Israel Is Ready for Another War

For the past month, Israel and Hezbollah—the Iran-backed Shiite militia that dominates southern Lebanon and the Bekaa Valley—have been exchanging heavy fire across their shared border. The trend is toward war. To hinder GPS-guided attacks, Israel has spoofed GPS signals, so smartphones sometimes indicate that they are at the Beirut airport, when they are in fact in Israel or Cyprus. Cyprus is on the spoofing list because last week Hezbollah’s leader, Hassan Nasrallah, said that if the Republic of Cyprus—a European Union member—lets Israel use its airports, then “the resistance will deal with it as part of the war.” Now fear is spreading around the region generously: Israelis are contemplating an onslaught of 100,000 Hezbollah rockets, Lebanese are preparing for the collapse of their country upon an Israeli invasion, and the European Union has to deal with the possibility of the first war on its territory since its establishment.

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But Nasrallah’s bellicose language masks a peculiar reality: Hezbollah does not want a war, and Israel—whose international standing has tumbled as a result of its prosecution of war on another front—does. In a week of visiting the north and talking with Israeli politicians and generals, I found a country not just resigned to the opening of a war in the north but in some cases annoyed that committing to one is taking so long.

Ed Morrissey

Does Israel "want" a war? I don't think that's the case so much as recognizing that Hezbollah has already begun one. Hezbollah did so to weaken the IDF response in Gaza, but that turned out to be too little and too late. Now they're risking a full-on invasion where Israel could seize all the land south of the Litani as a security zone, or go all the way to Beirut to force Lebanon to kick Hezbollah out after 45 years of its infiltration into Lebanon's domestic politics. 

Hezbollah could avoid it by ending its rocket fire, but so far they don't seem inclined to do so. The UN Security Council has already ordered Hezbollah to vacate the sub-Litani territory of Lebanon and allow UNIFIL to secure it instead, an order with which Hezbollah has never complied. If they really want to avoid a war, that's a good place to start. 

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