The biggest loser may well be the Hezbollah. Neither Iran nor Syria is prepared to risk a bigger war in order to save it from destruction. This was made clear Friday, when Ahmadinejad, speaking in a provincial tour, called on the “international community” to end the conflict by “restraining Israel.” This was strange coming from a man who, before the current fighting, had vowed to destroy Israel on more than a dozen occasions.
Inside Lebanon, Hezbollah has failed to enlist the support even of its formal allies, including Nabih Berri, leader of the more moderate Shi’ite Amal Movement, and Gen. Michel Aoun, the Maronite politician who had signed an alliance with Nasrallah.
Ahmadinejad, Assad and Hezbollah may well have planned for a limited conflict with Israel, one in which the Jewish state would back down, handing them a moral victory. Their plan may have been based on the assumption that Israel would not dare widen the scope of the war triggered by Hamas and Hezbollah.
Today, the trio find themselves alone. Most Arabs refuse to be dragged into a bigger war in the shaping of which they had no say. Moreover, most Lebanese do not see why they should risk the destruction of their country solely to allow the Hezbollah to remain a state within the state.
The “Israel diversion” tactic may have passed its sell-by date.