The Real Threat to Israel Isn’t Hamas

Iran and Hezbollah’s precision missiles are the IDFs next target

Mookie Spitz
3 min readApr 9, 2024

Signs suggest that Israel will soon invade Lebanon. Don’t believe the hype from Netanyahu that the IDF is taking a break to then return and attack Rafah. Why would they weaken their position first? Why essentially give Hamas a ceasefire without conditioning it on hostage negotiations? The answer is Israel is moving their force strength to the north.

The October 7th attacks against Israel were unprecedented and horrific — but they weren’t a genuine threat to the country. Exceeding even Hamas’ wildest expectations, Operation Al Aqsa Storm was surprisingly successful, yet even under the best conceivable circumstances thousands of militants with machine guns and grenades can only do so much damage.

Thousands of precision guided missiles along Lebanon’s southern border, however, can literally rain destruction down on Israel’s most populated cities. Within minutes, Tel Aviv, Haifa, and Be’re Sheva could endure direct hits that kill thousands of Israeli civilians, and do billions in damage. Key strategic military targets throughout Israel are equally vulnerable.

The potential risk posed by Hezbollah to Israel isn’t the only factor increasing the likelihood of an IDF invasion of Lebanon — the displacement of over 130,000 Israelis near the border is unsustainable. Continued attacks throughout the region, including from Iranian proxy Houthis disrupting world trade, are also unsustainable. Iran needs to be “taught a lesson”.

Terrified of igniting a catastrophic multifront, multicountry war, Israel and its allies have allowed Iran to expand its hegemony throughout an increasingly chaotic Middle East. Adroit opportunists, Tehran turned Iraq into a suburb of Iran following the foolish American second invasion, and now capitalize on Arab sympathy for Palestinians suffering in Gaza.

For Netanyahu and his extremist government it’s “now or never” to hit Iran, and hit Iran hard. With the momentum of the current Gaza conflict behind them, the West Bank in turmoil, and a roiling northern border, the stars have aligned to simultaneously keep the current administration in power, and neutralize or at least delay looming Iranian nuclearization.

The recent targeted assassination of senior Iranian leadership in their Damascus embassy was deliberately meant to escalate such a confrontation with Iran. Anticipating that the Ayatollahs will have no choice but to respond, Israel will use their imminent reprisal as justification for their typical 100x retaliatory strategy, lighting the match.

Despite fears to the contrary, total war is unlikely. Iran is a regional pain in the ass, but a necessary one that maintains an oscillating but important balance of power. Without Iran, Saudi Arabia and the UAE would have no motivation to make peace and deal with Israel, and Israel would have less justification for billions in aid and carte blanche to blow up Palestinians.

Instead Israel is more likely to rope the US into helping them teach Iran that lesson through a massive bombing campaign. The targets would be Iranian military infrastructure, and their nuke facilities and scientific talent. In parallel — or as a precursor — an IDF ground invasion of southern Lebanon would be designed to take out the problematic missile batteries.

Personally, I hope none of this happens. Israel’s greatest strategic failure after October 7th was to invade Gaza instead of conducting a more targeted approach, and failing to drive a political solution alongside the military response. “Rest and refitting” could very well be why all those IDF divisions have left Gaza, Netanyahu perhaps finally heeding Biden’s “suggestions”.

But I call bullshit, and think the IDF is gearing up for the next phase of this horrible conflict: Mowing the Iranian lawn. One way or another, Israeli leadership is admitting to what they’ve known since Netanyahu supported Qatar funding them: Hamas has never been an existential threat — quite the contrary, they have been a useful hedge against the Palestinian Authority.

Iran and their Hezbollah proxies in the north are the actual threats to Israel, and now is the time, Israel believes, for those threats to be minimized. Hundreds of thousands of troops, and the entire IDF war machine have been fully activated — I can’t imagine Netanyahu NOT taking advantage of this unique and non-repeatable moment NOT to strike Iran.

More thoughts on breaking news…



Mookie Spitz

Author and communications strategist. His latest book SUPER SANTA is available on Amazon, with a sci fi adventure set for Valentine's Day 2024.