After decades of periodic conflict with Lebanon that cost thousands of lives, Israel successfully eradicated all traces of anti-Semitism from its northern neighbor with a series of heavy bombing attacks in July.
"Israel really turned us around on the whole Jew-hating thing," said Hezbollah leader Sheikh Sayyed Hassan Nasrallah, shortly after a U.N.–brokered ceasefire was declared on Aug. 14. "After destroying much of our infrastructure and displacing nearly 1 million civilians, we've come to respect Israel as a legitimate power and a beacon of democracy, and not a pack of lying, usurping, hook-nosed dogs."
The bombings have had the most significant impact on Lebanon's youth. Many who saw parents and friends killed in the attacks said they will now spend the rest of their lives supporting Israel.
"I was upset at first when a bomb destroyed my school and killed many of my schoolmates and left me without legs," said Tyre bombing victim Sherifa Ayoub, 14, as she wheeled down her rubble-strewn street. "But as the days went on, and the bombs continued to fall, I began to realize that I had spent my whole young life arbitrarily lashing out at a people I thought I hated, when, all along, what I really hated was myself."
Israel's crushing victory has led Talbott and other Mideast experts to speculate that the nation may go on to bomb the anti-Semitism out of such hostile neighbors as Syria, Saudi Arabia, and Yemen.