Hizbullah and Hamas are terrorist organizations with national sponsors and the international community needs to recognize these thugs and killers for what they really are: bloody-thirsty zealots opposed to peace, opposed to negotiation and opposed to settlement. If the world is serious about peace in the Middle East, then Tehran and Damascus need to be held accountable for feeding, fostering, and occasionally unleashing, these rabid, blood-spattered killers. The money, weapons and political support Hizbullah and Hamas receive from Iran and Syria are not uncontrollable or natural phenomena and the international community must demand that they stop.

I label the kidnapping, acts of "unambiguous aggression and a malicious terrorist provocation." Hizbullah and Hamas function as terrorist proxies for Syria and Iran, and the Israeli soldiers would not have been taken hostage without close coordination and approval by Damascus and Tehran.

In light of Israel's withdrawal from Gaza last year, and withdrawal from southern Lebanon in 2000, this unprovoked aggression against Israel is completely unjustified and totally unacceptable. It's more than past time for Lebanon to be freed from foreign interference so that it can meet its obligations under U.N. Security Council Resolution 1559. The Lebanese have to become capable of policing their own borders and disarming all the militias, especially Hizbullah. Lebanon should be run by the Lebanese and not a pack of vicious religious fanatics in the service of Syria's despot or Iran's mullahs.

These cross-border attacks on Israel should result in tough international sanctions on Syria and Iran, and the UN Security Council should immediately pursue this option. In the mean time, I have complete confidence in Israel's leaders and Israel's armed forces. They are more than up to the task of protecting the country. Israel has an absolute right to defend itself from this aggression and the Israeli Defense Forces has shown it knows how to do this.