The Threats and Challenges Facing Israel

Iranian efforts to smuggle precision weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to deploy military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons systems in Syria and Iraq did not stop even after a massive campaign of air strikes, attributed to Israel.

We have to practice our fear faces

In the background, one cannot ignore the political context within Israel. All the key players in the coalition negotiations – President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – talk in gloomy tones about a real change in Israel’s security, hinting that citizens are not fully aware of the gravity of the situation.

Oct 27, 2019

Sooner or later, things will get messy. Iranian efforts to smuggle precision weapons to Hezbollah in Lebanon, to deploy military bases in Syria and to place advanced weapons systems in Syria and Iraq did not stop even after a massive campaign of air strikes, attributed to Israel.

Tehran has signaled on several occasions that it still has a score to settle with Israel over earlier strikes. Following the exchange of blows between the two sides in late August and early September, Iran has laid down a new equation, according to which every new Israeli attack will be met with a swift military response.

A possible conclusion is that the next round of clashes between the two sides is imminent. This could be a result of pre-emptive Israeli action against an Iranian retaliatory attack or a deliberate IDF strike against growing Iranian power in the region or the smuggling of weapons to Hezbollah.

The backdrop for all this is the growing assessment that the instability in various arenas around Israel (Syria, Lebanon, the Gaza Strip) could last for a long time and that these arenas have an affect on each other, more than was the case in the past.

High tensions in the north could deteriorate into military strife in the south. According to military intelligence, the Hamas government is striving for stability and is concerned about a war, but Islamic Jihad is a free agent with its own considerations, unconcerned about possible damage to Gaza in case of a slide into another military confrontation.

In the background, one cannot ignore the political context within Israel. All the key players in the coalition negotiations – President Reuven Rivlin, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz – talk in gloomy tones about a real change in Israel’s security, hinting that citizens are not fully aware of the gravity of the situation.

Netanyahu, in a video clip he released just before handing back to Rivlin his mandate for forming a government, tried to accuse Gantz of ignoring the danger. He claimed that his rival persisted in his refusal to seriously discuss the formation of a unity government, “even though I earlier acceded to his request to meet the army chief of staff, who presented him with the array of threats and challenges facing Israel.”

Chief of Staff Aviv Kochavi spoke in cooler tones in a meeting between top army brass and Netanyahu, saying that “decision making is done professionally, in a considered and judicious manner, based on what is good for Israel.” We’ll have to wait and see.

Trump’s fiasco

The rising tension between Israel and Iran is developing against the backdrop of a most significant regional development, the continued American withdrawal from the Middle East. Each week brings its tidings, mostly coming directly from the mouth of President Donald Trump.

In recent days the dimensions of the fiasco that ensued after his decision to remove his forces from the path of Turkish forces invading Kurdish areas in northeastern Syria have become apparent to everyone except his blind followers.

This move played into the hands of the Russians, the Turks, the Assad regime, the Islamic State and to some extent Iran. The Kurds were badly affected, and Israel certainly gained nothing.

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UN reports that Israel will destroy Lebanon

With Israel, everybody loses

LISBON (Reuters) – United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said on Monday he was worried about the possibility of a direct confrontation between Israel and Lebanon’s Hezbollah movement. “The worst nightmare would be if there is a direct confrontation between Israel and Hezbollah…the level of destruction in Lebanon would be absolutely devastating, so there are major points of concern around this situation.” *

Before this happens, let’s review the history of Israel and Hezbollah.

Hezbollah was formed in the 1980s as a resistance movement against Israel’s occupation of southern Lebanon. It is legal and legitimate resistance.

2006: Israel/Lebanon: Israeli Indiscriminate Attacks Killed Most Civilians. According to new research, the conflict resulted in at least 1,109 Lebanese deaths, the vast majority of whom were civilians, 4,399 injured, and an estimated 1 million displaced. 

A peace offer was vetoed just prior to the US / Israeli war on Lebanon.1 Since the war started, there has been much discussion concerning the use of (US) cluster bombs, bunker-busting bombs and chemical weapons – all illegal – presently being used in Lebanon. Some have also said illegal bombs are also being used in Palestine.- 2006

In order to manufacture a pretext, small teams of soldiers were sent into Lebanon on “infiltration exercises” until two soldiers were arrested by Lebanese forces. The Zionist media then spun the incident into a tale about a “cross-border raid” by lucky Hezbollah fighters. Bizarrely, there appears to be two kinds of lucky Gentiles: those who provide Zionists with an excuse to slaughter them, and those who are on the Zionist payroll.

Israel’s army chief, Dan Halutz, sold $26,000 worth of shares at noon on July 12, three hours after the alleged “cross-border raid”. The next day, the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange index plummeted by 8.3%. Halutz claimed that he did not think there would be a war when he sold the shares, implying that the timing was just a lucky coincidence.

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Israeli Cluster Bomb use in Lebanon

Israel then proceeded to carpet Lebanon with 1.2 million cluster bomblets, even though these were known to be highly inaccurate, bestowing a lethal legacy of hundreds of thousands of unexploded bomblets that would go on to kill and maim civilians, one-third of whom were children. Most of the cluster rockets were fired in the final few days of the war leading up to the ceasefire, as Israel was determined to get in just as much ethnic cleansing as it possibly could. Israel deployed phosphorous bombs, since these were known to increase mortality due to organ failure resulting from chemicals absorbed into the body after the bombs had burnt the skin away to the bone.

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doctor in Lebanon examining civilian victims of Israeli chemical attack

That is, if the victim had not already been reduced to a lump of charred meat. At first, Israel tried to claim that phosphorus was only used to “mark targets”; it was then forced to concede that it had in fact used phosphorous shells against “military targets”. Unfortunately, these “military targets” included 8-year-old boys and young Lebanese girls. Israel was also believed to have targeted Lebanon with thermobaric or vacuum bombs.

Image result for environmental disaster after 2006 lebanon war

The Israeli airstrikes into fuel tanks at the Jiyeh power station in Lebanon caused the spillage of over 15, 000 tons of oil into the Mediterranean Sea. The indiscriminate use of cluster bombs at the tail end of the conflict continues to hunt civilians within the catchment area of the attack by Israel.

Israel caused an environmental disaster by bombing Lebanon’s Jiyeh power plant, spilling 15,000 tonnes of heavy fuel oil into the Mediterranean, poisoning the water and killing marine life. As part of Israel’s long-term ethnic cleansing program, Lebanon was dumped with uranium dust. US planes were stopping at UK airports en route to Israel, carrying laser-guided bombs with depleted uranium-tipped warheads destined for the Israeli Air Force. The Zionist war criminals’ terror campaign also included firing at the very center of the crosses on Red Cross ambulances, bombing UN observers after giving assurances that UN positions would not be targeted, and killing 33 farm workers and wounding 20 others as they were picking peaches.

In October 1992, an El Al cargo Boeing 747 crashed into this apartment building in Amsterdam Bijlmermeer [edit correction]. Some one thousand people in the vicinity complained of health problems after the crash. It was later revealed by Dutch and Israeli sources that El Al Flight 1862 was transporting precursor chemical weapons substances to Israel from the United States, including dimethyl methylphosphonate, hydrofluoric acid, and isopropanol, in addition to depleted uranium.

Israel then fabricated a cock and bull story about “buildings being used to store weapons”, in an attempt to justify the murder of peaceful, unarmed agricultural workers. By the time world opinion had compelled Israel into accepting a ceasefire (which it reneged on), the conflict had killed well over 1,000 Lebanese and over 100 Israelis. Lebanese casualties were mostly civilians whereas Israel’s dead were mostly IDF forces. Israel’s Gaza initiative killed hundreds of Palestinians; the number of Palestinian dead in 2006 was about 400 higher than the 2005 toll. As for the three abducted soldiers who were the casus belli for Israel’s aggression, not one of them had been sighted by the end of 2006.

 

2006 victims of Zionist attack on S. Lebanon

The Hezbollah and the Israeli attack
on southern Lebanon

The Qana Massacre

Deliberate Israeli bombing of civilian neighborhoods in Lebanon constitutes a war crime

Press release from Workers World publishers, 17 April 1996. The United States sends $7 million each day to Israel so that it can carry out the Pentagon’s proxy wars against the oppressed people of the Middle East. Use the money for jobs at home, not Israeli aggression against Arab people.

Israel Out Of Lebanon! Stop The Bombing Now! Socialist Workers call for protests
Statement was issued by Socialist Workers Party candidates James Harris, for U.S. president, and Laura Garza, for vice president, 17 April 1996, in The Militant, 29 April 1996. The Socialist Workers campaign places the blame for the destruction and slaughter in Lebanon on those who systematically unleashed the terror, the Zionist masters of the colonial-settler state of Israel and its backers in Washington and other imperialist capitals.

Tel Aviv Launches Terror Campaign
By Brian Taylor, The Militant, 29 April 1996. Israel’s “Operation Grapes of Wrath” is the latest act of aggression (including the massacre at Qana and massive civilian dislocation) and has been the most serious escalation by Israeli forces since 1993 and the first assault on the Lebanese capital, Beirut, since 1982.
Letter to the Editor of the The New York Times,
By Ronald Bleier, [7 May 1996] Israel—backed by the U.S. veto at the Security Council— will determine when to stop its barbarous shelling of Qana and cease forcing half a million people to leave their homes. The latest Israeli-U.S. proposals, calling on Hezbollah to stop its attacks in the Israeli held “security zone” ignore widespread Arab resistance to Israel’s illegal occupation of 440 square miles of Southern Lebanon.

JCOME Press Release
By the Jewish Committee on the Middle East, 9 May 1996. The evidence is now overwhelming that Israel’s unprecedented attack on the U.N. base at Qana in southern Lebanon last month was a deliberate act as the U.N. itself has recently concluded, and that the highest officials in Israel have purposefully tried to deceive the U.N. and lied to the world about what happened at Qana and why.

Massacre in Lebanon: Israelis knew, and U.S. knew they knew
By Hillel Cohen, Workers World, 16 May 1996. An Israeli artillery barrage on April 18 killed 102 Lebanese civilians in the UN “peacekeeping” encampment at Qana. The UN confirms that the attack was a deliberate move by the Israeli army. The UN General Assembly had already condemned Israel for the 16-day offensive in Lebanon, but that received little notice in the U.S. media.

Israel’s Blitzkreig (excerpt)
By Alexander Cockburn, The Nation, 20 May 1996. Israeli onslaught on Lebanon ignored in US controlled press. The Hezbollah was represented as an Iran-backed, Syrian-manipulated terror gang. But in fact merely resisted an illegal Israeli occupation of southern Lebanon (the “security zone”). You would not know from the coverage that Hezbollah is a political party that has elected representatives in the Lebanese Parliament.

Qana massacre coverup successful
Mid-East Realities, 2 July 1996. The premeditated Qana massacre and the U.S./Israeli coverup. The political fall out for Peres. Attached is an article by Robert Fisk, The Independent, 1 June 1996 An Israeli army operation to plant booby-trap bombs inside the United Nations zone in southern Lebanon led to the Qana massacre last month in which well over 100 Lebanese civilians were killed by Israeli shells while sheltering in a UN base.

Documents subsequent to Qana

Smart missile scares Lebanon
By Robert Fisk, The Independent, 7 July 1998. Israel has introduced a new Spike guided anti-personnel rocket in occupied Lebanon. The “Spike” is believed to be made by the Israeli Raphael missile company, which has close technical and financial links with the US Lockheed company in Florida. It was previously used to assassinate political leaders.

The Landscape of Opposition

By Edward Said, [source unknown], [7 March 2001]. Israel’s defeat in south Lebanon, its hasty withdrawal, and the still turbulent situation there requires sober analysis free of the distortions of the US media. Lebanon was never really about the “defence” of Israel’s northern border, but originally to defeat the PLO and then to change Lebanon’s political structure to Israel’s advantage, and finally to pressure Syria into accepting its diktats.

Read more: The history of Israeli Aggression,from the Six-Day War in 1967