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Lebanese bombshell! Prime Minister Saad Hariri has resigned charging Iran is using its proxy Hezbollah to take over Lebanon.

Recently resigned Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (Photo By Kremlin.ru, CC BY 4.0)

Speaking in Saudi Arabia, Hariri also said he feared for his life. And with good reason – in 2005 Hezbollah terrorists apparently assassinated his father Rafik Hariri, who then served as Prime Minister. Four Hezbollah suspects are being tried in absentia by the International Court in the Hague. The Hariri family is Sunni Muslim while Iran and Hezbollah are Shiite. But not only Lebanon is being threatened by Tehran. In Hariri's words:

       'Iran is sowing fear and destruction in several Middle East countries'.

He was apparently referring also to Syria, Iraq, Yemen and Saudi Arabia. It is safe to say that Iran, after sending its forces to help Syrian President Basher Assad win the Syrian civil war, is now plotting a take-over of neighboring Lebanon. Iran has already built up a huge arsenal of over 100,000 rockets and missiles under more than 100 villages in southern Lebanon which is ruled by Hezbollah. To all intents and purposes, southern Lebanon has now become an enclave of Iranian power threatening the Jewish state. It is a ticking time bomb ready to be detonated at Tehran's command.

It can also be said that the mounting threat to Lebanon is an offshoot of Obama's nuclear accord with Iran two years ago.

It can also be said that the mounting threat to Lebanon is an offshoot of Obama's nuclear accord with Iran two years ago. The deal not only relieved military pressure but also lifted the economic sanctions that have allowed hundreds of billions of dollars to flow into Iran. This is enabling the Ayatollahs to expand their power not only in Syria and Iraq but also to Yemen and Saudi Arabia. At the time, Israel and the Sunni Arab states such as Egypt and Saudi Arabia warned the nuclear deal would trigger a greater Iranian push in the region, but to no avail.

Within hours of Hariri's speech in Riyadh, the Houthis, Iran's proxy in neighboring Yemen, launched a rocket at Saudi Arabia. This was undoubtedly an angry Iranian response.

Meanwhile, two other hot spots have flared up. One of the most perplexing is along the Syrian-Israeli border on the Golan Heights. There are Druze residents living in towns and villages on both sides of this frontier located below Mount Hermon. The Druze are an ancient people, very closely knit, who have their own secret religion and live not only in Israel and Syria but also in Lebanon and Iraq. They have a tradition of being very loyal to the states where they live and even serve in their armed forces. (For example, years ago when I did basic training in the IDF my commanding officer was a Druze captain).

Now Israel's policy in the Syrian civil war has been to stay out with two exceptions - if even deliberate or errant shells or rockets land inside Israeli territory, the IDF fires back immediately at the source of fire. Israeli jets, usually flying over Lebanon also destroy Iranian weapons convoys driving through Syria and destined for Hezbollah in southern Lebanon.

Druze village of Hader in Syria, viewed from the Golan Heights in Israel (photo by עופר 249 CC BY-SA 3.0)

In addition, after rebel forces in Syria threatened Druze villages on the Golan who support Assad, Israel stepped in and warned the rebels to lay off the Druze or face retaliation from the IDF. At the time Druze citizens across the Israeli border warned that if the rebels continued attacking their relatives in Syria they would break through the security fence and go to the aid of their kinsmen.

Now out of the blue, al Nusra has detonated a huge car-bomb in the Druze town of Hadar, inside Syria near the border, killing nine Druze and wounding many more. The Israeli Druze were enraged and threatened to break through the IDF's security fence and go to the aid of their relatives in Syria just a couple of miles away. The IDF barred the Druze on the Israeli side of the border from doing so while apparently reassuring them it is determined to defend their kinsmen across the border in Syria.

'Eyeless in Gaza'…

Hamas Tunnel uncovered by the IDF (photo credit: IDF)

Palestinian terrorists have tried sending suicide bombers by land into Israel. But Israel built a security fence to keep them out so Hamas launched Qassam rockets over the fence into Israel. The Jewish state responded by building a unique Iron Dome defense system of rockets to shoot them down. So the Gazans have been building tunnels under the security fence into Israel for terrorists to infiltrate and then kill and kidnap Israeli civilians. Guess what – yes, the IDF has designed another one-of-its-kind detection system to locate the tunnels that are deep underground.

Israeli jets were then sent to rocket the tunnel that had already penetrated Israeli territory. A number of terrorists were killed outright and later more died from cave-ins when they entered the tunnel to look for the missing. Altogether some members of Islamic Jihad were killed including some top commanders.

Now get this - there is something weird about the Palestinian mentality. The Palestinians now charge the IDF violated international law by bombing the attack tunnel (before they used it to attack people inside Israel!). It gets better: Hamas and Islamic Jihad also demand that Israel allow them to enter the tunnel to dig out their people although the Palestinians are still holding the bodies of two IDF soldiers they kidnapped and killed by attacking through another tunnel when they broke a cease-fire during the summer war of 2014. Israel insists that in return for Islamic Jihad retrieving the bodies of the dead terrorists it must also return the bodies of the two dead Israelis. Sound reasonable? Yes, but not to the Palestinians. They demand that Israel must not only return the bodies of dead terrorists but also terrorists who are now doing time in Israeli prisons. Naturally, the Israeli government has refused. So far there is a stalemate, and the IDF is on high alert for a retaliatory attack by Islamic Jihad.

Remembering Rabin...

Yitzhak Rabin and King Hussein signing the Israel-Jordan Peace Treaty (1994)

Nov. 4th – the anniversary of the assassination of Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin 22 years ago by a Right-wing fanatic Israeli. For most Israelis, Rabin was the best and the brightest – a great war hero responsible for the lightning victory in the Six Day war of 1967 when Israel's fate hung in the balance. The warrior then tried with all his might to lead Israel to make peace. First a peace treaty with Jordan's King Hussein. Then Rabin turned to the Palestinians. But the Right-wing accused Rabin of going too far, too fast and endangering Israel's survival at a time that Yasser Arafat had mounted a deadly campaign of suicide bombers who murdered and maimed hundreds of Israeli civilians. The incitement against Rabin reached fever-pitch at a big demonstration in downtown Jerusalem, Right-wingers even carried an effigy of Rabin decked out in an SS uniform. At several public appearances, angry Right-wingers threatened to physically assault the Prime Minister. Meanwhile, Likud leaders Arik Sharon and Bibi Netanyahu did not go out of their way to cool off the incitement, sufficing to say Rabin was not a traitor but simply wrong and giving up too much. The rest is history.

At a memorial ceremony on Mount Herzl, Rabin's son Yuval warned that Right-wing incitement today against the Left now resembled the situation before his father's assassination.

At a memorial ceremony on Mount Herzl, Rabin's son Yuval warned that Right-wing incitement today against the Left now resembled the situation before his father's assassination. And he also chastised Prime Minister Netanyahu for not doing enough to halt the verbal attacks by Right-wingers on the Israeli police (who are investigating the PM on several counts of fraud) and the Supreme Court that has ruled against several cabinet decisions.

Later at a memorial in the Knesset, Netanyahu said he accepted Yuval Rabin's appeal for national reconciliation, but not before charging that many Left-wingers who enjoyed a good standard of living did nothing but complain about how things were so bad – he called them 'sourpusses'.

Bibi does have a point – many of us are 'sourpusses'. But how could it be otherwise when a fanatic from the Right-wing shot dead a beloved leader with three bullets in the back! And then there is this question: how would the Right-wing have reacted if a Left winger had assassinated former Prime Minister Menachem Begin?


David Essing

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