Israel should threaten Lebanon, not Hezbollah
Giora Eiland
Published: 30.01.15, 14:43
Comment Comment
Print comment Print comment
Back to article
11 Talkbacks for this article
1. to the author
ahmed ,   london   (01.30.15)
...you speak as if the last war in 2006 was not a war which Israel unleashed on all of Lebanon - as if it was only restricted to Hezbollah. When you destroyed all those bridges, factories, bombed the airport and its fuel containers, Lebanese army barracks, signalling towers and residential areas - you think those attacks did not have an anti-Lebanon direction? of the 1200 people killed in Lebanon, the vast majority were innocent Lebanese civilian citizens and not Hezbollah soldiers. The matter of the fact is that your war on LEBANON in 2006 failed miserably and only served to ratchet up the support for Hezbollah. If you do it again, expect two things: 1) Hezbollah will once again be on the receiving end of Arab admiration, having lost much of it in Syria. 2) Hezbollah will stop attacking just the IDF and will bring war to ISRAEL as it brings war on LEBANON - i.e. next time the death toll on the Israeli side will be similar to that inflicted by Israel on Lebanon in 2006, meaning the majority will be civilians and the minority will be soldiers.
2. Gen.Giora Eiland
Hadi Eid Ph.D ,   Lebanon   (01.30.15)
I enjoyed your article. I agree with you that fighting Hizbullah is like fighting a ghost enemy. It is likened to your Gaza incursion: many civilians dead but no "enemy" casualties... It chagrins me though, that a strategist as yourself foregoes one sordid truth: Hizbullah is a bridgehead to the Iranian exported revolution using Damascus' Assad as its foothold in the Arab Middle East. Assad is the Iranian bridge and the "raison d'etre" for Hizbullah. Removing him is your way to push Iran out and reducing Hizbullah to a mere political party in Lebanon. Militarily, this is a 3-day IDF incursion. But politically it is not feasible:his father gave you the Golan heights and the son is still honoring this move!
3. Threaten Lebanon
Walid ,   Spain   (01.31.15)
Major -General Eiland´s argument of striking Lebnon in the event of a war with Hezbollah is wrong. It is a strategy of fear and not strength. The same startegy was practiced in Gaza against the civilian population and what was accomplished besides destruction and killing of innocient people? Hamas is still there and stornger. You will only make Hezbollah stornger by striking Lebanon. Most Lebanese do not support Hezbollah and want to get rid of it but if you destroy Lebanon then all Lebanese will become your enemy. If you are strong, you do not beat up weak poeple. The only solution to this 65 years´ conflict is to strive and achieve peace.
4. Ahmed, You are right
arne ,   chicago usa   (01.30.15)
but, the next war will mark the end of Hezbollah--It will take a terrible toll on Israel, but Israel will survive--the Jews have to fight or die and if need be they will use everything in their arsenal .Let's hope it won't come to that, but understand--Israel is a very formidable foe and I'm sure they have made provisions for G-d forbid just such an event.
5. simply not feasible. if Israel cannot overcome Hizbollah,
Rafi ,   US   (01.31.15)
how can weak & divided Lebanon? Such a strategy proposed by Gen. Eiland would only cause immense & needless suffering. Lebanese people are not the enemies of Israel. What would be more useful is for Israel to focus like a laser on how to directly and rapidly destroy Hizbollah and its assets in Lebanon. Iran is no longer in a position to massively re-supply Hizbollah via Damascus as it did in 2006... That said, it is unpredictable what Iran itself might do if Hizbollah was in mortal jeopardy...
6. Rafi #5 really?
Gee ,   Zikron Yaakov   (01.31.15)
Lebanon is at war with Israel and are they not responsible for any attacks from their land? If not then it is not their land and we must insure that it is not used to attack us. Lebanon is the enemy as much as any Arab country is the enemy. They started the war - we need to end it regardless of the cost to the enemy
7. #1
Steve Benassi ,   Silver Bay, MN USA   (01.30.15)
8. #1 Ahmed
Howard Immanuelson ,   US   (02.01.15)
You're missing much of the point. Yes, innocent civilians were hurt or killed in the 2006 war and infrastructure was destroyed. But what is being proposed here is dramatically *more* infrastructure destruction; enough to act as a sobering deterrent because all of Lebanon will be wrecked as a result.
9. Israel should threaten Assad
Avi L.   (02.01.15)
Lebanon has no say at all over Hezballah behaviour. Lebanon is held hostage by Hezballah since the shia militia took all the infrastructures it wanted during it's coup of 2008, airport, telecommunications, borders, killing whoever opposed it, burning newspaper offices and so on. In Lebanon Hezballah can always blackmail anyone with the "resistance against the Jews" doubletalk. The weakest link in the Hezballah-Assad-Iran is Assad. Threatening to weaken Assad to the point where Sunnis get the upper hand in Syria, will push the rest of Lebanonese tribes to want to see Hezballah hand in a showdown that could be rather dangerous for the survival of whole shia tribe, there's too much old bad blood between Shias and other tribes. Against Hezballah, nowaday, Lebanon as a whole is worth a couple of three, so let's not count on it to deter Hezballah.
10. Lebanon war 2006
Avi L.   (02.01.15)
That war was conducted in a dismal way by a pilot who lost his job soon afterwards and that prompted top IDF never to name a pilot to the top position ever again. Its been the worst campaign since ... Gen. Eiland is in a better position to say it, first day of Yom Kippur maybe? It was conducted in an amateurish way that costed too many soldier's and civilian's lives for nothing if not squandering IDF's reputation. While Lebanon was smashed, Hezaballah came out as a winner in front of the anti-israeli audience. Kol hakavod! So 2006 doesn't sound as a good starting point and totally lacks of strategic leverage.
11. Destroying Lebanon is wrong and irrelevant
Avi L.   (02.02.15)
Destroying Lebanon is wrong and irrelevant. It is wrong because it is a kind of retaliation, a fit of anger at not being able to smash Hezballah, it will cause numerous civilian death and increase hate towards us. It is wrong because it will play into the anti Israel party who will be more than happy to blame us for destroying a country and killing people. Anybody rememebrs the "green helmet" photo op of 2006? It is wrong because Saudi Arabia, France, USA, nobody excepted Iran can force Hezballah to change its way. And after the last masterpiece in international relationship of our dear leader, Obama administration won't look so kindly on letting us destroy Lebanon, this according to recent media reports. It is irrilevant because it will not stop Hezballa cold on its track. The only relevant factor, even before Iran's wishes and wills is the survival of the shia tribe. The are isolated, surrounded by Sunnis, plain traditional clannish ones and "less moderates" ones (ISIS, al Nusra etc). The point of balance, now as before talking about Lebanon, is Syria. Assad's regime has been what gave Hezballah its power over the rest of Lebanon. In the end Nazrallah's organisation has always be a proxy, Iran's or Syria's. Taking out what remains of Assad's regime and the Sunnis (less moderate or more extremists) will have the upper hand in Syria and will want to do the same in Lebanon too. This is relevant, the threat of a sunni day of reconning over the Shias. Not even Khamenei's order is important as the lebanese shias survival and well being. Hezballah is there because it protects and provides to it's "constituency". Nasrallah cannot get involved in a tribal war, without Syria's backing, against the Sunnis, Druzes, Christians , not even mentioning the likes of ISIS al Nusra etc. This could be an alternative path with no direct israeli involvement in Lebanon, no blood on our hands, no one to blame us, no interference and dependence from other countries, little money spent, no israeli soldiers or civilians dead. Why not be levantine a bit, do some creative thinking, drop the approach of "if it doesn't work let's use more force next time". So what? It's since Kerbala their are at each other throats.
Back to article