Why did Israel do it?

Why did the government of Israel turn over four terrorists and a mass murderer for the bodies of two dead soldiers? Herb Keinon purports to explain the deal via an exploration of the Israeli national psyche. Keinon does not address the question whether Ehud Olmert and his cabinet in fact fairly represent the desires of the people of Israel in agreeing to the exchange. Do they?

It is naturally demoralizing for those with a healthy psyche to watch evil rewarded and celebrated. Are the Israelis somehow different in this respect? I doubt it. Watching the Lebanese celebrate the return of Samir Kuntar and the Hezbollah terrorists (as in the video above) is profoundly demoralizing. Ynet News editor Sharon Gilad, for example, describes her blood running cold as she watched the exchange take place. In this video former Israel Defense Minister Moshe Arens frankly condemns the exchange. Who speaks for Israel?

UPDATE: Carl in Jerusalem adds: Hezbollah mutilated the bodies of Goldwasser and Regev.

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