To Avoid War, Israel Must Make Its Red Lines Clear to Hizballah

July 29 2020

On Monday, Hizballah guerrillas entered the Mount Dov area of the Golan Heights, presumably to strike back after one of their own was killed in Syria last week by an apparent Israeli airstrike. The IDF opened fire without hitting the operatives, and they retreated into Lebanon. But Israel’s northern border remains on high alert, and Hassan Nasrallah, the leader of the Iran-backed terrorist group, is still threatening retaliation. Eyal Zisser believes it likely that he will try to make good on these threats:

Nasrallah . . . fears Israel will interpret his moves as weakness, [and thus] feels obligated to retaliate, and is willing risk a head-on clash. He hopes, of course, that he’ll be able to control the flames and [that] the attack ends with minimum casualties on the Israeli side—which would allow Israel to absorb the event and temper its own counter-response, as it has done in the past.

For this reason alone Israel should not play into Nasrallah’s hands. . . . In recent years [Jerusalem] has allowed Nasrallah to revert to his old habits and carry out attacks against Israeli forces. Initially this occurred in the Mount Dov area, and last September included an anti-tank missile attack from Lebanese soil into Israel.

Israel should reinstitute the same ironclad rule it applies to the Syrian arena, whereby any violation of Israeli sovereignty or attack on its soldiers is a red line that will be reinforced. Thus, instead of shooting at pointless dummy targets in Lebanon, . . . Israel has to claim a real price for violations of its sovereignty—from Hizballah and from the Lebanese government that provides its protection. This is the only way to prevent Nasrallah from establishing new rules of the game, and to ensure that the quiet along the northern border remains intact. Otherwise, the next terrorist attack is only a matter of time.

Read more at Israel Hayom

More about: Hizballah, Israeli Security

The Palestinian Prime Minister Rails against Peace at the Council of Foreign Relations

On November 17, the Palestinian Authority (PA) prime minister, Mohammad Shtayyeh, appeared at the Council on Foreign Relations, America’s most prestigious and influential foreign-policy institution. While there, Shtayyeh took the opportunity to lambast Arab states for making peace with Israel. Dore Gold comments:

[Perhaps Shtayyeh] would prefer that Bahrain, Sudan, and the United Arab Emirates declare the end of their conflicts with Israel only after all Palestinian political demands are met; however, he refused to recognize that Arab states have a right to defend their vital interests.

Since 1948, they had suspended these rights for the sake of the Palestinian cause. What Shtayyeh ultimately wants is for the Palestinians to continue to hold their past veto power over the Arab world. Essentially, he wants the Arabs to be [like the] Iranians, who supply Palestinian organizations like Hamas with weapons and money while taking the most extreme positions against peace. What the Arabs have begun to say this year is that this option is no longer on the table.

Frankly, the cracks in the Palestinian veto of peace that appeared in 2020 are undeniable. Shtayyeh is unprepared to answer why. The story of that split began with the fact that the response of the Palestinian leadership to every proposal for peace since the 2000 Camp David Summit with President Clinton has been a loud but consistent “No.”

Read more at Jerusalem Post

More about: Israeli-Palestinian Conflict, Palestinian Authority, U.S. Foreign policy