The paradigm of the Gaza conflict with recurring Israeli wars to once more restore deterrence does not apply to Lebanon. There is no such thing as deterring Hezbollah which is part of the IRGC command and control structure as acting upon direct instructions from the Supreme leader of the Islamic Republic of Iran, Ali Khamenei. Hamas constantly harasses Israel with cross-border attacks prompting Israel to regularly move to restore its deterrence to limit the extent of the Jihadist harassment. Hezbollah in contrast is the defensive shield of Iran’s nuclear weapons program and although Hezbollah’s missile build-up is intended to eventually destroy Israel, is it at this point defensive, i.e. to shield Iran’s nuclear weapons program from an Israeli strategic degradation from the air and to thus deter Israel from partially destroying Iran’s nuclear weapons program.
This means that a repeat of the 2006 Lebanon war would be particularly pointless as would implementing similar strategies as in Gaza such as targeting Hezbollah missiles from the air. To try to destroy 150 000 Hezbollah missiles, most of them spread out in hundreds of kilometers of tunnels, would be an exercise in extreme futility. Israel would be particularly well-advised to leave behind what may still be its state of strategic lethargy. It may or may not be that official Israeli doctrine is still stuck in a conceptzia ultimately leading to Israeli defeat and Iranian hegemony throughout the Levant with increasing Hezbollah capacity to deter Israel through its growing conventional capability to cause very serious harm to civilian Tel Aviv and ultimately destroy Israel. This threat must be eradicated.
There is no Gaza-style strategic option for Lebanon. There is no option of eradicating the missile threat and dismantling the tunnel system without occupation of the entire Lebanon for several months. This would however be pointless and would furthermore have to be repeated in the next war unless Lebanon-Syria is liberated through a joint IDF-SDF operation and new borders subsequently drawn between Beirut, Jerusalem and Damascus in shrinking Lebanon to a Christian Aramean state, Israel annexing Median Jewish (Alawite and Druze) regions of Lebanon and Syria and a new AANES-led Syria annexing remaining parts of Lebanon. The only other option is strategic lethargy leading eventually to Iranian hegemony and Israeli defeat.
The message has spread by word of mouth among the Druze and the Alawites of the Levant that they are secret Jews and they have over the years quietly developed Jewish communal identity. Is Israel ready for the significant loss in soldiers’ lives that this war will entail? To commence such a defensive war to prevail and establish peace is a difficult decision, at least as difficult as in 1948 and 1967. This is a sacred Zionist mission to liberate 4 million Median Jews from under the boot of the domination of the Khomeinist empire, the majority of whom live in totalitarian Syria, an Iranian vassal.
The proximity of the Alawites and the Druze to Israel and the Mediterranean sea means that Aliyah is not the answer but rather that annexation is. Fortunately Israel has a Syrian partner in the AANES (Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria) and there is no lack of Maronite partners in Lebanon. Israel is obliged to preemptively defend itself against Iran’s genocidal nuclear ambitions and is equally obliged to defend itself against the Hezbollah missile barrage against Tel Aviv and other Israeli cities. However, this is also a strategic opportunity; an opportunity for survival, an opportunity for victory, an opportunity for liberation and an opportunity for establishing lasting peace.