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Why Israel picks fights with Hezbollah

And why it will probably pick another one before too long.

IAF fighter jet during an exercise (photo: IDF Spokesperson)

IAF fighter jet during an exercise (photo: IDF Spokesperson)

After Hezbollah’s fatal attack on Israeli soldiers Wednesday, the two enemy sides are in a rare configuration: they’re even. Israel killed six Hezbollah guerrillas and an Iranian general on January 18, so Hezbollah killed two Israeli soldiers and wounded seven more, and now they’re quits, for the time being. They each told UN peacekeepers in south Lebanon that they didn’t want to escalate things anymore, they wanted calm, and that clearly seems to be the case today.

What an opportunity. From this point forward, Israel and Hezbollah could start fresh, they could each decide not to attack the other, and, in theory, this unofficial cease-fire could last indefinitely.

I believe Hezbollah would go for that, for one simple reason – they know Israel is the incomparably stronger side (which is why they absorbed so many Israeli attacks in the last couple of years with very little response, until Wednesday). They know that starting up with Israel would get them bashed up badly. I think Hezbollah’s ally Iran would go for an indefinite, unofficial cease-fire too – for the same reason – and so would their ally Syria.

Unfortunately, I don’t think Israel would accept that arrangement. The strong in this world get away with things the weak wouldn’t dream of trying, and Israel flies spy jets and drones over Lebanon regularly, it blows up sophisticated weapons on their way from Syria to Hezbollah, and it assassinates Hezbollah and Syrian military officers as well as Iranian nuclear scientists and generals.

Would Israel be willing to give up all those prerogatives in return for Hezbollah unofficially putting down its weapons? I don’t think so, because Israel is filled with too much fear and aggression to trust its deterrent power; instead, it trusts the use of force.

And lately Israel has been zooming in on a whole new Hezbollah “threat” it must “defend against”: the organization’s recent military build-up on the Syrian Golan Heights, across the border from Israel.

After the Hezbollah attack, Prime Minister Netanyahu said: “For a while, Iran has been trying, through the Hezbollah, to form an additional terror front against us from the Golan Heights. We are acting with resolve and responsibility against this effort.”

This is Israeli paranoia at work. Hezbollah isn’t gunning for Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights, it’s defending the territory – and its own survival as well as that of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime – from ISIS and the Nusra Front, the latter an Al-Qaeda offshoot.

Even superhawk columnist Guy Bechor made this point in his Yedioth Ahronoth column on Thursday:

This is the last territory still in the hands of the Syrian regime, and this is where Hezbollah has set up a command post and concentrated its forces. What are they doing there? They’ve decided to defend the area at all costs, because if Nusra Front gets across it, they’ll be able to continue north to the Shi’ite and Hezbollah strongholds in the Lebanese valley, turn west toward the Shi’ite areas in south Lebanon, or turn east toward Damascus. …

The sectarian war is more important to these terrorist groups than Israel, and from the standpoint of both the Sunnis [ISIS and Nusra Front] and the Shi’ites [Hezbollah], we are the less threatening enemy.

Yedioth’s center-left star columnist Nahum Barnea made a similar point about Israel’s knee-jerk alarm over Hezbollah’s new deployment. He wrote that Netanyahu’s message that Hezbollah was spreading out across the Syrian side of the border with Israel, and that Israel would carry out all military actions necessary to prevent this, was “adopted immediately by every politician and analyst,” Barnea wrote. He continued:

Let’s assume Hezbollah intends to do this. Is it so terrible? Is it preferable for Israel to sit on the Golan Heights across from the forces of ISIS and Nusra Front? After all, we’re sitting across from them today, from Quneitra [on the Israeli-Syrian border] south, and I haven’t heard that Israel has launched a war against them. Why are we able to go on living across from Hezbollah in Hanita, Metulla, Misgav-Am, Dovev, Kiryat Shmona and Shlomi [near the Lebanese border], but we can’t live across from Hezbollah  in Merom Hagolan [near the Syrian border]?

It’s always about us, we’re always the target, goes the Israeli view, which is why we can’t leave Hezbollah alone even when it’s preoccupied with fighting global jihadists. And out of this same paranoia grows another misperception that causes us to pick fights: the view that the enemy’s weapons are always offensive, meant for attacking us, and never defensive, meant for deterrence or counterattack.

Ari Shavit, star center-left columnist of Haaretz, inadvertently provided a window into this way of thinking in his piece on Thursday.

It’s meant to be a pretty dovish column. He writes, “We must not provoke, we must not act recklessly in a way that could lead to an uncontrollable deterioration. We must not take war-generating steps that could force a dangerous war on Israel.” But at the same time, he sees Hezbollah as being ideologically and perpetually bent on war with Israel:

While many Israelis may harbor understandable guilt over the national Palestinian movement, this is not the case when it comes to the sub-state Shi’ite army in Lebanon. There’s no room for comparison between our peace-seeking democracy and their terrorist totalitarianism. There’s no similarity between our desire to live in peace and their desire to enforce their religious faith by the sword. If we’re forced to go to war against Hezbollah, it will be a war of the sons of light against the sons of darkness, a free society against a fanatical order that threatens freedom.

And because of what he sees as Hezbollah’s scorpion-like nature, Shavit’s conclusion is that “sooner or later a third Lebanon war will break out.” At the same time, though, he says it is “our duty to make every effort to put off the war’s outbreak.”

But the fatal contradiction here is this: If you believe that Hezbollah’s practical goal is to destroy or enslave Israel – an unlikely one considering the imbalance in power between the two sides, which Israel continually demonstrates – then will you forgo the opportunity to bomb the convoys bringing them advanced weapons? Will you pass up a chance to assassinate their key people? Will you stop invading Lebanese airspace to spy on them?

No, you won’t. It wouldn’t make sense. If you believe Hezbollah is working toward conquering or destroying you – that this is not merely their wish, but their concrete goal – it would be suicidal to let them go about their business. So you attack. And by attacking, you violate your principle that “we must not provoke … we must not take war-generating steps that could force a dangerous war on Israel.”

Whatever Israel may say about not wanting to provoke another war with Hezbollah, its superior military strength combined with its bottomless fear will likely lead it, sooner or later, to do just that.

Related:
Israeli soldiers killed in Hezbollah retaliation attack
Israeli air strike in Syria: Lies, aggression — at what cost?

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    COMMENTS

    1. Viktor Arajs

      Kudos to Larry for telling it as it is. Also, Kudos to President Obama for preventing the Zionist entity from attacking the peaceful nation of Iran. Obama is a patient man, and he is forming a united front of Iran and Hezbollah to remove the last European colonial outpost in the Middle East

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        Wasn’t clown Viktor banned?

        Reply to Comment
      • ICat

        “Viktor Arajs”: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Viktors_Ar%C4%81js, the difference between yourself Victor Arajs, Bryan, Mikesailor, Felix Reichert and Brian on the one hand, and the ilk of Zeév Sternhell, Larry Derfner, Chemi Shalev, Gideon Levy, Norman G. Finkelstein, Amira Haas, Noam Sheizaf, Mairav Zonszein, etc. on the other hand, is this: MOTIVE! The latter’s motive – regardless of if one agrees with their views and tactics or not – is to, in their subjective minds, strengthen Israel and the Jewish People, while the former’s motive is bigoted, racist, based on hatred and in some cases genocidal.

        Quit hiding behind Larry Derfner to propagate your bigoted message of hate and anti-Semitism. Both of you have NOTHING in common!

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          I’m the one who outed “Arajs” as a false flag “Latvian-Palestinian” rightist with an obsession with Judith Butler’s Queer Studies, probably the invincibly nutty BG. You know that, Merav, but you’re too dishonest a slanderer having too much fun using “Arajs” to commit recidivist slander, to admit it.

          Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            You are not telling the truth and if you keep lying, Brian, I will start re-posting your exchanges with Gustav where you refused to condemn Victor Arajs despite numerous pleadings from Gustav for you to do so. The problem with you is that you are a hypocrite who, when caught, is willing to throw his buddies – including Mohamed aka “Mikesailor”! – under the bus in order to save his own skin.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Viktor Araja was “outed” by GUSTAV, NOT you, and if you keep lying, Brian, I will start re-posting your exchanges with Gustav where you refused to condemn Victor Arajs despite numerous pleadings from Gustav for you to do so. The problem with you is that you are a hypocrite who, when caught, is willing to throw his buddies – including Mohamed/Mikesailor! – under the bus in order to save his own skin.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Pure lying slander, ICat. A vicious inversion of the truth. Again. You’re simply incorrigible.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            “you refused to condemn Victor Arajs”

            On this page I noted the following about “Victor Arajs”:

            http://972mag.com/bibi-those-who-call-to-destroy-israel-should-have-citizenship-revoked/98537/

            ————–
            Brian
            Wednesday
            November 12, 2014
            Actually, with the latest comment ‘Arajs’ posted one has to wonder if this is a right winger’s “false flag” operation. With intent to slander. Remember, whoever this is is the mirror image. Would anyone think some of these characters here incapable of it? All the more reason to strictly ignore him or her whoever he/she is.
            ———–

            and on that same page I called “Victor Arajs” a fascist:

            ————
            Brian
            Wednesday
            November 12, 2014
            Arajs is a troll Ben. Best ignored. No point in getting sucked into obvious nonsense. (He’s the mirror image of Tomer. Fascists are fascists.)
            ————-

            And “Victor Arajs” on that same page, tried to smear me and Ben Zakkei and “many +972 bloggers”! (why I think he did that I will explain later):

            ————-
            Victor Arajs
            Wednesday
            November 12, 2014
            A full 24 hours has past since I made my last post. None of your friends have rebutted my position declaring Hashiyeh a hero. Do you know why that is? Because they agree with me. And beneath the bluster, both Ben zakkai and Brian agree with me. I am not a troll, but represent the conscience of many 972 bloggers. I say what you feel
            ————-

            And Gustav then went right along with that smear.

            The idea that I “refused to condemn Victor Arajs” is simply preposterous. A truly vicious lie.

            Finally, the whole part about who is my “buddy” and being “caught” and buddies thrown under buses and saving my own skin blah blah blah is devious nonsense. A lie. It’s slander. In your usual way.

            We are not done with the story of “Viktor Arajs”

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Liar.

            When you, Brian, said that you are “the one who outed Viktor Arajs …”, you lied.

            I gave you time and after more than a day, you could not find anything to support your claim. In fact, Viktor Arajs was outed by Gustave and others such as Alan:

            “Victor Arajs
            Thursday
            November 13, 2014
            There you go again, making the silly distinction btween pre 1967 and post 1967. The existence of the zionist entity is illegal and racist, and therefore none of the people enforicng “law” there has any right to self defence
            the general right of resistance to occupation doesn’t give every member of the occupied nation carte blanche to kill any member of the occupying nation….another really vacuous statement. You are a total hasbarat
            Reply to Comment

            • Alan
            Thursday
            November 13, 2014
            “Victor Arajs” was a Nazi who murdered thousands of Jews during World War II. Apparently “Victor,” who inveighs against the “Zionist occupier,” is proud of his anti-Semitic credentials.

            http://972mag.com/the-difference-between-israels-violent-racist-cops-and-americas/98617/

            Your claim that you condemned Viktor Arajs is equally nonsense. You consistently refused to condemn the ilk of “Viktor Arajs” and “Average American”. Your so-called “condemnation” comes only after you see that literally everyone is up in arms against them. Then and only then you jump on board, but then only to denounce them as Zionists or right-wing Israeli trolls trying to make you and your ilk look bad. That’s the kind of person you are, Brian: an unprincipled hypocrite; a liar.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            1. I never claimed to have outed the heinousness of the name of “Viktor Arajs.” I said I had outed the fraud’s purposes here–which if my hypothesis is correct are not fundamentally different than yours (dishonest representation).

            2. “Your claim that you condemned Viktor Arajs is equally nonsense.” I never claimed it. I claimed actually (and showed) that your claim that I “refused to condemn Viktor Arajs” is a lie.

            3. I actually did condemn Average American. Here, on Dec. 23 and Dec. 24, 2014:
            http://972mag.com/how-long-must-palestinians-pay-for-the-holocaust-op-ed/100309/

            4. Why it took me a day to get around to replying to you is none of your business. I have a life outside +972. I am not sure you do.

            5. The blithe ease with which you simply lie, over and over and over, ICat, appears to me pathological. And to do so in ways so easily verified, suggests also something about intelligence. I am well satisfied with what the record now shows and to let anyone visit that record and make up their own mind. I am satisfied that you have been thoroughly discredited, once and for all. I wouldn’t dream of telling you what to do but I suggest your best bet would be to slink off and do your disreputable business elsewhere. Because no one is going to ever take you seriously here again. If they ever did. I’m done within you.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Your false claims are there for all to read and you have no need to paraphrase, rationalize and try to wiggle out of trouble. Begin with reading your first post and compare your first post with your latest denials. You are not extremely clever, are you? The claim that you condemned “Average American” came as I said way after you first refused to condemn him and then jumped on board very late in the process to condemn him ONLY after it became clear to you that everyone was up in arms against him. You needed to save your own skin and threw your buddy under the bus. That’s the kind of person you are, Brian: an unprincipled hypocrite; untrustworthy; a liar.

            Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            As I think I told you, I’m done with you. Everyone can read the pages Iinked to. How does it feel to be the laughingstock of +972? There’s not the slightest truth to your latest dump of whole-cloth lies and venom. Quite the opposite. Who’s surprised? (It’s not a sign of intelligence to assert something so easily disproved. Nor, especially, to keep doing it!) You’re the one wriggling on a hook, ICat. I shall not respond further here. Any further “product” from you is guaranteed to be just one more venomous, barefaced, shameless lie. You are reliable, Merav, I’ve got to give you that.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            “Brian, Friday, January 30, 2015”

            I’m the one who outed “Arajs” as a false flag “Latvian-Palestinian” rightist with an obsession with Judith Butler’s Queer Studies, probably the invincibly nutty BG. You know that, Merav,..”

            “Brian, Monday, February 2, 2015

            1. I never claimed to have outed the heinousness of the name of “Viktor Arajs.”

            Question
            Which one is it, Brian? Those two false claims were made by you on THIS page. We will take your false claims one by one and expose them one by one. Just answer the question. After that we move on to the next question, while you hallucinate about being “the laughingstock”.

            Reply to Comment
        • Bryan

          There you go again Icat obsessing about Jews again. This is an issue about justice and human rights. On one side, the critics of Israel include Jews and non-Jews, mostly of an internationalist and humanist persuasion, as your post makes clear. On the other side are arrayed an unholy coalition of secular nationalists and religious fundamentalists, including the military industrial complex of both Israel and America, racists and nationalists (even the European neo-Nazis have mostly stopped Jew-baiting and now endorse the brutal oppression of Moslems that Israel has adopted), Christian Zionists, neoconservatives, corrupt politicians and corrupt media magnates. Get out of your little mental ghetto; try to overcome your persecution complex; and realize that this is not about Jew and Gentile but about oppressor and oppressed. And shame on you for enlisting Arajs to help you make your absurd point that all criticism of Israel is synonymous with old-fashioned antisemitism.

          Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Of course, Bryan, your dull, senile old mind wakens and becomes ferociously lucid ONLY when you hear the words Jews and/or Israel. Absent that, human rights and justice are not something that you are obsessed with as you are obsessed with Jews and Israel. And if you haven’t forgotten, you Bryan, are the one who have said on this site that Askenazi Jews are Khazars, while the Jews who remained in the Land of Israel after the Roman expulsion converted to Islam several centuries ago, and many more idiotic stuff such as Israel has no right to exist, etc. There is no difference between you and Victor Arajs. As I said, the difference between you and the Jewish critics of Israel you hide behind and abuse is motive. Your motive is based on hate, envy and jealousy of Israel and the Jewish People, you old neo-nazi turd!

            Reply to Comment
          • Schwartz

            Mr. ICat I would not give two ducats for your opinion here. Listen to yourself. Even IF this guy’s motive was what you say it is, and that is the only difference between him and Larry Derner or some other ekht Jew, what does it matter? You need to take on his argument about Israel not just impugn his motives, which you can’t actually know. You sound paranoid. And racial.

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Mr. Schwartz

            “Even IF this guy’s motive was what you say it is, and that is the only difference between him and Larry Derner or some other ekht Jew, what does it matter?”

            Oh, it matters a great deal! You would be a jackass to think otherwise.

            “You need to take on his argument about Israel not just impugn his motives, which you can’t actually know”.

            Out of the abundance of the heart speaks the mouth – said a great apostate Jewish Rabi. Out of corpse comes forth maggots. Btw. blood libels, criminalization of the Jewry, anti-Semitic mumbo jumbo, etc., which what Bryan is all about, are no “arguments”. Let’s be very clear about that.

            “You sound paranoid. And racial”.

            What a hysterical nonsense in an effort to rescue a friend you fear will otherwise get seriously mauled! But don’t worry, that little old turd, Bryan, has quite a record of anti-Semitic rants on this site. If you guys challenge me, I will start producing evidence. I am not sure you want to go there, do you?

            Reply to Comment
          • Schwartz

            Let’s say I’m an anti-Catholic bigot. An I say something about the pope.
            And you don’t like it. And L’Osservatore Romano says the same thing about the pope. And you don’t like it. So is what I said about the pope less true or false because I said it?

            Reply to Comment
          • ICat

            Mr. Sschartz, your analogy is fatally flawed, does not make sense and reveals the breathtaking dept of your ignorance:

            a. “A bigoted anti-Catholic” is “bigoted” not because of legitimate critique of the Pope but because of the bigotry inherent in his/her thoughts, words, actions and omissions (btw. why the Catholic Church? Why not Saudi Arabia, Germany, Sweden or Mexico?).

            b. “A bigoted” anti-Semite is bigoted not because of legitimate critique of Judaism, Zionism, Jews and/or Israel but because of the bigotry inherent in his/her thoughts, words, actions and omissions (btw. The Jewish equivalent of the L’Observatore Romano will be the Official website of the Israeli Prime Minister’s Office, not +972 and its columnists who will be offended by your analogy).

            Someone who says, among many others, stuff like this is an anti-Semite:

            “• Ginger Eis
            Wednesday
            December 17, 2014

            Listen to 2nd part of Brigette Gabrielle.
            Watch. And weep!
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VS0cols_X_M

            Reply to Comment

            • Bryan
            Thursday
            December 18, 2014
            Just remember 1000 Christian souls are not worth a clipping from a Jewish toenail – though both souls and onychomycosis leave a lot to be desired.”

            The critique of the ilk of David Duke, David Icke and other neo-Nazi turds (who commenting here) against Jews, Black People, etc. is based on their – as you put it – “bigotry” and cannot be part of a legitimate discourse – regardless of if one or two of their critique CO-INCIDENTALLY has the appearance of the same critique a section of their victim has of the ethnic/racial group to which it belongs.

            Reply to Comment
    2. Pedro X

      Larry thinks that Israel, a sovereign state, should not act in or conduct surveillance on Lebanon or Syria, while Hezbollah, a terrorist entity and an non state actor, has the right to operate its military freely in Lebanon and in Syria. Larry would surrender the ground in Lebanon and Southern Syria to Hezbollah’s military control without Israeli surveillance or action. His theory is leave the terrorists alone and they will not attack you. Everyone can sleep soundly while the Party of God arms itself with Iranian arms and guidance on the border with Israel.

      Britain’s Neville Chamberlain espoused a similar policy of appeasement when he signed the Munich agreement with Germany whereby Czechoslovakia was given up to Germany. Chamberlain proclaimed this move would bring peace in our time. He advised the English people: “Go home and get a nice quiet sleep.”

      We know what the price of that appeasement was, World War II, over a 100 million dead, the Holocaust and the destruction of the Shtetl in Europe.

      Britain’s Winston Churchill had a different view. He was prepared to fight on foreign and home soil to defend Great Britain. He was prepared to fight “in France”, “on the seas and oceans” to defend his “Island” “whatever the cost may be.” He further said:

      “We shall fight on the beaches, we shall fight on the landing grounds, we shall fight in the fields and in the streets, we shall fight in the hills; we shall never surrender …”

      Yet Larry here is prepared to surrender the battleground to the Party of God which has aided Iran and Syria in killing over 200,000 Arabs in Syria. This is the same Party of God which blows up opposition leaders and investigators in Lebanon. This is the same Party of God involved in funding terrorists in the West Bank and Gaza. This is the same Party of God which has over 100,000 rockets and missiles aimed at Israel. This is the same Party of God which has been attempting to set up bases in Southern Syria near Israel’s border.

      It is a good thing that Israeli leaders on the right, in the center and on left do not share Larry’s views.

      Reply to Comment
      • Joel

        Well said Pedro.
        I wonder if Larry will respond.

        Reply to Comment
      • Brian

        Pedro I must say your hatchet job on Larry’s argument leaves it unrecognizable. With your hatchet you chopped out everything he said about the huge imbalance of power, Hezbollah’s rational calculus about that imbalance, and that Israel is filled with too much fear and aggression to trust its own deterrent power. You chopped out the entire argument about ISIS and the Nusra Front, a realistic argument supported by Bechor and Barnea. You chopped out all the logic about Hanita etc. versus Merom Hagolan. There’s an eminently realistic argument about power exercised smartly not self-destructively or manipulatively that you chopped out. I cannot recognize Derfner’s article in what you write about it. And inside this hatchet job, among the chopped up pieces of logic, you planted a false, emotionally manipulative fear-mongering analogy about Neville Chamberlain and appeasement that reverses the balances of power that actually exist, and Israel’s actual relationship to Lebanon, actual factors upon which Larry’s argument is based.

        Reply to Comment
        • Joel

          “..imbalance in power”

          Last time I checked, Hezbollah was the second most powerful force in the region, after Israel, even more powerful than the Arab States.

          Last time I checked, Hezbollah had the full backing of Iran, a very powerful State that’s about to go nuclear.

          Reply to Comment
          • Brian

            Canada is the second most powerful force on the North American continent but I don’t think Canada deludes itself that it could successfully invade the United States or win in any military contest against it. Is the analogy limited? Yes it is. But so is your 1, 2 ranking exercise.

            Reply to Comment
    3. Bruce Gould

      More on the Physicians For Human Rights investigation:

      A new independent medical fact-finding mission in Gaza has detailed Israel’s deliberate killing of Palestinian civilians in its summer 2014 attack…

      http://mondoweiss.net/2015/01/independent-investigation-deliberate

      In its executive summary, the fact-finding mission estimates that, in Israel’s 50-day attack on Gaza,

      over 2,100 Palestinians were killed; at least 70% of those killed were civilians; over 500 children were killed; more than 11,000 were wounded; and at least 100,000 were made homeless.

      Reply to Comment
    4. Joel

      Israel knew that some Axis bigwigs were visiting a remote Syrian government fire base and assassinated them.
      That is all any of us know.

      The question that should be asked is this. Were these bigwigs on a routine visit to show support to the troops, or did they have another, greater plan in mind?

      It strikes me a little odd that a delegation of ‘foreign fighters’ should be visiting a Syrian Army base just to show solidarity with the troops.

      Reply to Comment
      • Pedro X

        Those killed were not just fighters but generals and commanders. Three high ranking Hezbollah men and 3 Iranian Generals were killed in the strike which killed 12 not 6 Hezbollah and Iranian terrorists.

        Who was killed. The head of Hezbollah’s operations in Syria, the head of its liaison with Iran, and Jihad Mughniyeh, Hezbollah commander in the Golan and son of Imad Mughniyeh, top Hezbollah operative killed in 2008 by a joint CIA – Israel operation.

        The Iranians killed were even more significant. Jerusalem post writer Caroline Glick reports:

        “Brig.-Gen. (res.) Shimon Shapira, a Hezbollah expert from the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs, the Iranian losses included three generals. Brig.- Gen. Mohammed Alladadi was the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps liaison officer to Hezbollah and to Syrian intelligence. He was also in charge of weapons shipments from Iran to Hezbollah. Gen. Ali Tabatabai was the IRGC commander in the Golan Heights and, according to Shapira, an additional general, known only as Assadi, “was, in all likelihood, the commander of Iranian expeditionary forces in Lebanon.”

        Such a gathering of high ranking Hezbollah and Iranian military leaders, suggests that Iran and Hezbollah were planning something very nasty for Israel.

        Reply to Comment
        • Brian

          No, on the contrary, it suggests that, as Larry says, “Hezbollah isn’t gunning for Israel from the Syrian Golan Heights, it’s defending the territory – and its own survival as well as that of Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime – from ISIS and the Nusra Front, the latter an Al-Qaeda offshoot.” Yours is a fear-mongering but unrealistic argument, a reiteration of Netanyahu’s manipulations about “terror fronts.”

          Reply to Comment
    5. Mikesailor

      Larry: It is not Israeli paranoia or fear of an attack by Hezbollah which leads Israel to attack. Hezbollah was created when the Israelis invaded Lebanon in 1982 and then carved out and occupied Southern Lebanon. At first the Shi’ite residents either greeted the Israeli which they felt were removing the Palestinians from their midst, or were basically apathetic to the invasion. In such feeling they resembled the Ukrainians during WWII which saw the Nazi invasion as liberating them from the Russians. But, like the Germans, the Israelis overstayed their welcome and began brutalizing the Shi’te residents resulting in the creation of Hezbollah to fight the occupier. When Israel finally withdrew in 2000, Hezbollah never invaded Israel nor attempted to do so. Any use of arms by Hezbollah were primarily in retaliation for Israeli actions although Hezbollah still considers the Shebaa Farms area as part of Lebanon. There is a question as to whether the area is Lebanese or Syrian but one thing is sure, it is not Israeli. No, the reason Israel continues to attack Hezbollah is because they have convinced their Zionist public that Hezbollah is an “existential” threat when the truth is the complete opposite. Hezbollah has never attacked Israel without reason and has been perfectly content to “live and let live” within their borders. The Israelis, on the other hand, have never disavowed their interest in gaining fresh water from the Litani River. The real reason for attacks now by Israel are two-fold: 1)To both accentuate Jewish fear and show Israel is militarily strong as election maneuvering; and 2) to assist the Syrian opposition, especially the al-Nusra and ISIS jihadis bankrolled by the Saudis. Why? Because the Israelis have been promised the Golan Heights if Assad can be overthrown. And the Saudis have deep pockets, a love for autocratic Sunni regimes and a deep aversion to democratic reform which comports with Israeli policy of keeping the “Arab” masses subordinate to “strongman” regimes. Why do you think the Israeli have never allowed new elections in the Palestinian territories, instead pinning their hopes on their Quisling Abbas to maintain the status quo? It is part and parcel of Zionist policy although even the columnists cited only scratch the surface rather than taking on the BS and showing the lies underpinning the policy. Why do they lie by not telling the whole truth? That is a Question.

      Reply to Comment
    6. Brian

      I recommend Zvi Barel’s analysis here, which is consistent with Larry’s analysis. Read in full, it makes a lot if sense:

      http://www.haaretz.com/news/diplomacy-defense/.premium-1.639690

      Iran’s interest in Lebanon has nothing to do with Israel

      …About 10 days ago, Israel killed senior commanders of the Revolutionary Guard and Hezbollah in a manner interpreted in Iran as intended to thwart the deployment of Hezbollah forces on the (Syrian side of the) Golan Heights. That is, that Israel wants to break the Syrian-Iranian monopoly on the way the war is played out on Syrian territory.

      This Iranian assessment is based on Israel’s lack of response to the conquest of most of the Syrian Golan Heights by rebel forces, among them radical Islamist groups, but that it sounded the alarm when Hezbollah planned to expand its control on the Heights. Syria and Iran regard Israel’s lax attitude toward the presence of rebel forces on the Golan as support for the rebels and interference in internal matters….The Iranian-Syrian fear is over the opening of a broad front on the Syrian Golan Heights that could draw Israel into responding directly against Syrian President Bashar Assad’s regime and his army, thus bolstering the rebels….

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    7. Mikesailor

      I know that nobody wants to mention the elephant in the room: that Israel is actively helping the Syrian rebels so I thought I would add this link: https://news.vice.com/article/new-evidence-suggests-israel-is-helping-syrian-rebels-in-the-golan-heights. Apparently you would like to believe Israeli commentators rather than the evidence at hand. Which is my query to Larry: “Why the Israelis never mention the assistance Israel is providing the anti-Assad forces, including ISIS and al-Nusra at present?

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