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