With support from the autocratic regimes in Syria and Iran, extremist groups in Lebanon have decided to turn that country once again into a battleground. It is a catastrophe for the Lebanese, who know too well the high price to be paid for this — largely by the innocent.
But the spiraling violence also provides clear evidence that the international community must take a far tougher line with Syria, Iran and their terrorist organizations.
Ultimately, national governments must be held responsible for military activities within their borders
Had Syria and Iran been held responsible earlier for supporting and harboring Hezbollah, some of the current bloodshed in Lebanon and Israel might have been avoided.
In the Arab world and elsewhere, there is a line forming to denounce Israel for defending itself. The difficulty for those who are quick to denounce Israel’s actions: They need to be reminded that Israel withdrew from southern Lebanon six years ago.
As happened more recently in the Gaza Strip, however, Israel’s withdrawal in southern Lebanon failed to appease the extremists. The issue for them isn’t really Lebanon, Gaza or the West Bank. It’s simply Israel’s right to exist.