The Iran-Israel Struggle Heats Up

(Weekly Standard) Lee Smith - Hizbullah is Iran's long arm in Lebanon. Accordingly, its recent activities on Israel's northern border, taken together with the maneuvers of other Iranian allies on the southern frontier - weapons transfers to Gaza-based militants and their rocket fire on Israel - are evidence of a new Iranian boldness. Perhaps as a consequence of the interim nuclear agreement Iran struck last November with the P5+1 powers, Tehran imagines that the White House will rein in Jerusalem. But if that's what Obama is advising, Israel isn't paying attention. Israel's aggressive defense suggests that if Iran keeps pushing, it may soon find itself in open warfare. For the last year and a half, Israel has kept Iran's allies on its borders almost totally quiet. The 2006 war that many, including Hizbullah, believed Jerusalem had lost served instead to reestablish the credibility of Israeli deterrence. To the south, Israel's November 2012 Pillar of Defense campaign in Gaza left Hamas reeling. Israel has repeatedly targeted weapons convoys moving strategic, or game-changing, arms from Syria to Lebanon, typically striking at their point of origin rather than their destination. Iran is a strategic threat to Israel, not merely because of its nuclear weapons program, but also because of its support for the axis of resistance on Israel's borders, a message underscored when Palestinian Islamic Jihad rained dozens of missiles on Israeli towns.

2014-04-01 00:00:00

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