We are still knee deep in the fighting in Gaza, but the Northern Front is heating up. While Israel is responding to Hezbollah attacks, there is an obvious reluctance to escalate matters in order to actually resolve the threat. This is probably due to a combination of pressure from the US and the difficulty in stretching the IDF amongst so many fronts.
The US pressure is not a joke. Yes, we are a marvelous war theater for their weapons, but this is an election year in the US and the US administration has to appear to satisfy many constituencies. Can we play fast and loose with our supplier and shield? We are between the proverbial rock (Iraq?) and a hard place.
Whatever you may believe regarding the judiciousness of our dependence on US military supplies, in the meantime in the midst of this war we are very dependent on the US.
Moreover, Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has specified that we are under attack from Gaza, Lebanon, Syria, the West Bank (Yehuda and Shomron), Iraq, Yemen and Iran. The Hezbollah in Lebanon are a prodigious foe with over 150,000 rockets and missiles with bombing capabilities that could encompass a huge swath of Israel.
The Iron Dome may not be able to pulverize a large amount of missiles at one time and the possibly superior and cheaper laser defense is not yet ready. Perhaps the IDF is waiting for that availability before attempting to push Hezbollah back behind the Litani River in accordance with UN Resolution 1701. UN Resolution 1701 which was intended to resolve the 2006 Lebanon War, established a demilitarized zone between the Blue Line and the Litani River.
Hezbollah has not respected that demarcation and their terrorist proximity to Northern Israeli towns, kibbutzim, yishuvim and cities makes Northern evacuees justifiably fear an October 7 style ground invasion, more than the rocket attacks. In the Middle East, appearing weak makes you a sitting duck. Israel’s reactive stance vis-a-vis Hezbollah may create doubts in the enemy mind about the IDF’s ability to launch a more aggressive tack against Lebanon.
Though that doubt is most certainly false, it may be the reason for Hezbollah’s intensification of attacks. My hope is that our military strategists have actual, varied and alternative plans in place to repel a sudden Hezbollah invasion or massive escalation. We cannot afford to duplicate the ineffective defense of our Southern border with a similar catastrophe in the North. The specter of a Northern monster is looming.