Opinion

A Preemptive Attack Is a Must

Supporters of Hezbollah react with clenched fists as they watch a speech by the movement's leader Hassan Nasrallah,on a large screen in the Lebanese capital Beirut's southern suburbs on September 2, 2019.
AFP

Contrary to the message that the IDF and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu are conveying, the last battle concluded with a victory for a Hezbollah in terms of deterrence and psychological warfare. Hezbollah fired Kornet anti-tank missiles and Israel responded in the north as it has responded for the past 14 years in the south: With a useless bombardment of open areas. The helicopters called into action were also deliberately prevented from hitting the missile launchers. The “crushing counter-blow” that Netanyahu threatened was, once again, a dummy strike. And the same goes for the childish “deception exercise.”

Israel’s acceptance of the Kornet fire has enabled Nasrallah (and his patrons) to conclude that the years’-long policy of containment in the south now applies to the north as well. In other words, the decision of when to open fire and when to hold fire will be up to Hezbollah, just as it is with Hamas. Is it any wonder that Nasrallah was quick to declare, “we have no more red lines?"

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Hezbollah knows full well that it cannot seize territory within Israel and stay there. And that it certainly cannot seize its ultimate desire: Jerusalem. Therefore, arming itself with more than 100,000 missiles has one purpose only: widespread killing and destruction. No other country in the world is under such a threat; no other country in the world has a government and army that have fallen asleep on their watch and allowed terrorist organizations in the south, and even more so in the north, to arm themselves with such an abundance of missiles.

Only now, after it let Hezbollah build up this balance of terror against us, does the IDF remember to declare that it is determined to prevent Hezbollah from arming its missiles with precise navigation systems. What about the hundreds of missiles that have already been armed this way? What about the hundred thousand “dumb” missiles that could, without precise navigation, sow unprecedented death and destruction?

Iran has no intention of dispatching its army to conquer Israel. It does have a burning desire, as it has publicly proclaimed numerous times, “to destroy the Zionist state,” i.e., to annihilate as many Jews as possible.

However, the moment it launches missiles at us, Tehran will be laid waste, and Iran’s leaders know this. And Tehran is deterred. But when its emissaries, such as Hezbollah, launch missiles, at its orders and with its funding, thousands of missiles whose purpose is to destroy Israel, it does not worry that Tehran will be wiped off the map. Or Beirut for that matter. As long as this is Israel’s policy – Iran will keep on arming Hezbollah (and Hamas and Islamic Jihad in Gaza), in advance of the day when it will give the order to realize its objective.

Those who oppose the use of force in order to prevent, by means of a preemptive strike, the fulfillment of this evil plot, are only increasing the number of future victims there will be when Tehran’s proxies land the first blow. Nasrallah, like Yahya Sinwar, is acquiring and upgrading missiles while he awaits orders from Tehran. And when the time is chosen (for these organizations are always the ones that get to choose the timing of the opening shot, as well as the timing of the end of the fighting), Israel will come under a massive missile barrage that can only partially be intercepted by its Iron Dome and Arrow missile systems. Yes, an offensive action would not be able to prevent the launching of painful reprisal attacks, but when we hold the initiative, the number of casualties and extent of the damage can be significantly reduced.

Only a credible and unequivocal proclamation by Israel that Tehran will also be destroyed even if “only” its proxies launch missiles of death and destruction at us can make the Ayatollahs’ regime rein in its emissaries. This is the challenge awaiting Israel as soon as the next government is formed.