Ahmadinejad, Near Israel's Border, Slams Jewish State

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad traveled Thursday to the always-tense Lebanese border with Israel, showered praise on Lebanon's unity and cranked up his trademark fiery rhetoric against his nemesis -- the Jewish state.

During his first state visit to Lebanon, Ahmadinejad delivered a speech to the people of Bint Jbeil, a Hezbollah stronghold that endured much violence during the 2006 Israel-Hezbollah war in Lebanon.

At least eight Israeli soldiers were killed in heavy fighting around the area as Hezbollah fighters pushed back in the violence that began in July 2006, when Hezbollah kidnapped two Israeli soldiers.

A U.N.-brokered cease-fire deal eventually called for Israeli troops to withdraw from southern Lebanon and for Lebanese army troops to deploy south of the Litani River.

Ahmadinejad, who regularly and bluntly delivers strong rhetoric against Israel and Zionism, said the ""world must know the Zionists are to be gone"" and the ""people of Bint Jbiel have made the Zionists taste the bitter taste of defeat."""