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On Tuesday night July 25, Hasan Nasrallah gave a speech on al-Manar TV, the satellite station of Hizbullah. It was the fifth time he addressed the Lebanese since the war started July 12. Nasrallah looked calm, confident, and defiant when he announced that Phase Two of the war against Israel had started. During Phase One he had promised to bomb Haifa, the third-largest city in Israel, and he did. He also bombed Kiryat Shmona, Acre, Safad, Tiberias, and the Biblical city of Nazareth. The State of Israel had not witnessed similar attacks on its cities since the start of the […]

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AMSTERDAM — At one point during the press conference that followed Wednesday’s high-level meeting in Rome, Condoleezza Rice raised a hand to her face and ran it across her forehead. She knew the world’s cameras were trained on her and the image might put a dent in her carefully cultivated image as an unflinchingly cool diplomat facing a tough international crisis. Analysts had already declared that the meeting – designed to find a solution to the war in Lebanon and Israel – had ended in failure. Indeed, the negotiators did not reach consensus on how to stop the fighting. And […]

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Although it’s difficult to predict when Israel will decide it has done enough to ‘neuter’ Hezbollah as a military force, that moment may provide the international community with the opportunity to offer a long-term solution to the ‘border issue.’ But what will be the components of that solution, and will it be sustainable? Or are we now entering a more volatile era in the Middle East that makes a settlement highly unlikely despite the international community’s best efforts? An era in which Israel faces enemies who are better equipped, better organized and more resolute than its old nemesis, the PLO? […]

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The fighting between Israel and Hezbollah is what the U.S. military calls “asymmetrical”. In other words, the opposing forces are so different that they’ll never fight on the same terms. For a high-tech conventional land and air power like Israel, this means its airplanes, tanks and artillery work hard to find targets that will hold still — and whose destruction will make a strategic difference. For Hezbollah, a lack of conventional forces means it relies on improvised terror weapons whose effects are difficult to predict. Short-range ballistic missiles called Katyushas comprise the backbone of the Hezbollah arsenal. The terror group […]

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In the Arab world, Hasan Nasrallah is an exceptional man. In an age of dull orators and boring Arab officialdom, Nasrallah, in the eyes of many Arabs, stands as one of the few charismatic, honest, and appealing figures in the Middle East. His inflammatory speeches have done wonders for the moral of his followers since he liberated South Lebanon from Israeli occupation in May 2000. He has earned a reputation — among enemy and ally alike — as a man who keeps his word. He promised to liberate the South and he did in 2000. He promised to bring back […]