The Arab world reacts to the swap

Not everyone in the Arab world is impressed by Hezbollah’s accomplishments in the prisoner swap deal, the Jerusalem Post reports.

  • The London-based A-Sharq al-Awsat daily noted that the deal “cost Hezbollah more than $7 billion, more than 1,200 dead and 4,500 wounded Lebanese citizens.”
  • Lebanon’s Al Anwar newspaper ran an editorial saying it was “shameful to see members of the government in Beirut join the celebrations of Hezbollah.”
  • However, the dominant viewpoint seemed to be the one shared by most Israelis – that the deal represented a victory for Hezbollah and strengthened the Iranian-backed Shiite group’s standing.

  • An editorial in Abu Dhabi’s The National noted that with dismay: “Hezbollah should be taken to task by the Lebanese for the suffering it brought on the country with its kidnappings. But successes such as yesterday’s prisoner exchange only increase its public standing.”
  • Al Jazeera’s senior political analyst, Marwan Bishara, sees in the swap a hopeful sign that the volatile region may be turning away from war and toward diplomacy: “If [Lebanon] continues its march through a relatively peaceful summer, it is a sign the Middle East is turning its back on war in favour of diplomacy.”
  • In a chat room on Al Jazeera’s English-language Web site, readers share their views about the swap.

  • For more Arab world headlines, see here.

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