Even if Olmert was covertly planning to have some kind of exchange occur—with, say, prisoners being released in the future as “an act of good faith” months after Shalit’s safe release—it is not clear how he could do any such thing now. Hezbollah obviously sensed weakness, believing it was strategically smart to kill three IDF soldiers and kidnap the other two.
Several political consultants have suggested to me today that this is the most difficult period for Israel in a long time because Olmert is now facing a two-front war with both Hamas and Hezbollah. They could be right about this being a crucial juncture, but because it is actually one common enemy, not two distinct ones. Both Hamas and Hezbollah are funded by Iran, leaders for both receive sanctuary in Syria, and both have a common goal: elimination of the Jews and establishment of an Islamic state.
Beneath the renewed swirl of political discussion and armchair analysis is the harsh reality that three young children are being held hostage. In a country that prides itself on being able to persevere and continue with everyday life, today’s news was a cutting reminder that this tiny nation never really will achieve the “normalcy” it so desperately desires.
Joel Mowbray, who got his start with Townhall.com, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.
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