Of course it weekend Abbas's position. He absolutely should have death with this himself - but Israel binds his hands quite a bit too - nobody's innocent. Abbas has failed and lost the support of his people and has become seen as (although I don't think he really is) a western puppet. I'm glad Gilat Shalit was released. His story was heartbreaking from the begging. Its heartbreaking enough that governments must force their youngest members of society to bear arms to begin with. I'm sure many of the prisoner's released were not the most savory of characters, but I'm also aware that many were never tried, never convicted, and held for years without charge..... it sounds quite similar to me - and I'm as happy that those people were reunited with their families after so long of a time. Politics is messy. It will always be messy. Netanyahu is not my favorite politician - because he is such a damn good politician! And that is what he will always be. You may like or dislike his decision, but don't think you can predict them, and don't blind yourselves into believe that they are necessarily best for his constituents. I know Israeli's want peace. I know the Palestinians want peace. The real question is, "in whose interest is it that the respective leaders of these peoples do not achieve it?"
U.S. Democratic Senator Merkley airs support for Iran nuclear deal (Reuters)