Michael Young of The Daily Star in Lebanon writes in the Times today:
Israel wants Lebanon to pay an onerous price for its ambiguity on Hezbollah: it has imposed an air and sea blockade and is launching air attacks well into Lebanon, including several on the Beirut airport. Pointedly, however, Israel has failed to mention the regional facet of the crisis. Israeli officials have left Syria out of their condemnations, in jarring contrast to the Bush administration’s statements that have rightly highlighted Iranian and Syrian responsibility for Hezbollah’s behavior.
Iran, of course, has long bankrolled Hezbollah, and the Israeli government said yesterday it feared the two kidnapped soldiers were being taken to Tehran. But Syria is the nexus of regional instability, giving shelter to several of the most intransigent Palestinian militants, transferring arms to Hezbollah, and undermining Lebanon’s frail sovereignty.
Israel can brutalize Lebanon all it wants, but unless something is done to stop Syria’s president, Bashar al-Assad, from exporting instability to buttress his despotic regime, little will change.
ME: Point taken, although I don’t think he’s right about Israel not mentioning Syria. Here’s the front-page of the Journal: “The Israelis are bluntly saying that the blame for the violence by those forces lies in large measure with the governments of Syria and Iran…”