirut the following year in which 20 Lebanese and two American soldiers perished. Hezbollah is thought to be the brainchild behind the 1983 suicide bombing in Beirut, which wiped out 241 US marines in their barracks. Hezbollah is accused of being responsible for the 1985 hijacking of TWA Flight 847 as it made its way from Athens to Rome. Hezbollah is suspected of masterminding the 1990 and 1994 terrorist attacks in Argentina, one of which targeted the Israeli embassy.
Hezbollah’s rap sheet has many fans in the Muslim world, among them Suleiman, Fouad Siniora and Berri, who seem to have no regard for their own nation’s Taif Agreement of 1989, which ended the Lebanese civil war and required that all Lebanese and non-Lebanese militias be dissolved. It is just further evidence of lawlessness in the Muslim world.
Much like the Taliban did in Afghanistan, Hezbollah has brainwashed its followers by forming a “civilian wing,” which provides for its followers with blood money and keeps them under its thumb with pointed pledges of transforming the world into one great, gloomy, goofy, goddamned Islamic state.
Responsible, in part, for keeping that doomful day at bay is the State of Israel, which has succeeded in making itself a national force to be reckoned with, in spite of her naysayers, whom it brushes off with a morality far surpassing the hostilities of her enemies.
Israel does not declare national holidays to celebrate the deaths of its enemies, nor has it shied away from cooperating with them in life. Any “victory” surmised by the Arab world as a result of the latest prisoner exchange is clearly in its own demented head. Let it celebrate, then, until it is mad with glee.
E-mail“A Britisher’s View” at BritView@c