The pastoral quiet that welcomes hikers in northern Israel makes it possible to forget for a moment that this week Israel marks the 13th anniversary of the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War. A few days from now, Hezbollah leader Sheikh Hassan Nasrallah will pop out of the bunker where he has been hiding since the summer of 2006 and once again announce that he won the war.
The quiet along the northern border, as well as the level of caution Hezbollah exhibits in not provoking Israel or dragging it into another round of fighting, testify to the strength of the blow the organization sustained during the war, and the heavy price its Shi’ite supporters paid for their leaders’ adventurism.
It took years for Hezbollah and its sponsor, Iran, to repair the damage the war caused to Shi’ite villages in southern Lebanon, not to mention the thousands of dead and wounded. Indeed, Nasrallah was forced to apologize to his people at the end of the war for his mistake in starting it, and ever since then, in every one of his speeches, he has promised to do everything in his power to avoid another war with Israel.
This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.