The Corner

After Qana

Was just talking to an Israeli official. I asked him whether the temporary bombing pause would really be just temporary. He responded, “The proof of the pudding is in the eating.” He went on to explain that the purpose of the pause was to get by the moment when the Qana tragedy risked creating irresistable pressure toward an immediate, conditionless ceasefire that would be a victory for Hezbollah. The Israelis believe that the tactic is working and the conversation will soon return to hammering out the conditions that will make a ceasefire sustainable. On the Lebanese political situation, he said the Israelis believe there is a natural rally-around-Hezbollah effect that will fade over time. Finally, on the military campaign he says perhaps those disappointed in how it has been going had “unrealistic expectations.” Hezbollah is “extremely well dug in and there is no quick fix.” It’s “a guerilla war, a war of attrition, and there’s going to be no knock-out blow.” He says the fighting is all about creating the best possible military conditions on the ground in advance of ceasefire with the right conditions. For what it’s worth…

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