Israel: Israel and Hezbollah

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 By Tom Holsinger
 
November 7, 2023: Hamas’ attack on Israel was only the start of a larger war by Iran against Israel and the United States, with Iran currently using its Hamas, Hezbollah and Iraqi proxies. Israel is fighting back. The United States is only pretending to do so because of the Biden administration’s policy towards Iran, which is so obviously contrary to American interests as to raise questions about the Biden administration being compromised by Iranian bribes to the Biden crime family and possibly other American officials, or Iranian blackmail, just as it is by Chinese bribes. This merits a full Congressional investigation similar to that done for the Reagan administration’s Iran-Contra scandal 36 years ago.

Hezbollah so far has done little against Israel despite its ability to inflict enormous damage with 100-150 thousand well dug-in missiles and rockets provided by Iran, all in southern Lebanon where the bulk of Lebanon’s Shia Arabs live. Hezbollah could paralyze the Israeli economy for months by forcing civilians into air raid shelters with periodic missile and rocket showers, as well as killing several thousand Israel civilians and inflicting vast property damage.

The reason for Hezbollah’s forbearance is that it has become the de facto government of Lebanese Shia, and no longer is really a terrorist organization. Unlike Hamas and Palestinians, Hezbollah’s leadership feels a responsibility towards the welfare of the Lebanese Shia. Hamas is a death cult and will sacrifice as many Palestinian civilians as it deems expedient to achieve its nutball goals even if must kill the civilians themselves, which there are videos and photos of them doing.

Hezbollah is in a really tough neighborhood called the Near and Middle East, where murderous ethnic strife is normal and ethnic survival depends on allying with a “strong horse”. Most ethnic wars there involve massacring each other’s civilians until the surviving losers

move away. This is called “ethnic cleansing”. Recent examples of it are the cleansing of millions of Sunni Arabs from Iraq 2006-2008, and again from Syria during its recent civil war. UN refugee statistics on the movement of Iraqi Sunni Arabs into Syria and Jordan clearly shows the cleansing of Iraqi Sunnis by Iraqi Shia.

Hezbollah really doesn’t want ethnic cleansing to happen to Lebanese Shia. Hezbollah’s neighbors, Lebanese Christians, Sunni Arabs, and millions of Sunni Arab refugees from Syria, would love to cleanse Lebanon of Shia and take their land. The only thing stopping them is Hezbollah’s armed forces, which are more capable than those of all their neighbors combined.

But Israel is even bigger and badder. Hezbollah knows that, if they attack Israel like their Iranian patrons want, a half dozen Israeli armored divisions will thoroughly trash Hezbollah’s armed forces in the course of destroying the missile/rocket launch bases which are all in the most heavily Shia-populated areas of Lebanon. That would leave Lebanese Shia quite vulnerable to being chased out of Lebanon by their loving neighbors.

So Hezbollah is dragging its feet concerning Iran’s demands that it make a suicidal attack on Israel.

A complication is that Israel’s full military mobilization of 300,000+ reservists is hugely expensive. Israel prefers short and sharp wars for this reason. Absent a deal with Hezbollah, Israel will have to maintain this mobilization for months as it will take a week to mobilize again to destroy Hezbollah, during which time Hezbollah’s rockets and missile attacks could inflict thousands of civilian fatalities and horrible economic damage. Right now Israel can move six armored divisions into Lebanon in 24-48 hours.

So, if Hezbollah won’t make a deal, Israel has a huge incentive to pre-emptively attack. The Biden administration could avoid this dilemma by giving Israel more billions of dollars to subsidize their continuing mobilization, just like it and the Obama administration have paid Iran tribute not to cause trouble.

We’ll know that Hezbollah and Israel have made a covert non-aggression pact when Israel starts demobilizing some of its reserves. It will be interesting to see how this comes out.

 

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