Lebanon and Israel have reached a historic Biden-brokered agreement demarcating a disputed maritime border. But surrendering to Hizballah’s demand “to prevent war” merely delays Hizballah’s jihad against Israel and sends a message to the Iranian proxy, as well as to Iran itself, that Israel is vulnerable and willing to succumb to bullying. It sends the same message to Hamas. The fact that America is the broker and guarantor for the deal is no assurance at all under a Biden administration.
It’s a trying time for Israel, given its upcoming elections and Russia’s anger with the Jewish state after Prime Minister Yair Lapid joined other countries in condemning the recent Russian assault on Ukrainian cities. Russia controls Syrian airspace, where Iranian proxies have been massing.
Both former Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who has condemned the maritime deal as a historic capitulation to Hizballah, and Lapid, who is presenting it as a historic breakthrough, hope to benefit from the deal in the upcoming elections. But deals with jihadists generally tend to backfire.
Polls are being characterized as “lukewarm” in support for the Lebanon gas deal, with “no clear election winner.”
“Lebanon, Israel clinch maritime border deal,” by Timour Azhari and Maayan Lubell, Reuters, October 11, 2022:
BEIRUT/JERUSALEM, Oct 11 (Reuters) – Lebanon and Israel have reached a historic agreement demarcating a disputed maritime border between them after years of U.S.-mediated negotiations, officials said on Tuesday.
While limited in scope, a finalised deal would mark a significant compromise between neighbours with a history of war and hostility, opening the way for offshore energy exploration and easing a source of recent tensions.
“This is a historic achievement that will strengthen Israel’s security, inject billions into Israel’s economy, and ensure the stability of our northern border,” Israeli Prime Minister Yair Lapid said in a statement….