This past week saw an exchange between Israel and Hezbollah. In exchange for five live terrorists who had killed innocent Israelis and the bodies of nearly two hundred dead terrorists, Israeli received the bodies of Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser.

The swap not only was lopsided numerically – two dead bodies for five live murderers and two hundred additional dead bodies – it was also qualitatively unfair.

Eldad Regev and Ehud Goldwasser were soldiers doing their national duty guarding the border when they were ambushed, kidnapped and murdered by Hezbollah terrorists. Conversely, the terrorist who were returned were criminals and murderers who intentionally killed innocent men, women and children. And while Hezbollah terrorists were kidnapping and killing innocent Israeli soldiers, the Israelis were treating the imprisoned Hezbollah terrorists in a humane fashion. The contrast here could not be starker.

But the exchange between Israel and the Hezbollah was so painful and disturbing that, in my eternal search for optimism, I tried to find some light and hope. At first I thought that at least there is some type of common ground being show here. The Israelis and the Hezbollah have both recognized the pain of having fathers, brothers and sons in prisons and captivity rather than at home with those that love them, I thought. I surmised that at least both sides in this conflict have felt each other's pain—at least for as long as it took to do the prisoner exchange. Unfortunately however, all that wishful thinking was shattered by the mean facts.

Whilst Israel was mourning, the terrorist in Lebanon and elsewhere celebrated. This is where my theory of finding common ground disintegrated. One would have thought that if Israel was mourning the death of two fallen soldiers the terrorists would have mourned 100 times more for the 200 dead bodies that were returned to them. But all we saw was celebration. There seemed to be no mourning at all on the Arab side.

Simply put, these Islamic extremists have no respect for life. The celebrations seemed to have nothing to do with the fact that their people had been returned to them and everything to do with the fact that they had humiliated Israel by forcing them into such an unfair and seemingly idiotic prisoner exchange deal. If they really cared about their own people they would have struck a prisoner exchange deal with Israel much earlier on. The fact that they had such high demands and waited for so long demonstrates further that their real aim was to score points rather than to get their prisoners back.

In reality, however, the only people they humiliated were themselves. They have yet again shown their contempt for human life, even for the life of their own people. Hezbollah and these Islamic extremists have shown the world that even the death of two hundred of their own men does not move them. Israel, on the other hand, has proven, yet again, how much even one dead body is worth to them. In addition the fact that Israel did not execute Kuntar and the rest of the terrorists shows Israel's extreme – some might say excessive – respect for human life.

Unfortunately any comparison between the pain an Israeli mother feels when her child is held captive and what the other side feels in a similar situation is nothing but wishful thinking. Where a normal person feels pain they experience joy. While Israelis mourned the return of two murdered soldiers they celebrate the return of two hundred dead bodies.

As long as we face an enemy which venerates death in this way and holds human life in such contempt there is little hope for peace. In the face of such evil, however, Israel must stand strong and proud as it continues to do what is right—no matter how difficult it may be. We must remember that the real humiliation lies with those who don't even respect the lives of their own people.