Bizarro World

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The Israeli attack on Lebanon has created all sorts of weird realignments within the punditocracy. A lot of people who typically support Israel’s actions – myself, for example – nevertheless have serious doubts about the wisdom of getting entangled in a war with Lebanon. On the other hand, at least one newspaper has editorialised loudly in favour of Israel – the Arab Times!

This war was inevitable as the Lebanese government couldn’t bring Hezbollah within its authority and make it work for the interests of Lebanon. Similarly leader of the Palestinian Authority Mahmoud Abbas has been unable to rein in the Hamas Movement. Unfortunately we must admit that in such a war the only way to get rid of “these irregular phenomena” is what Israel is doing. The operations of Israel in Gaza and Lebanon are in the interest of people of Arab countries and the international community.

Not much equivocation there. The Arab Times is more-or-less a mouthpiece of the “moderate” Arab countries, but even among them, outright support for Israeli military intervention in another Arab state is still rather… unusual. Their antipathy towards Hezbollah is visceral, however: at the last Arab League meeting, Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Iraq, the Palestinian Authority, the UAE and Bahrain all refused to support Hezbollah, and dissed their “unexpected, inappropriate and irresponsible” actions. Winning friends and influencing people are clearly not Hezbollah’s main talents.