Just checked in with an Israeli official and asked him why supporters of Israel in this country shouldn’t be depressed. His case:
–”The resolution as a resolution is favorable to this country,” and creates a solution in southern Lebanon that is in Israel’s interest. Provided it is implemented.
–”I don’t know how Nasrallah can now pretend it’s a victory. The resolution says south of the Litani is a Hebollah-free zone. That means that its state-within-a-state is going to disappear.”
–”Before Nasrallah was on the border, able to lob missiles and rockets and kidnap soldiers. We have pushed him north of the Litani. That is an amazing achievement. It’s what we’ve been demanding for years.”
–There is still the problem of long-range rockets, but there is an embargo and if Syria violates it, it will be open to all sorts of sanctions and punishments. Granted, those would require another U.N. resolution, but the threat is there. And the international force is going to police border crossings. They should at least be able to stop missiles coming in on semi-trailers.
–”Kofi has to report back in 30 days with a plan” about how the things in the resolution are going to happen.
–”The sense has always been that we are good at winning wars and losing the diplomacy.” Now, there’s lots of argument about the conduct of the war, “but there’s no doubt that we won the diplomacy. The question is whether it will be implemented. As a platform it’s good–it’s a positive platform.”
–”In Lebanon, until Qana, a lot of people were willing to be critical of Hezbollah. The cease-fire has allowed those voices to surface again. The political dynamic in Lebanon is returning to the pre-Qana dynamic.”
–When people ask when Israel is going to leave southern Lebanon, the Israelis can say as soon as the international force arrives. It creates an incentive for the international force actually to materialize. Until then, the resolution legitimizes the Israeli presence in Lebanon.
–There’s lot of ferment in Lebanon. The chief of staff of the Lebanese army has been quoted saying that the army won’t go down to the south unless Hezbollah agrees to pull out because it doesn’t want to fight Hezbollah.
–If Hezbollah decides not to honor the ceasefire, Israel is in a stronger position both politically/diplomatically and militarily to respond. It will hold its positions on the Litani River.
–But again, it all depends on the implementation.