This week has seen multiple threats from Tel Aviv regime officials aimed at Lebanon. The sustained and increasingly manic threats against Beirut make it clear that Tel Aviv has launched a full-scale, highly coordinated rhetorical war designed to frighten and intimidate the Lebanese government. Capping things off, this coordinated assault of threats has culminated in the arrival of US troops in occupied Palestine for large scale joint-exercises that include coordination for a would be war on occupied Palestine’s northern (Lebanese) and southern (Egyptian) borders.
The proximate cause of Tel Aviv’s anti-Lebanese hysteria is the fact that Lebanon seeks to tender applications to foreign companies regarding the development of Lebanon’s off-shore gas-fields. “Israeli” officials have stated that Lebanon’s gas fields belong to the Tel Aviv regime, while Lebanese officials have fired back, saying that they will defend the sovereignty of the gas fields in question in the same manner in which they would defend against a land invasion.
But while there is little doubt that “Israel” would like to sink its teeth into a potentially highly profitable Lebanese national asset, in reality both Lebanon and “Israel” have been expecting and preparing for a new war ever since 2006 – the year when the Lebanese Islamic Resistance movement Hezbollah forced the evacuation of the last occupying “Israeli” troops from southern Lebanon.
While underplayed in both official and even semi-private rhetoric, the leaders of the Zionist regime tend to see their defeat in 2006 as cataclysmic. Many in “Israel” have built up the myth of “Israeli” military superiority over the years, only to find that in the 21st century, the only people they can win against are the Palestinians who are armed primarily with sticks and stones. When it came to facing Hezbollah’s fighters on the battlefield, “Israel” lost in spite of its handsomely funded armed forces.
Today, Hezbollah is far more professionalised, far better trained, better armed and more battle hardened than it was in 2006. Hezbollah’s volunteers in Syria and Iraq’s campaign to defeat Takfiri terrorist groups like Daesh and al-Qaeda have largely come back to Lebanon, with a renewed sense of purpose as well as a great deal of practical experience in a devastating war environment.
Last year, Hezbollah leader Sayeed Hassan Nasrallah said that “Israel” is afraid for the kind of long and protracted war that an attack on Lebanon would result in. While “Israel” has often found success in quick blitzkrieg style operations or cut-and-run air attacks, the kind of drawn out conflict that would result in an attack on an increasingly vigilant Lebanon, is not the kind of war that the occupier army is willing to fight or even able to win.
Having heard His Excellency Nasrallah’s speech, “Israel’s” unhinged Defence Minister Avigdor Lieberman recently stated that “Israel” is ready for a long war with Lebanon that will push deep into Lebanese territory. With threats like that, it would be negligent for the armed forces in Lebanon, as well as Hezbollah which acts as a kind of special forces unit protecting Lebanon, not to be on guard against such an invasion.
Now it is a matter of determining whether “Israel” is bluffing or not. Donald Trump has frequently stated that he values the element of surprise in all military conflicts. Yet in sending US troops to “Israel” after a week of open and boisterous threats against Lebanon from the Tel Aviv regime, if “Israel” and the US were to invade Lebanon it would be as surprising as learning that fish live in the sea and scorpions live in the desert.
This means either that “Israel” and its US ally have become increasingly brazen in their abandonment of the element of surprise or that it is one giant bluff from a frustrated coward. Recent years have seen frequent illegal “Israeli” air attacks on the Syrian Arab Republic. They come without any warning sometimes are acknowledged by Tel Aviv and sometimes they are not. In respect of Lebanon, “Israeli” soldiers have been digging trenches and readying themselves for the building of a border wall with Lebanon. This indicates that “Israel” seems more intent on cutting off occupied Palestinians from their allies in southern Lebanon, than they are on opening up the floodgates to a war which could easily spill onto occupied Palestinian soil.
Due to the united anger throughout the Muslim world at Donald Trump’s decision to recognise the holy city of Al-Quds (Jerusalem) as “Israel’s” capital, there is a high likelihood that most of Lebanon and Palestine would unite against “Israeli” troops. The divide and rule techniques “Israel” used against Palestine’s allies during much of the Lebanese Civil War would not work so easily in 2018. Furthermore, many volunteers from the rest of the Arab world and perhaps even some from outside, would race to Lebanon’s side, less out of a love for Lebanon let alone for Hezbollah, than out of a sense of rage against the US decision on Al-Quds. In this sense, any large scale war “Israel” launches against its neighbours could easily spiral into a regional war to liberate Al-Quds.
“Israeli” officials will certainly have considered this scenario. This means that while “Israel” might still attack in order to try and retard the peaceful progress of Lebanese society and simultaneously harm the Lebanese Resistance, Lebanon could well be “Israel’s” new North Korea. The US frequently threatens North Korea, but the more it threatens, the more it all seems like one big bluff designed to sell weapons and frustrate Sino-Russian economic activity in the region, than an actual march to war. Perhaps “Israel’s” latest threats against Lebanon are likewise, all bark and no bite. Lebanon cannot afford to rely on such an assumption, but it is a fact that many in Lebanon should at least consider.