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Former Israeli Liaison: Don't Slow Israel's Deterrence, Hezbollah's Real Focus is 'Great American Satan'

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JERUSALEM, Israel – Israel's Defense Minister Yoav Gallant is in Washington for talks with officials about Israel's ongoing war in Gaza, and the prospect of opening a second full-on war with Hezbollah in the north.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu expressed his appreciation for America's support for Israel on Sunday, but he explained his charge that the Biden administration is holding up weapons Israel desperately needs.

Netanyahu stated,  "About four months ago, there was a dramatic drop in the supply of armaments arriving from the US to Israel. For weeks we asked our American friends to speed up the shipments. We did it time and time again. We did this in the upper ranks, and in all ranks – and I want to emphasize – we did it behind closed doors. All kinds of explanations, but we didn't get one thing: the basic situation didn't change." 

The White House continues to deny it is slow-walking the weapons shipments, but after October 7th, the administration knocked all bureaucratic barriers out of the way to fast-track weapons to Israel. That, Jerusalem claims, is no longer happening.

Before Gallant left for Washington, he announced that Israel is prepared for action, if necessary, in Gaza, Lebanon, and elsewhere.

"The United States is our most important and our most central ally and our ties are crucial and perhaps more important than ever, at this time,' Gallant stated.

The Israeli Embassy in Washington's former liaison to Congress, Yoram Ettinger, told CBN News what Israel lost on October 7th and following was its most important asset: deterrence. The only way to retrieve it, he believes, is war – not diplomatic agreements, as the U.S. has urged for years.

Ettinger said, "We have had a litany of agreements concluded between Israel and Hamas and Hezbollah. And now we know very well that each agreement concluded with Hezbollah and with Hamas have been only means to enhance their destructive capabilities."

Ettinger points out that Israel's position with Gaza and Lebanon isn't the U.S.-Canadian border or Western Europe.

Calling the Middle East a "volcanic" neighborhood, he explained there have been inter-Muslim wars in the region for 1,400 years and little or no tolerance for so-called Christian and Jewish "infidels."

"In such a region," he noted, "one must have a posture of deterrence to deter terrorism, to deter war. This is a region where any concession, gestures, (or) retreats are interpreted as weakness. We're not talking about a region which appreciates gestures."

Ettinger added that Hezbollah isn't just the enemy of Israel but of the U.S. as well. The Iranian-backed group has close ties with Latin American terror organizations and drug cartels and is helping train them for terrorism.

"They are focusing on the U.S. primarily, much more so than on Israel," he noted. "Their aim, as they stated, is to bring the great American Satan to submission. At this time, to see the State Department pressuring Israel to switch from the military option on Hamas to the diplomatic option, and leaning on Israel to refrain from preempting an expected Hezbollah war, undermines not only any Israeli interest, it undermines homeland security in the U.S. itself."

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The Associated Press reports that Iranian-supported terrorist fighters in countries such as Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan say they're ready to go to Lebanon and fight alongside Hezbollah if a full war breaks out. 

Videos appeared on social media recently which presumably showed recruits heading to Lebanon.

Iran has even hinted that Tehran may involve its military.

In Lebanon, whistleblowers at the Beirut airport tell a British paper that Hezbollah is storing massive amounts of weapons from Iran at the airport. 

A top Lebanese transportation official denies those claims and invited reporters to tour the airport Monday to look for any such weapons

If the charges turn out to be true, it could make the airport a legitimate military target for Israel.

Other countries are taking a possible war in Lebanon seriously. Kuwait told its citizens to leave Lebanon and Canada is already planning the evacuation of 45,000 citizens from the country.

On Israel's Channel 14, Prime Minister Netanyahu said of the fighting in Gaza, "The intensive phase of the war is about to end."   

Israel Defense Forces will continue efforts to snuff out Hamas' military, but the prime minister announced many of the IDF troops now in Gaza will be moved to northern Israel. That would put them in quick striking distance of Hezbollah if a ground war breaks out with that terrorist army.

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About The Author

Julie Stahl

Julie Stahl is a correspondent for CBN News in the Middle East. A Hebrew speaker, she has been covering news in Israel fulltime for more than 20 years. Julie’s life as a journalist has been intertwined with CBN – first as a graduate student in Journalism; then as a journalist with Middle East Television (METV) when it was owned by CBN from 1989-91; and now with the Middle East Bureau of CBN News in Jerusalem since 2009. As a correspondent for CBN News, Julie has covered Israel’s wars with Gaza, rocket attacks on Israeli communities, stories on the Jewish communities in Judea and Samaria and