When Israel went to war against Hezbollah on July 12, the nation seemed united behind its leaders in a common sense of mission the likes of which had not been seen in decades, all observers agreed. Five weeks later, after 157 Israeli deaths, 1000 Lebanese deaths, 4,000 Hezbollah rockets and one United Nations cease-fire, the national unity is still there, but its focus has shifted. Now it’s directed against Israel’s leaders.
Staunchly pro-Israel conservatives with close ties to the Bush administration say that Jerusalem is hindering America’s global war on terror by failing to wage an all-out war to eliminate Hezbollah.
After the disaster came a revamped, harder-fisted approach to fighting. Those words describe what happened at the start of this week, when a Hezbollah missile fell among army reservists at Kibbutz Kfar Giladi near Israel’s northern tip, killing 12 men. But the same words could equally describe the way the war began almost four weeks earlier, when Hezbollah gunmen succeeded in crossing into Israel and kidnapping two soldiers.