OPINIONS

Tue 25 Jun 2024 7:31 pm - Jerusalem Time

Israeli writer: Netanyahu's method of running the state has become bankrupt and poses a threat to its security

By Amos Harel

Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the US Army, General Charles Brown, yesterday made an discouraging prediction about a possible war between Israel and Hezbollah. This came a few days after anonymous sources in the Biden administration spoke of providing all security assistance requested by the Israeli army, if the war with Lebanon began. Brown explained in an interview that this matter is not simple, and told reporters that an Israeli military operation against Hezbollah could lead to Iranian intervention on behalf of the Shiite party, if the Iranians felt a real danger. He added that in such a case, the United States would not be able to fully defend Israel, because the mass of short-range missiles owned by the party would pose a very big challenge.

In the interview, Brown compared the threat that Israel could face in the war against Hezbollah to confronting the attack of 330 Iranian drones and missiles on April 14 of this year. In that attack, the Americans had about a week to prepare and coordinate with Israel, and with other countries, for defensive preparations. The result was great success in intercepting the attack. But this is different from a joint attack between Iran and Hezbollah, through which the Iranians could try to send a much larger number of weapons, in addition to Hezbollah’s missile arsenal of more than 100,000 missiles and missiles. In order to confront this, widespread preparation is required, and it is not certain that the United States will receive early warning, whether the war began as a result of an Israeli attack, or an attack from Lebanon. If war breaks out suddenly, things will take time, even if the US administration has all the good intentions in the world.

The words of the US Chief of Staff join the ongoing debate between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Netanyahu regarding the issue of armaments. Netanyahu has publicly criticized the administration, twice in two days, for an intentional delay in shipping 3,500 missiles to the Air Force, along with (intentional) bureaucratic slowness in sending other shipments. The Pentagon does not know the exact procedures. He made a special effort in the first months to provide Israel with everything it requested as quickly as possible, even in light of the global shortage of weapons and explosive materials. Brown's words and Biden's actions, as well as Congress, all have to do with one idea: the United States' fear of an uncontrollable war between Israel and Hezbollah. This does not help Israel be in a comfortable opening position to fire the first shot. When the need arises, the Americans will mobilize alongside Netanyahu, but they do not guarantee a quick or complete result.

Netanyahu, who has been avoiding interviews with the Israeli media since the beginning of the war, broke his habit the day before yesterday and visited the studios of Channel 14, which supports him. His hosts expected him to launch a fiery attack that would put his opponents in their place, but they did not get that. Netanyahu did not pledge to start a war against Lebanon, but he said that an agreement would not be reached that would keep the fire there, and after the end of the fighting in Rafah, the army would deploy defensive forces in the north, and perhaps offensive forces later.

The main danger now of the outbreak of war in Lebanon is the occurrence of a scenario resulting from miscalculations, such as the killing of a large number of fighters or civilians on both sides, or one party’s fear of a sudden attack launched by the other party, leading to the start of a pre-emptive attack prematurely. This appears to be what worries Hezbollah Secretary General Hassan Nasrallah.

In the background, there is the Iranian issue. Minister and former Chief of Staff Gadi Eisenkot (from the official camp) revealed yesterday in his speech at the Herzliya conference what was being hinted at in a number of Western media outlets. Iran is not only advancing uranium enrichment within the framework of its nuclear program, but there are preliminary indications that it is reactivating a “weapon group,” such as producing a nuclear warhead for long-range missiles, and producing a real nuclear weapon. Eisenkot added, "The Iranians have reached a very advanced place. This should remind us that we must look at the broad picture, and understand that there are no miracle solutions in one place. This war will be very long."

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Israeli writer: Netanyahu's method of running the state has become bankrupt and poses a threat to its security

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