On the Record

Middle East Crisis: Hezbollah and Iran are to Blame

Martin S. Indyk

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Below are excerpts from an Interview with Brooke Anderson of Aljazeera.Net

What was your reaction when this latest conflict between Lebanon and Israel began?

My reaction was to think that it was foolish of Hezbollah to kidnap the two Israeli soldiers. This was an unprovoked act of aggression across an internationally recognised border, which gave Israel the justification it had been waiting for to take down Hezbollah’s strategic capabilities.

Israel has been observing Hezbollah build up its power with Iran’s help and was just biding its time. [Hezbollah leader Hasan] Nasrallah is renowned for his cleverness, but he seems to have miscalculated in this case.

Did you foresee this sort of violence between the two countries?

No, I didn’t foresee it. I don’t know anyone who has predicted wars that have broken out in the Middle East ? and especially not the tens of thousands of people on vacation in Lebanon this summer. But I did expect that at some time, Hezbollah would overreach and Israel would grab the opportunity to respond.

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