Israel Warns: Hezbollah Makes Lebanon a Human Shield

Why, though, is Israel sending out these warnings now? Hezbollah is deeply entangled in the fighting in Syria and has lost 600 men by Israeli estimates. Hezbollah’s ally there, the Assad regime, has lately been faring badly against the Sunni forces and some analysts think it’s in serious trouble.

Seemingly then, at such a stage, the last thing Hezbollah -- and Syria and Iran -- would need is to open another front against powerful Israel.

Part of the answer lies in the Agence France-Presse report on the Defense Ministry briefing in Tel Aviv, where an official told the gathering that “a nuclear deal with Iran allowing the Islamic republic to prosper economically would likely lead to more funding of its proxies in the region, such as Hezbollah.”

Both Israel and the Sunni Arab states have been telling the Obama administration that an easing of sanctions at this point means an emboldened, empowered Iranian axis and trouble for the whole region. The administration, though, doesn’t seem to listen and speaks of an immediate $50-billion “bonus” for Iran just for signing an agreement.

It could mean salvaging the Assad regime and, among other things, strengthening Hezbollah and increasing the chances of war with Israel.

In addition, Hezbollah can’t help but notice the success of the human-shields strategy used by Hamas in last summer’s war in Gaza. Although that strategy didn’t stop Israel from winning the war decisively, almost a year later Israel is still taking heavy heat for -- despite extraordinary efforts, as acknowledged by Joint Chiefs of Staff chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey -- an inevitable toll of civilian casualties in Gaza.

That “heat” is now taking the form of a much-publicized “report” by a shadowy, seditious Israeli group called Breaking the Silence; threats by the International Criminal Court in The Hague to investigate Israel for “war crimes”; and an upcoming “report” on the Gaza war by the systematically Israel-bashing UN Human Rights Council that will, of course, slam Israel.

And during the war itself, the Obama administration for a time embargoed arms to Israel in protest of the civilian casualties.

In a war with Hezbollah, vastly more heavily armed than Hamas and controlling much more territory, the stakes for Israel will be much deadlier. It’s doubtful that its efforts will succeed in stopping Western media and governments’ -- in effect -- collusion with the terrorists’ human-shields strategy. Israel will have to ignore the pressures as much as possible.