Fascinating. "Arab governments... have not come to Hezbollahs defense not even Syria and Iran," the Times is reporting. (Although Iran did threaten to retaliate if Israel attacked Syria.)Israel was also pleased by a statement from the Saudi government on Thursday that blamed Hezbollah for adventurism and called on it to end the crisis."A distinction must be made between legitimate resistance and uncalculated adventures taken by elements inside Lebanon and those behind them without recourse to the legal authorities or consulting and coordinating with Arab nations," said a statement published on the official [Saudi] news agency SPA. "These elements should bear the responsibility for their irresponsible actions and they alone should end the crisis they have created."FP Passport has more. Meanwhile, my G'town homey Greg Djerjian, who's dad served as ambassador to both Israel and Syria, advises the Israelis (and the U.S.) not to get too cocky.Stratfor explains why the sabras probably won't listen:
Israel lives with three realities: geographic, demographic and cultural. Geographically, it is at a permanent disadvantage, lacking strategic depth. It does enjoy the advantage of interior lines -- the ability to move forces rapidly from one front to another. Demographically, it is on the whole outnumbered, although it can achieve local superiority in numbers by choosing the time and place of war. Its greatest advantage is cultural. It has a far greater mastery of the technology and culture of war than its neighbors.Two of the realities cannot be changed. Nothing can be done about geography or demography. Culture can be changed. It is not inherently the case that Israel will have a technological or operational advantage over its neighbors. The great inherent fear of Israel is that the Arabs will equal or surpass Israeli prowess culturally and therefore militarily. If that were to happen, then all three realities would turn against Israel and Israel might well be at risk.That is why the capture of Israeli troops, first one in the south, then two in the north, has galvanized Israel. The kidnappings represent a level of Arab tactical prowess that previously was the Israeli domain. They also represent a level of tactical slackness on the Israeli side that was previously the Arab domain. These events hardly represent a fundamental shift in the balance of power. Nevertheless, for a country that depends on its cultural superiority, any tremor in this variable reverberates dramatically. Hamas and Hezbollah have struck the core Israeli nerve. Israel cannot ignore it...It is difficult to overestimate the impact of the soldier kidnappings on the Israeli psyche... Having a soldier kidnapped by Arabs hits every family in the country. ...The more fundamental issue is this: Israel withdrew from Lebanon in order to escape low-intensity conflict. If Hezbollah is now going to impose low-intensity conflict on Israel's border, the rationale for withdrawal disappears. It is better for Israel to fight deep in Lebanon than inside Israel. If the rockets are going to fall in Israel proper, then moving into a forward posture has no cost to Israel.One last thing -- has anyone seen confirmation of this Counterterrorism Blog tidbit? "According to Israeli Channel 10, Hezbollah was able to hack into the Israeli Army's computer systems prior to the attack."