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"barak: I Care More About Our Quiet Than Their Quiet"

That's the bad news for the Palestinians, as the Jerusalem Post reports about a speech by Ehud Barak to the Herzliya Conference on Security earlier today. And as Barak went on to say, "Israel cannot be defeated militarily and it cannot be worn down by terrorism. Peace agreements will be achieved when the other side understands that Israel wants a proper peace, but is prepared to kill to protect its vital interests."

This is now the broad consensus in the Israeli body-politic: "Both Israel's hawks and doves had to abandon their extreme beliefs, Barak said. The right realizes it cannot hold on to all the territory it wants, and the left admits there will be no 'utopian New Middle East'." Even the "peace camp" knows that there is no comparable force on the other side. For decades, the Israeli doves imagined that there was. That was a mirage, and mirages are especially perilous in the desert.

Another Jerusalem Post story reports on the latest grotesqueries of Hassan Nassrallah. The newspaper Al-Akhbar dangled a military dog-tag and chain ostensibly from an Israeli soldier killed in the Second Lebanon War during the summer of 2006. This was linked to Nassrallah's claim that he had body parts of Israeli soldiers, "many body parts, including the upper part of a body with a head." One of the body parts was identified by the newspaper as belonging to Ron Masshiach who was killed when the helicopter he was flying was shot down.

Masshiach's brother Moti answered Nassrallah more or less for the whole country: "Nasrallah should not sway us...We must not allow him to extort us...are not going to release murderers in exchange for a dog tag..."

My guess is that Israel would long ago have killed Nassrallah were it not for the fact that he held two captive reserve soldiers Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, whose abduction by Hezbollah precipitated the war in 2006.