In the War on Iranian Terror, Israel Has the Upper Hand

July 25 2022

Twenty-eight years ago this month, Hizballah—with the help of its Iranian patrons—detonated a massive bomb at the AMIA Jewish Community Center in Buenos Aires, leaving 85 dead and hundreds wounded. On the 2012 anniversary of the bombing, Hizballah attacked a bus carrying Israeli tourists in Burgas, Bulgaria, killing six. But the Lebanese-based terrorist group has had no success in murdering Jews outside of Israel since then, although not for lack of trying. Oved Lobel argues that Israeli counterterrorism is the reason why:

While Israel has demonstrated the capability to assassinate almost any Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) and Hizballah operative or Iranian nuclear scientist—or even al-Qaeda leaders working under the auspices of the IRGC—including in Iran itself, Iran is suffering an ever-expanding backlog of people it needs to avenge.

In 2008, an alleged joint CIA-Mossad operation killed Hizballah’s terrorist mastermind Imad Mughniyeh in Syria. In response, the IRGC attempted multiple attacks, both assassinations and bombings, across the world. All of them failed; . . . planned and attempted attacks from Azerbaijan to Georgia to India to Thailand to Cyprus and across Africa, the Middle East, and South America since 2006 were all foiled, while Hizballah’s global stockpiling of ammonium nitrate for explosives was revealed by Israeli intelligence. In 2012 alone, the year of the Burgas bombing, there were reportedly at least nine IRGC plots against Jewish or Israeli targets across the world, including a previous attempt in Bulgaria.

It appears the reason Israel is able to conduct such operations, including infrastructure sabotage against Iranian military and nuclear targets, is because of its comprehensive intelligence penetration of the IRGC and every other relevant organization in Iran at every level, something obvious for several years and publicly acknowledged by multiple Iranian officials.

Read more at Fresh Air

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Mossad, Terrorism

American Aid to Lebanon Is a Gift to Iran

For many years, Lebanon has been a de-facto satellite of Tehran, which exerts control via its local proxy militia, Hizballah. The problem with the U.S. policy toward the country, according to Tony Badran, is that it pretends this is not the case, and continues to support the government in Beirut as if it were a bulwark against, rather than a pawn of, the Islamic Republic:

So obsessed is the Biden administration with the dubious art of using taxpayer dollars to underwrite the Lebanese pseudo-state run by the terrorist group Hizballah that it has spent its two years in office coming up with legally questionable schemes to pay the salaries of the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF), setting new precedents in the abuse of U.S. foreign security-assistance programs. In January, the administration rolled out its program to provide direct salary payments, in cash, to both the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) and the Internal Security Forces (ISF).

The scale of U.S. financing of Lebanon’s Hizballah-dominated military apparatus cannot be understated: around 100,000 Lebanese are now getting cash stipends courtesy of the American taxpayer to spend in Hizballah-land. . . . This is hardly an accident. For U.S. policymakers, synergy between the LAF/ISF and Hizballah is baked into their policy, which is predicated on fostering and building up a common anti-Israel posture that joins Lebanon’s so-called “state institutions” with the country’s dominant terror group.

The implicit meaning of the U.S. bureaucratic mantra that U.S. assistance aims to “undermine Hizballah’s narrative that its weapons are necessary to defend Lebanon” is precisely that the LAF/ISF and the Lebanese terror group are jointly competing to achieve the same goals—namely, defending Lebanon from Israel.

Read more at Tablet

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Israeli Security, Lebanon, U.S. Foreign policy