Now, with hundreds of Lebanese dead and Hezbollah holding out against the vaunted Israeli military for more than two weeks, the tide of public opinion across the Arab world is surging behind the organization, transforming the Shiite group’s leader, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, into a folk hero and forcing a change in official statements.
The Saudi royal family and King Abdullah II of Jordan, who were initially more worried about the rising power of Shiite Iran, Hezbollah’s main sponsor, are scrambling to distance themselves from Washington.
An outpouring of newspaper columns, cartoons, blogs and public poetry readings have showered praise on Hezbollah while attacking the United States and Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice for trumpeting American plans for a “new Middle East” that they say has led only to violence and repression.
There is nothing for the Arab world to be proud of. The Lebanese are being held hostage by a terror group bent on the destruction of Israel — and they don’t care what the collateral damage is, be they Jews, other Muslims, or Lebanese and Palestinian Christians caught in the crossfire.
A Modest Proposal: Let there be a multinational force along the Israeli-Lebanese border, and let it consist of nations from the Arab League. If they are unwilling to keep the peace, then why should Israel tolerate Hezbollah missile strikes that kill indiscriminately? Is that preferable than missile strikes targeting Hezbollah terrorists?