Saturday, July 29, 2006

Israel Is Powerful, Yes. But Not So Invincible

Israel Is Powerful, Yes. But Not So Invincible. - New York Times: "As the bloodbath in Lebanon spilled past its second week — with at least 400 Lebanese dead and many more presumed buried in rubble; some 800,000 refugees, nearly a quarter of the population, on the run; and the fragile nation’s infrastructure shattered — there was no easy way out for either Israel or Hezbollah, the combatants locked in what each saw as a deadly existential struggle.

The very clear winner, for the moment at least, was Hezbollah and its leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah. (Unless, of course, Israel succeeds in its efforts to assassinate him.) As the only Arab leader seen to have defeated the Israelis — on the basis of their withdrawal in 2000 from an 18-year occupation — he already enjoyed wide respect. Now, with Hezbollah standing firm and inflicting casualties, he has become a folk hero across the Muslim world, apparently uniting Sunnis and Shiites."

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