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JV Editorial

US Aid to Lebanese Army Should be Halted!!!

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The Trump Administration's reported decision to halt the more than $100 million in annual U.S. military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is a wise one and the news should be supported by the pro-Israel community. Photo Credit: unifil.unmissions.org

The Trump Administration’s reported decision to halt the more than $100 million in annual U.S. military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces (LAF) is a wise one and the news should be supported by the pro-Israel community.

Unfortunately too many in the Jewish community have not been told the truth about what Lebanon is today:

— Lebanon is today a state teetering on the brink of civil war (again). Massive street protests seem to be without end.

— Lebanon has a government that includes Hezbollah in its cabinet.

Here are the facts:

The Lebanese Armed Forces / LAF and Lebanon itself, have been grown to be more and more dominated by the Hezbollah terrorist organization. Hezbollah is at war with Israel. Period.

The leader of Hezbollah, Sheik Hassan Nasrallah, has declared that the Lebanese Armed Forces, is a “partner” and a “pillar in the golden age of people, army and resistance.”

In October 2017, in his capacity as Israel’s Defense Minister, Avigdor Lieberman detailed potential threats in Lebanon and explained: “We are no longer talking about Hezbollah alone…We are talking about Hezbollah and the Lebanese army, and to my regret this is the reality. The Lebanese army has turned into an integral part of Hezbollah’s command structure. The Lebanese army has lost its independence and become an inseparable part of the Hezbollah apparatus.”

If only for the above reason alone, the Trump Administration must be praised for its decision.

But there is much more.

Now is the time to explain to US elected officials exactly what Hezbollah is and the danger to American interests as well as Israel’s security that the Hezbollah take over of the Lebanese Armed Forces / LAF really means.

Hezbollah was founded in 1985 in Lebanon for the purpose of opening up a new front against Israel to replace the inactive Israel / Egypt front. Hezbollah’s founders were followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini of Iran.

Hezbollah is Iran’s puppet in Lebanon and as such is pledged to continue its war against Israel.

In 2017, Jane’s estimated that Hezbollah itself, separate from the Lebanese Armed Forces / LAF, had over 25,000 full-time soldiers and 20,000–30,000 reservists. Financed in part by the Iranian government and trained by Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, Hezbollah’s military budget was reported to be one billion dollars per year in 2016.

The next war the Israel fights with Hezbollah will look much different than the 2006 Second Lebanon War that lasted 34 days. Hezbollah has metastasized. The next war with Hezbollah will last longer and be more intense. And, there will be another war. Hezbollah, from its very inception has viewed the complete elimination of the State of Israel has its primary goal.

Therefore, any US aid to Lebanon is worse than a mistake.

The Loyalty to the Resistance Bloc party in the Lebanese parliament is Hezbollah’s party. It currently has 13 seats since 2012 has held two seats in the Lebanese cabinet. But Hezbollah is actually much more powerful than that through the alliance it controls with other parties.

This announcement was timed close to the 40th anniversary of the Iranian take over of the US Embassy in Tehran on November 4, 1979 and the subsequent hostage crisis. One can assume that the message to Iran and Hezbollah was plain: don’t think that with the elimination of ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi we have forgotten for one second that ISIS and Hezbollah are no different.

Jonathan Greenblatt, the CEO of the ADL (Anti-Defamation League), took to Twitter on November 3 and wrote “Thank you @Twitter for suspending the accounts of Hamas and Hezbollah. US-designated Foreign Terrorist Organizations do not belong on the platform.”

Greenblatt was correct here. But why hasn’t the ADL or other groups thanked President Trump for suspending military aid to the Lebanese Armed Forces?

The Jewish community should be thanking President Trump for seeing the Lebanese Armed Forces for the danger that it has become. If Jewish organizations you belong to aren’t speaking out now, contact them and ask them why.

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