The most amazing thing about the current war against Hamas is the silence of Hizballah. They aren't firing rockets this time. As they did in support of Gaza (or vice versa) in 2006.
Leading Lebanese political commentators believe Hezbollah will not open a military front with Israel on its shared border, even with a Gaza ground invasion. The commentators say that Hezbollah is not interested in a destructive round of violence months before the Lebanese elections.They certainly have rockets and they would certainly be a help to their brothers in Hamas by dividing Israel's efforts. And most importantly they are both backed by Iran. What is different?
Hezbollah expert Amal Saad-Ghorayeb told AFP over the weekend that she believes Hezbollah is trying not to upset the opposition in Lebanon. "On the domestic level, Hezbollah does not want to antagonize its domestic foes. They don't want to ruin the dialogue that allows them to keep the issue of their weapons indefinitely unsolved; it is a way of postponing the issue," she said.
"Hezbollah is not in a position that allows it to carry the burden of a second war," Paul Salem of the Carnegie Middle East Center told the agency.
It is not just the political situation in Lebanon. While Israel has recovered from the 2006 war Hizballah has not. Which kind of gives you a very good indication of who won that war. A total defeat for Hizballah? Of course not. But enough of a defeat so that they have no interest in fighting.
So you have to ask - what is Iran's purpose in starting a proxy war with Israel now? My guess is that it is two fold. With oil prices in the tank it may be their last chance for a while and it may help prop up oil prices - for a while. The difficulty is that after shooting their wad they will not have the resources to rebuild Gaza. So in essence the current dust up is an admission of defeat by Iran.
The object of all warfare is to put your enemy in a position where there are no good choices. Israel seems to have done a good job in that respect. Perhaps the Arabs are starting to wise up. They could have a really good life if they worked with Israel instead of against it. Something that was well known among the Philistine leadership before the start of the Stupidfada in 2000/2001. So why did they choose war then? Political power pure and simple. War gives a government or a gang more political power than peace. However, you have to win the war to maintain that power. A draw or a loss will not maintain population cohesion or popular support.
Cross Posted at Classical Values