Lebanon has effectively been replaced by Hezbollahstan within the same borders since Hezbollah is in control of nearly all aspects of the state. The only thing that remains in Hezbollah seizing full control over the state is declaring the country an Islamic republic with Khomeinist sharia as its law, i.e. a Twelver Shia Islamist state on the model of Iran.
While Israel’s upcoming war with Hezbollah and its Syrian and Lebanese state patrons is not imminent but should only be expected at the earliest in the summer of 2023 subsequent to the Turkish parliamentary and presidential elections after Israel destroys the Iranian nuclear weapons program should Israel already now communicate to its international interlocutors the reality that Lebanon has been replaced by Hezbollahstan and that the Beirut regime therefore must bear full responsibility for any aggression by Hezbollah against the Jewish state.
While no doubt much of the international media will claim that Lebanon is an innocent victim of Israeli aggression, it is essential that Israel emphasizes already now to the international community that Hezbollah is in charge in Lebanon and as it controls most aspects of the Lebanese state, is Hezbollah responsible for any Israeli action in Lebanon subsequent to Hezbollah’s aggression against Israel.
Israeli diplomats should emphasize to their international interlocutors that Lebanon is no more and that Lebanon has for nearly all practical purposes been supplanted by Hezbollahstan. This is unlikely to be easily accepted by most of Israel’s international interlocutors but this is the bitter reality which both Israeli and Lebanese citizens face. Therefore Israel needs to make the case to its diplomatic interlocutors of Lebanon having been supplanted by Hezbollah already now and not wait until the outbreak of war in the northern theater.
It is not enough to merely point out that the Lebanese Republic is responsible for the actions of Hezbollah on its territory as Israel did during the war of 2006 since Hezbollah has for nearly all practical purposes seized control of the Lebanese Republic and replaced it with a new still unrecognized state, Hezbollahstan. Israel must explain the reality that Hezbollah controls Lebanon and call that country by its appropriate new name, i.e. Hezbollahstan.