Americans will rejoice when the last American hostage in Lebanon, Terry Anderson, joins Allan Steen and Joseph Cicippio in freedom. That will close the book on this chapter of Americans held hostage by pro-Iranian factions in Syrian-controlled Lebanon. It will not end lawlessness, however, or wrap up the hostage crisis as an impediment to peace in the Middle East.
Two German hostages remain, held as barter for Germany releasing terrorists who committed crimes in Germany. At least one Israeli is held and five more are held or dead. For its part, Israel holds one Lebanese Shiite notable, Sheik Abdel Karim Obeid, and along with its Lebanese militia allies, more than 200 other Lebanese, kidnapped as exchange for the six Israelis.
The hostage crisis is not over until Israel is part of the deal. The hostage crisis is still an obstacle to the peace negotiations in Washington, especially the talks between Israel on one side and Lebanon and Syria on the other.