A single miscalculation could plunge Israel and Hezbollah into an all-out war, with many civilian casualties. While the United States has pledged to support Israel, it insists it cannot guarantee an ideal outcome from Jerusalem’s point of view.

General Charles Q. Brown, chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, on Monday made a bleak prediction about the risk of war between Israel and Hezbollah. Several days after anonymous sources in the Biden administration promised all necessary military aid to the Israel Defense Forces in the event of a full-scale war, Brown made clear that the issue was not that simple. He told the media that an Israeli operation against Hezbollah would likely lead to Iran’s involvement in defending the Shiite organization if it perceived a real threat. In such a situation, Brown added, the United States would not be able to provide a complete defense to Israel. This would also be true in the case of a massive short-range missile bombardment by Hezbollah.

Brown compared the threat to Israel in a war with Hezbollah to the interception of the Iranian missile and drone attack on April 14. In this case, the Americans had almost a week to prepare and coordinate defense with Israel and allied Arab countries. The result was a resounding success in intercepting the attack. But this is completely different from a joint attack by Iran and Hezbollah, in which the Iranians might attempt to launch many more projectiles, not to mention Hezbollah’s arsenal of more than 100,000 missiles and rockets. This will require much more preparation, and it is not certain that the US will receive sufficient advance notice, whether the war is started by an Israeli attack or by the Lebanese side. If war starts unexpectedly, things will take time, even if the administration has all the best intentions in the world.

Soldiers from the Golani infantry brigade training late last month for a possible escalation of the fight against Hezbollah. Credit: IDF

The chief of staff’s comments come amid disagreements between US President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over the issue of arms deliveries. Netanyahu has publicly criticized the US twice in recent days for intentionally delaying the shipment of 3,500 precision bombs to the Israeli Air Force and for (apparently intentional) bureaucratic delays in sending other weapons.

The truth is that the Pentagon is not known for having a particularly lighthearted attitude toward procedures. In the early months of the war in Gaza, he made a special effort to provide Israel with everything it needed as quickly as possible, even with a global shortage of weapons and explosives. That doesn’t happen anymore. Brown’s statements, as well as the actions of Biden and the Pentagon, are linked to US fears of an uncontrollable war between Israel and Hezbollah. They do not want to put Israel in a position where it might be tempted to fire first. If necessary, Americans will defend Israel, but they will not guarantee a quick or perfect outcome.

Netanyahu, who has refrained from giving interviews to Israeli media since the start of the Gaza war, made an exception on Sunday night to appear in the friendly studios of Channel 14. If his hosts were expecting a fiery performance that would put our enemies in their place, that was not what they got. The prime minister did not commit to starting a war in Lebanon, but he did say that if an agreement was not reached to stop Hezbollah’s attacks, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) would move more forces north after the fighting in Rafah ended — “defensive and perhaps later offensive.”

The main risk now with Lebanon is a miscalculation scenario – mass deaths of soldiers or civilians by one side or the other, or the fear of a surprise attack leading to a pre-emptive operation. This seems to be what worries Hassan Nasrallah, secretary general of Hezbollah. Ibrahim al-Amin, editor of the Lebanese newspaper Al-Akhbar and a journalist very close to the leader, wrote on Monday that, in the event of war, Hezbollah would feel no restrictions in its attacks on Israel and that his organization is preparing many surprises to Israel.

Hezbollah leader Nasrallah and Iran’s acting Foreign Minister Ali Bagheri Kani in Beirut on Monday. Credit: AP

In the background, the Iranian issue looms. Gadi Eisenkot of the National Unity Party, former minister and chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF), revealed in a speech on Monday at the Herzliya Conference what had been vaguely suggested recently in various media of Western communication. Not only is Iran advancing uranium enrichment as part of its nuclear program, but the first evidence has emerged that the country has reactivated its “weapons pool” to produce nuclear warheads for long-range missiles, i.e. weapons manufacturing. real. The Iranians, Eisenkot added, “have reached a very advanced stage. It reminds us to look at the big picture and understand that there are no one-size-fits-all miracle solutions. It will be a very long war.”

Version battles

In the Channel 14 interview, Netanyahu provided another headline: He is prepared to discuss a hostage deal with Hamas, but the negotiations should focus on the first phase of returning the “humanitarian” group (women, the elderly and the sick). Immediately after a deal is concluded, he intends to return to fighting.

The prime minister has already engaged in this type of exercise several times since January: whenever there was a chance of reaching an agreement, statements or information from the Israeli side were issued, which caused Hamas to harden its positions, making any possibility impossible. agreement, which would almost certainly lead to the departure of Netanyahu’s far-right coalition partners from the government.

Netanyahu, on Channel 14, on Sunday. Credit: Screenshot/ Chanel 14

This time, Netanyahu has taken his usual practice to new extremes. The main demand of Yahya Sinwar, the Hamas leader in the Gaza Strip, has been a complete cessation of the war, with international guarantees that Israel will not renew the fighting or seek to undermine him and his fellow Hamas leaders. Netanyahu has so far refused to make such a commitment, but a public and explicit statement about nothing more than a partial agreement signals to Sinwar that there is nothing to discuss. It also runs counter to the Israeli-American proposal that Biden laid out in his May 31 speech to end the war.

It is important to remember that Hamas responded to the plan with dozens of reservations. Since then, the Americans, with the help of Qatar, have been trying to remove these reservations from the agenda one by one. This will be more difficult now – and the prime minister’s comments, naturally, only increased the Biden administration’s irritation with him.

Will submarines sink the Prime Minister?
The state commission of inquiry into the submarine affair highlighted on Monday what, in the pre-war era, would have been treated as the mother of all news – the issuing of warning letters to senior officials, including Netanyahu, former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon and former National Security Council Chairman Yossi Cohen. The commission concluded that Netanyahu had endangered national security and harmed Israel’s foreign relations and economic interests. Such things may one day be written about the prime minister as well after the formation of a commission to investigate the October 7 disaster. The state commission of inquiry into the 2021 Mount Meron disaster has already reached largely similar conclusions.

It is difficult to assess the political damage to Netanyahu from the submarine affair, which has haunted him for nearly eight years. After all, he brushed off responsibility for the Mount Meron disaster, in which 45 Israelis were killed, like a speck of dust. And after the October 7 massacre in Gaza’s border communities, many believed that Netanyahu’s political career was over. It has been eight and a half months since then, and he is slowly creeping closer to the opposition in the polls.

Still, the warning letters come amid continued public frustration over the war entanglement, the withdrawal of the National Unity Party from government, anger over the law exempting the ultra-Orthodox from military service and internal tensions within the coalition. It appears that the prime minister’s ability to survive until the end of the Knesset’s summer session and beyond is facing a severe test.

Credit: Amos Biderman

It is worth noting the common denominator revealed in all three cases – the submarines, Mount Meron and the unfolding of events that led to the massacre. Above all, they show Netanyahu’s failures to manage issues critical to national security and the lives of citizens. The prime minister operates his teams on parallel axes. They are often messengers without defined authority. They all work hard, but without a clear division of tasks or fixed hierarchy. Typically, the last person to speak to him is the decisive voice.

Many deliberations are conducted without any official documentation, perhaps for fear of leaving a trail of incriminating evidence for future investigative committees. Far from addressing the specific allegations in the submarine case, Netanyahu on Monday called the appointment of the commission a political vendetta by the Bennett-Lapid government. The warning letters sent Monday add to the mountain of poignant and disturbing evidence accumulated over the past 15 years: Netanyahu’s method of governing the country has failed and is now actually putting his security at risk.

Via Haaretz

Source: https://www.ocafezinho.com/2024/06/25/netanyahu-falhou-e-agora-esta-colocando-em-risco-a-seguranca-de-israel/

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