Israel, yesterday, completed its previously agreed to trade for the bodies of two Israeli soldiers. Two years ago, the capture of Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev by Hezbollah sparked the Second Lebanon War. The bodies’ of the two soldiers come at a high price however.
As a part of the negotiations, Israel will release four captured Hezbollah terrorists, an unspecified number of Palestinian terrorists, dozens of bodies and the Lebanese terrorist Samir Kuntar. Kuntar was serving multiple life sentences for his part in an attack on an Israeli town where he brutally killed a father and his 4-year old daughter.
Kuntar is being welcomed with a hero’s greeting in Lebanon, where crowds and banners eagerly await his return.
For Israelis and Jews all around the world, this is a difficult time. Lebanon treats the return of a vicious cold-blooded killer as a celebration, whereas we are merely grateful to have the bodies of our fallen soldiers returned. While some in this country are quick to criticize Israel’s decision, we as Jews, in Prime Minister Olmert’s words, must remember, while, “It’s not a happy choice…It is our moral duty and our heartfelt wish to see [the soldiers] come back.”
It is also important to know that we do not stand alone in our grief. Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, issued this press release extending her sympathy to the families of the two soldiers.