During the height of the Lebanese campaign, for the first time I saw people putting on T shirts emblazened with Hezbollah and nasrallah. This is Malaysia, a so called non Shia Muslim country.
The impact on the Arab streets must have been more profound. The visible impact on the Arab streets must have sent shivers to many Arab governments. Here you are, a resistance movement, without a state, without the fanfare and protocol of running a state, giving a new definition of being a citizen of the world or to many muslims the borderless and stateless brotherhood of Islam. Obviously this is not the new middle east as intended by the US and Israel.
THe PLO was different. It was nationalistic. THe PLO was like a government in exile. It had diplomatic missions in almost all Muslims states. Hezbollah is an NGO, a party of GOD , a movement by the people. It is not a nationalist movement. You cannot even identify a HEzbollah fighter amongst the populace. The fact that the so called victims of war were rushing back to the villages what you see is Hezbollah reoccupying thier strongholds.
What the founders of Hezbollah had done was to tap on and to exploit the already planted Muslim psyche, that he is the caliph, he only submits to God, he is responsible for his own well being and his fellow men, the state is loose and transient. What Nasrallah has done was to prove to the Muslims that the Hezbollah model is workable. Thanks to Ohmert and to IDF and thanks to the F18s and thanks to the Big guns and highly mobile tanks.
The battle for the heart and minds of the Lebanese, the Arabs and the Muslims was won by Hezbollah. It is a war of the resistance and winning the heart and minds is key. Israel wants a peaceful existence. At peace to have coffee at Starbucks, at peace to enjoy the Meditteranean, and at peace to have a normal and elitist life. Unfortunately it has shot itself in the foot again by denying its neighbour to even have a decent life.
Until such time that Israel becomes a multi cultural , multi religous and multi ethnic state, with a “prosper thy neighbour” policy, the hope for peace in Israel is but a dream. Will there be an Israeli “Messiah” who is the like of Saladin?