Iran’s proxy war against Israel

The ample media coverage on Israel rarely addresses the fact that Iran has long supported the jihadist war against the Jewish state.  Yossi Klein Halevi spelled this out very clearly in an article in March 2008, where he argued that even in Israel, there was too little awareness and acknowledgment of Iran’s central role in the constant attacks on Israel:

“The jihadist war against Israel has shifted from one front to another–suicide bombings inside Israeli cities until 2004, Katyushas on Haifa in the north in 2006, and now Katyushas on Ashkelon in the south. All are battles in the same war. So far, it is a war without an all-encompassing name, and that linguistic failure reflects a larger Israeli failure to treat this as a unified conflict.”

But recently — and perhaps not coincidentally — both Hezbollah and Hamas have acknowledged the support they receive from Iran.

Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah emphasized in a recent speech that his group has received “all possible forms of moral, political, and material support from the Islamic Republic of Iran since 1982. In the past, although we didn’t lie about this, we only told half of the truth. We said we have moral support and political support, but when we were asked about material, financial, or military support, we kept silent.”

Similarly, Gaza’s Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh stated during his recent visit in Iran that “the Palestinians are under occupation and the Islamic Republic of Iran has faithfully heeded their appeal for help.”

Interestingly, both Haniyeh and Nasrallah claimed that Iran’s support came without any strings attached – all too obviously an attempt to counter criticism that they were puppets of their sponsor. But the fact of the matter is that Iran has helped Hezbollah to build a militant mini-state within fragile Lebanon, and while Palestine is not yet a state, Iran has already helped Hamas to develop Gaza as a military base.

Both Iranian proxies have already demonstrated that for them, Israeli territorial withdrawals are simply a reason to boast about victory – and hold out for their ultimate victory, which they define in exactly the same terms as their Iranian sponsors.

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