Tuesday's prisoner swap, which saw Hamas release the Israeli soldier in return for 1,027 jailed Palestinians, was essentially a form of extortion. There is not the slightest hint of reconciliation in the exchange.
If anything, it will entrench Hamas in its opposition to Israel, give Palestinian radicals an incentive to kidnap another Israeli soldier, undermine Mahmoud Abbas, the Palestinian Authority President and increase the risk of renewed terrorism against Israel.
Yet hope springs eternal in the Middle East. Ban Ki-moon, the United Nations' Secretary-General, praised the prisoner swap Tuesday, saying, "This release will have a far-reaching positive impact to the stalled Middle East peace process."
Tony Blair, Middle East peace envoy and former British prime minister, suggested it created room for peace.
"It gives us the opportunity to reshape policy towards Gaza, potentially at least to allow a better atmosphere for the resumption of a negotiation and maybe offers us the opportunity to get a broader-based negotiation," he said.
They are dreaming in technicolour...That's putting it mildly. In fact, they're delusional--and dangerously so.