The claim that Israel’s existence is perpetually threatened is part and parcel of Israel’s foreign policy approach. Under the pretext of preemptive self-defense, Tel Aviv has extended its hegemony through merciless warfare. Following multiple military strikes against the Lebanese population and a decades-long occupation of Lebanon, Israel continues to view the Republic of Lebanon as a theater for Israeli warfare.
This was reiterated in Israeli Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s dehumanizing speech before the UN General Assembly on September 27. Netanyahu justified any possible future Israeli attacks as defense against alleged Iranian threats. Sending out a “message for the Tyrants of Tehran,” Netanyahu vowed that “Israel will do whatever it must do” to oppose Iran “whenever, and wherever.”
Claiming that Iran was spreading terror internationally, Netanyahu showed a map of Beirut supposedly identifying alleged missile factories used by Hezbollah and sponsored by Iran. Netanyahu shamelessly alleged that Hezbollah was using Beirut’s population as “human shields.” He called on others to join the United States, Israel, and various Arab countries in opposing “a regime that endangers all of us in all of the world.”
Lebanon’s foreign minister Gebran Bassil tweeted in protest: “Here is Israel, again coming up with excuses to justify assault and preparing to violate the sovereignty of states[.]”
Netanyahu’s incitement is just the latest example of Israel’s routine threatening of the Lebanese population. In March 2017, for example, Education Minister Naftali Bennett said Israel would send Lebanon back to the Middle Ages, as Haaretz reported. Israeli Transportation Minister Yisrael Katz warned in April 2018 that Lebanon would be taken to the Stone Age or “the age of cavemen,” according to Ynet.
Israeli media has also propagated discourse about an upcoming “Third Lebanon War,” taking it as given that the Zionist state would attack Lebanon in the foreseeable future. Details of an invasion of Lebanon have already been outlined by the Israeli government. In September 2017, the Israeli military held massive drills simulating a war against Lebanon.
Israel already routinely violates Lebanese sovereignty and conducts mock raids to scare civilians. Lebanon has repeatedly complained to the UN over ongoing Israeli military incursions into Lebanese airspace. For decades, the UN has asked Israel to cease these illegal activities – without success.
Given historical and present Israeli policies, Lebanon has enough reasons to protest Israel’s provocations. The Zionist state is now presenting any resistance to its actions as deriving from an Iranian-backed political ideology. Despite Israel’s attempts to discredit Hezbollah inside Lebanon, the group continues to enjoy considerable domestic support across sectarian lines.
The danger to Lebanon is even more serious now than it has been historically. Tel Aviv enjoys support not only from the United States, but also from Saudi Arabia and its Gulf Arab allies. As it continues to threaten Lebanon’s existence, the Israeli government’s warmongering may receive broader support this time around.