Hmmm, an international conference, eh? I really wish, I really, really do, that that was the solution. Is an international conference going to give us an effective, decent government in the Palestinian territories? If it can, let’s have international conferences about every poorly governed place in the world. Absent such a government, Israel can’t give up any more territory and won’t. (Does Mamoun Fandy not realize the world already is “behind the idea of the two-state solution”?) I don’t pretend that there’s not a downside to the Israeli campaign–all the more reason for it to have done this bigger and faster from the beginning–but neither do I pretend there’s any easy solution.
Also, it is worth noting that Hezbollah pretty much represents everything wrong with the Middle East and everything that is a threat to the West, but only one army in all the world is willing to exchange fire with it in anger, and that is Israel’s. That is why the ongoing international conference that is the U.N. is very unlikely to produce a meaningful, robust international force that, in theory, it would be much better to have dealing with Hezbollah.
Finally, there is a reason that moderate Arab governments were so muted in their criticism of Israel at the outset of this: a defeat for Hezbollah is in their interest. As it has dragged on, their rhetoric has changed, but I would take that with at least a grain of salt. We would be doing the moderate Arab governments no favor by handing Hezbollah, and the Syrian and Iranian governments, a political and diplomatic victory in this conflict.