There is only one thing worse than reasserting Israel’s military control over Gaza: Losing southern Israel.
This looming prospect of having to retake Gaza would be bad enough if Israel only had to concern itself with Gaza. But Israel enjoys no such luxury.
Far more dangerous that Hamas is Hezbollah. Whereas Hamas’s missiles are unguided, Hezbollah has guided missiles that are capable of reaching every centimeter of Israeli territory. And their payloads are big enough to destroy high-rise buildings.
Unlike Hamas, Hezbollah has anti-aircraft missiles and anti-ship missiles capable of disrupting air and naval operations.
Hezbollah has drones that it has launched successfully.
And the possibility that Hezbollah has some level of unconventional weapons cannot be ruled out.
Hezbollah commanders and fighters have gained massive experience fighting in Syria and Iraq. They have sophisticated intelligence gathering capabilities including human intelligence and signals intelligence assets.
They have advanced command and control systems.
And by all accounts, Hamas’s terror tunnels are nothing in comparison to Hezbollah’s extensive network of tunnels that run beneath the border with Israel.
Hezbollah’s announced war plans involve invading and taking control over communities in the Upper Galilee.
In the face of Hamas’s repeated aggression in recent years, many Israelis are now looking wistfully at our quiet northern border. It was the massive destruction Israel wreaked on Lebanon during the 2006 war, they say, that is responsible for this tranquility. We deterred Hezbollah.
Unfortunately, this is dangerous nonsense that bespeaks a fundamental refusal by those that express this view to reconcile themselves with the nature of Hezbollah and its decision making process.
Hezbollah’s decision to go to war in 2006 was made in Tehran, by Hezbollah’s Iranian masters. The decision not to go to war since has also been made by Tehran.
Tehran decided to deploy Hezbollah to Iraq and Syria.
And Tehran will decide, based on its own sense of priorities, when Hezbollah and its massive arsenal of terror should attack Israel.
The only way that Israel’s operations in 2006 have impacted Hezbollah’s future aggression is by enabling it. Israel agreed to a cease-fire that enabled Hezbollah to rearm, reassert control over southern Lebanon and expand its influence over the Lebanese military and state. Had Israel routed Hezbollah in 2006 or refused to accept the pro-Hezbollah cease-fire terms embodied in UN Security Council resolution 1701 then the situation would be different.
This brings us to Iran, the hidden hand behind the 2006 war, and at least to some degree behind the present war with Gaza, and the direct threat that it constitutes for Israel.
Last month US President Barack Obama bought himself and Iran four more months. Iran can continue to develop its nuclear weapons …read more