An interesting twist on recent events (Goldstone, the killing of Hamas and Hizbullah leaders) in this column from Ynet, summarized here. What may seem an image problem in the West is a major advantage in the Middle East. (And BTW, I've yet to hear a solid argument for the Mossad's having botched the recent operation in Dubai. By leaving a trail, it only calls attention to the success and brazenness of the mission.
Israel Is Back - Guy Bechor (Ynet News)
Israel's enemies are in panic - or is it paranoia - for fear that Israel will be attacking them. Hizbullah is convinced that it will suffer a blow at any moment and Lebanon has asked for France's protection, Hamas is still licking its wounds, Syria is concerned, and Iran's foreign minister already declared that Israel is a "nation of crazy people" with "mad leaders" who may launch a strike. On the other hand, Israel's borders are quieter than they have been in many years.
This is called deterrence. Both Hizbullah and Syria know that since the last Lebanon War the IDF is now the first military in the world equipping its tanks with anti-missile systems, which are changing the rules of war. Moreover, a series of daring assassinations attributed to Israel is prompting personal fears among axis of evil leaders. They suspect everyone around them and the confusion is great. We should recall that Hizbullah leader Nasrallah has been hiding for three and a half years now, and this is quite embarrassing for someone who rushed to declare a "divine victory," no less, after the 2006 Lebanon War.
According to terror groups, Israel can reach anywhere and has infiltrated every organization and each Arab state. The glory of Israel's secret services had been restored and the fear of them has increased. People in the region are telling themselves: "Israel is back." It disappeared for about a decade and a half when it was perceived as weak, yet now it is back at full force.
Both the Lebanon War and the Gaza War are having an effect. Hizbullah sees the destruction sowed by Israel in Gaza and it loses the urge to fight us. Israel has learned the rules of the region. Our enemies realize that Israel has matured, learned the art of creating deterrence, and that it is here to stay. They are starting to understand that Israel is stronger than they thought.
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