A Hezbollah leader said today in an interview with the Associated Press that it was surprised by the strength of Israel's response:
A senior Hezbollah official said Tuesday the guerrilla group did not expect Israel to react so strongly to its capture of two Israeli soldiers.
Mahmoud Komati, deputy chief of Hezbollah's political arm, also told The Associated Press in an interview that his group will not lay down arms.
"The truth is _ let me say this clearly _ we didn't even expect (this) response.... that (Israel) would exploit this operation for this big war against us," said Komati.
He said Hezbollah had expected "the usual, limited response" from Israel to the July 12 cross-border raid, in which three Israelis were killed.
In the past, he said, Israeli responses to Hezbollah actions included sending commandos into Lebanon to seize Hezbollah officials or briefly targeting specific Hezbollah strongholds.
He said the Shiite group had anticipated there would be negotiations on exchanging the Israeli soldiers for three Lebanese prisoners in Israeli jails, with Germany acting as a mediator as it did before.
Hezbollah's surprise at Israel's response proves once and for all that Israel's use of restraint, which the international community has demanded every time Israel was attacked, has prevented peace from flourishing in the region. Rather than creating peace, it actually encouraged the terrorists to continue their car bombings, homicide bombings, and rocket attacks because they knew they would not be severely punished. So, whenever Arafat's PLO fired rockets into Israel, dispatched homocide bombers into crowded Israeli marketplaces or on busses, the international community insisted on peace negotiations, giving the terrorists and their actions legitimacy. It's a shame really. If Israel had not been restrained all these years and had been free to respond quickly and fully, the terrorists may not have reached the level of dominance that they have today.
Well, it's about time this violence finally stopped and there's only one way to stop it. There can be no cease-fire - of any kind. Instead, the Israelis should conduct their war for as long as required to make sure Hezbollah is not only disarmed but destroyed - completely. Israel needs to squish Hezbollah like a bug on a sidewalk. In fact, every single time a terrorist organization pulls a stunt like Hezbollah's kidnapping of Israel's soldiers, Israel's response can be nothing short of complete destruction of the terrorists. Only when the terrorists understand that even the smallest infraction will be met with an iron fist will peace finally take hold in the region and around the world.
Update: Alexandra writes We are all Jews Now.