Well, my friends, it may be that a new war between Israel and Hizbollah is looming in the near future. Since the so-called “Second Lebanon War” in 2006, Hizbollah has spent its time well, rebuilding its bunkers, recruiting new fighters, and rearming with new and improved rockets, with the help of Syria and Iran.

Major-General Gadi Eizenkot of the Israeli Defense Force Northern Command has warned Hizbollah that any future actions or attacks on Israel carried out would be met with “disproportionate” response. In the past, when Hizbollah fired rockets on Israel, it did so from so-called civilian villages. Eizenkot, in his interview, has made it clear that as far as the IDF is concerned, any village which is used to attack Israel will be viewed as a hostile base. He warns that enemy villages will meet the same fate as the Dahiya quarter of Beirut, Hizbollah’s base of operations in Beirut, which was completely flattened and destroyed during the war. Further, he suggests that Nasrallah think very carefully before messing with Israel again.

Hizbollah, in turn, has responded by calling Israel a “paper tiger”. Thus, this official states that Israel’s “threats” are nothing to fear. Hizbollah claims that it will continue its holy war against Israel until Israel withdraws from the Sheba Farms (which is sort of a lie, as Nasrallah has, also, promised that Hizbollah would continue its resistance until there is a Palestine from the “Sea to the Jordan”). Hizbollah believes it was victorious in both of the “Lebanon Wars” forcing Israel to withdraw in 2000, and not being defeated in 2006. After all, Hizbollah believes that its strategies have, thus far, been quite effective. A Hizbollah official has argued that while Hizbollah would be victorious in any battle, Israel has too many internal problems to really launch a war against Lebanon.

So now the question is: what does this mean? Is Hizbollah right? Is this “threat” by the Israeli military just a ploy, and a way for the Israeli government to distract its people from more pressing issues that if left to fester would lead to the destruction of the State’s very fabric? This theory sounds like a wonderful conspiracy, because that’s what it is. And like every conspiracy, facts can be provicded to support it and it cannot ever be really disproven. This being said, Israel has had internal conflicts since prior to its establishment; a fact which is unlikely to ever change. So, if we dismiss the governmental cover-up theory, we are left with the only reasonable conclusion. Someone believes that Hizbollah is planning something. Afterall, they have rebuilt their bunkers right under the noses of the incompetent U.N. Peace Keeping Troops, as they did last time, and have obtained weapons which ought to be able to hit farther into Israel (maybe even, as Nasrallah put it, “b3d b3d Haifa” – i.e. Tel Aviv). This being said, Hizbollah needs public support to function, as do any effective terrorist organizations. If villages don’t allow their villages to be used as strong holds, Hizbollah’s options will be limited, and if these villages know that they will be destroyed, not attacked, but actually flattened, maybe they will think twice. While Nasrallah may not care about the lives of ordinary Lebanese living in the South of their country, maybe others, such as the ordinary Lebanese do. So maybe this is just an idle threat trying to prevent an act of violence. But in any case, words are cheap, and the threat doesn’t hurt. Maybe it will convince Hizbollah to think twice about attacking Israel. And if it doesn’t, well, it seems that there will be an awful lot of rubble in the South of Lebanon. There is a great consensus in Israel that Israel was too soft in the last war; they won’t make that mistake twice. 😉

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  • Groups amass weapons because they expect to use them–either offensively or defensively. There will be another clash with Hizb’allah, the only questions are when and under what pretense.

    I hope Israel and the Jewish people are prepared to follow through with Eizkenot’s ultimatum, even if it means harsh international condemnation.

    We are dealing with an enemy committed to unleashing unrestrained pain on Israel. Hizb’allah must understand the ultimate destructive end of its policies.

  • 1. Before, throughout and after the second Lebanon war Israeli leaders were great at throwing threats at Nasrallah and the Hizbullah. Even though the Israeli air force gave a pounding to the Hizbullah terrorists, the ground forces were held back from giving the knockout punches necessary to follow through on the threats.

    2. Before, during and after all Jews were removed from their homes in Gush Katif, Israeli leaders were great at threatening the Arabs in Gaza that rocket attacks would no longer be tolerated, or else….

    One doesn’t not have to think too hard as to how Nasrallah comes to his conclusion regarding Israeli leaders being good at making threats and nothing else.

    One can only hope that after the fiasco of the second Lebanon war that this threat from Major-General Gadi Eizenkot is real.

    No Arab leader takes Israeli leaders threats seriously anymore, so this one better be real. Once upon a time Israel had different leaders whose threats were taken seriously. Hopefully we should be lucky enough to have those types of leaders again.

  • What Avi said.

    Besides, there will be a war if Iran or Syria deem it a worthwhile tactic. Hizbullah will never again take independent steps like the kidnapping a couple of years ago without permission from its sponsors.

    Both sides are huffing and puffing right now, but Hizbullah has expressed its intention to commit some large scale attack to take revenge for the killing of Imad Mughniyah. This is despite some evidence that he was killed by Arab intelligence services, not Israel. It appears, from various reports, that Hizbullah are targeting targets outside Israel. Presumably this is because Israel is far less likely to go to war over an attack in another country.

    What is certain, however, is that Israel isn’t quite ready to go to war against Hizbullah yet.

  • er, what exactly are “so-called civilian villages?” care to name a Lebanese village that isn’t a “civilian village?”

  • any village that allows a force to use it as a base for attacks against another power, whether that power be a foreign country, its own country’s government, or anything else, has made a choice that it is no longer a civilian village, but rather a military base. therefore, any village in the south of Lebanon that allows Hizbollah to mount attacks against Israel from its locale, such as by the firing of rockets, essentially revokes its civilian status, replacing it with one of a military base.

  • If it’s their own military force, nothing changes about the status. If it’s a foreign military force operating on another country’s territory without a declaration of war and without the combatants being recognizable as such per their uniforms and national emblems, then they’d be terrorist supporters, terrorists only if they actively participate in the attacks and only in that very case would their civilian and human rights be revoked according to the Geneva Convention. There often is a huge gap between subjective justice and objective law, but lest Israel wants to lose credibility – and (much-needed) support – abroad, it is better advised to play by the rules.

  • “any village that allows a force to use it as a base for attacks against another power”

    and how is this determined — if over 50% of the village votes to allow Hezbollah to operate?

    Since presumably Christian villages Hezbollah operated from aren’t pleased about the militia’s presence, does that mean they get to retain their civilian status?

  • As to the UN peacekeepers permitting or ignoring bunkers and so called air raid shelters to be built, with the difference being that a bunker can be used to fire weapons, they do not complain, they do not make news media aware, and in some instance they deny that such construction is occuring. Follow the “baksheesh” or follow the hatred of Israel or follow the business. The business portion: release of goods and equipment for the gain of some commander or governmental official on both the Lebanese side and the peacekeeper side. The Northern Israeli border is a good place to gaze upon the members of the religion of peace why are the peacekeepers hard to see?

  • Xisnotx asks valid questions.

    It’s lovely when the methods of these guerilla and terror groups upset our imaginary barriers of civil and barbaric warfare. Do we have a right to bomb a village from which emanate attacks? If there is no such inherent right, how can one fight the enemy that uses civilians as cover? What is proportionality and is there such a term when it comes to war?

    What do you propose, Xisnotx?

  • Don’t change the subject and don’t try to give me the old answer-a-question-with-a-question slip. I asked a fairly straightforward set of questions.

  • one to which there may not be a straight answer; as you pointed out, we may be in the realm of “imaginary barriers of civil and barbaric warfare.”

  • There is no straight answer?

    I think there is.

    It’s just a hard one to digest.

    If somebody is attacking you, you can do your best to avoid hitting those who aren’t involved. However, you have to defend yourself. Defending yourself sometimes entails very hard hits on these targets. Your responsibility as far as morality goes, is to do your honest and utmost best to avoid hitting non-combatants or causing unnecessary damage to their homes or infrastructure. But there is often no option available to you other than to take aggressive steps in order to come out ahead.

  • AFAIK, it is a war crime to launch attacks from civilian areas or use civilians as human shields, according to the Geneva Convention.

    Therefore, if Israel is foced to strike at “civilian” villages or towns that house Hizb military assets in odrer to defend itself from attacks coming from those villages, it is Hizb that is committing the war crime, not Israel.

    Hizb knows that in a straight-up fight they have no chance against the IDF. Therefore, their only recourse is, essentially, to take hostages to prevent Israel (which, unlike the Hizb, is civilized) from defending itself. If these villages actually cooperate in allowing themselves to be militarized, then they are just as culpable as Hizb and are legitimate targets for retaliation.

    Even if Hizb has forced themselves on the town, Israel will have no choice but to target them, and they will be completely justified in doing so.

    Israel has to stop worrying more about the enemy than about its own soldiers. In Jenin, for example, the IDF stupidly decided upon a ground attack specifically to prevent “civilian” casualties. They paid for it with the lives of 28 soldiers who walked into a booby trap set by the very “civilians” they were trying to spare. There was nothing “moral” about this; on the contrary, I submit that in time of war it is downright immoral to worry more about the enemey than about your own troops. They should have used artillery or airstrikes to flatten the place, like any sane army would have done.

  • TM: I don’t think it is straightforward. Eizenkot says the response will be “disproportionate.” What you’re asking me to do is determine the proportionality of “disproportionate.”