Jerusalem – Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah has surprised almost every pundit in Israel by admitting that “he made a mistake by not estimating Israel’s forceful response to the kidnapping of two soldiers on the northern border”.

Danny Rubenstein, an analyst with the newspaper HaAretz, said in a public speech that Nasrallah’s apology obligated him to reconsider his statement that Olmert had lost this word. Yet another pundit opined that Prime Minister Ehud Olmert should send a huge bouquet of flowers to the Dahiya quarter in Beirut, with a card attached reading: “Thanks, Hassan”.

The Hezbollah leader, who has his own political problems, helped the Israeli prime minister and his government more than any strategic adviser. From now on, until the next elections, Amir Peretz and Olmert can repeatedly state to the public what they learned about “who won the war” by means of Nasrallah’s resounding remorse.

Prof. Mordecai Kedar, an Arabic Affairs expert at Bar Ilan University, in Ramat Gan, Israel, provided another perspective on Nasrallah’s statements, saying that the Hezbollah leader was pretending as if he was a head of state, sharing remorse with any of the civilians who had suffered in Lebanon. Kedar warned Israeli leaders not to read into Nasrallah’s statements any hint of remorse or regret for his actions.

Meanwhile, Prof. Yehoshua Porat, Prof Emeritus of Middle East Studies at Hebrew University, gave an interview to Israel Government Radio News in which he said that Nasrallah wants to see Olmert remain in power, because he perceives Olmert as a weak character – which is why, according to Porat, that Nasrallah made the statement that he did.

©The Bulletin 2006

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.

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