Reuters NABATIYEH, Lebanon: There is little but contempt for Arab rulers among Lebanese Shiites whose homes were destroyed in the war between Hezbollah and Israel, but support for Iran and Syria is stronger than ever. Washington had hoped that Israel s war with Hezbollah would deal a blow to the influence of Damascus and Tehran in the region. But following the five-week war, residents of the southern town of Nabatiyeh have lost none of their respect for Syria and Iran but are furious with other Arab rulers. From the first day, the Arabs watched from the sidelines, said Mohammed Shaaban, 68, a retired businessman, as he surveyed the destruction of his three-storey villa. They should have taken a stronger position but they all have their private excuses. The mostly Sunni Muslim countries Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Jordan, all key U.S. allies, initially criticized Hezbollah for sparking the war with Israel in which more than 1,250 people died. Faced with public indignation at home against Israel s conduct in the conflict, they have since taken a tougher stance against Israel, warning the United States that Israeli militarism could lead to a wider conflict in the region. Nabatiyeh saw heavy Israeli air strikes, particularly during the hours before a truce which took effect on Monday. Houses on the outskirts, where Shaaban had his home, were hard hit. Damn the Arab countries. One day they shall see a blacker day, even worse than in Lebanon, said Zeinab Makky, 58, who lost her house in Nabatiyeh. She condemned Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and Saudi King Abdullah. The Shiite Muslim residents of Nabatiyeh said Syria welcomed many of its refugees and said Iran had stood up to Israel and the United States. Some said Iran funded Hezbollah, although Tehran insists its support for the Shiite guerrilla group is moral and political, even though it funded and armed Hezbollah in the 1980s. Syria opened its doors for us, and accepted hundreds of thousands of refugees, why did Jordan never open its doors to us? Makky said. Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad said this week that Hezbollah had been victorious in the war and had destroyed U.S. plans to reshape the Middle East. Shiite Iran s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad praised Hezbollah s resistance to Israel and said the United States and Britain should pay compensation for war damage. Both Egypt and Jordan have signed peace treaties with Israel. Qatar, which has a seat on the U.N. Security Council, maintains low level ties with the Jewish state. Arab rulers are all agents of Israel. They re scared of losing their seats, Ahlam Moselmani said. The least they could have done was withdraw their ambassadors from Israel. Or they could have cut oil supplies. Saudi Arabia ruled out using an oil embargo to pressure Washington, saying oil was the economic lifeline of Arab states. King Abdullah? His oil is more precious to him than the Lebanese, said 72-year-old Ibrahim Awadeh, whose one-storey house had cracks all over its structure.