Trump administration backs Israel as tensions rise in region

Hezbollah has stated that it intends to produce missiles capable of striking Israel with pinpoint accuracy. Iran is assisting Hezbollah in this enterprise. It is helping Hezbollah construct and develop facilities at which precision missiles are manufactured.

Israel has responded by attacking targets in Syria, Lebanon, and Iraq. Attacks in the latter two countries are a recent development, prompted by stepped up Iranian efforts to assist Hezbollah’s missile development.

The Trump administration backs Israel’s response. A senior administration official says: “It is our position that Israel is only acting because of Iran’s actions.”

Hezbollah has vowed to retaliate against Israel for recent attacks that killed a few members of that terrorist outfit. This threat should not be taken lightly. Indeed, most insiders on both sides expect some sort of retaliatory response.

The response might not be immediate. Hezbollah understands that Israel would retaliate with attacks that might have a devastating impact on Lebanon and on Hezbollah, including its missile development program.

This reality is unlikely to stop Hezbollah from striking Israel, but might well cause it to hold off until a time it perceives as more opportune than the present. Reportedly, Lebanon’s economy is unraveling. Hezbollah participates in the Lebanese government.

A more opportune time for war against Israel would be after President Trump leaves office. Secretary of State Pompeo made clear, in an interview with Hugh Hewitt, that the U.S. stands ready to offer full support to Israel in the event of war in the region. He expressed “every confidence” that Trump will do “all that is necessary to ensure that Israel is protected.”

That confidence is justified. By contrast, we should have no confidence that Elizabeth Warren would do the same and only partial confidence that Joe Biden would.

Trump was wrong to say that American Jews who don’t back him are disloyal to Israel or to the Jewish people. However, American Jews are badly misguided if they believe that anyone in the Democratic presidential field is a better friend of Israel than Donald Trump.