How will Joe Biden react?

Israeli officials made no pretense about their intention to make every member of Hamas pay for the 10/7 massacre — both the terrorist sect’s rank and file and its leadership. In November, Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu revealed that he had “instructed” Israeli intelligence services “to act against the heads of Hamas wherever they are.” Netanyahu’s defense minister, Yoav Gallant, displayed a similar resolve. “From gunmen in the field to those who are enjoying luxury jets while their emissaries are acting against women and children, they are destined to die,” he pledged. Pretty straightforward stuff. And yet, evidence of Israel’s making good on its threat to target Hamas operatives well beyond the Gaza battlefields was scant. At least, it was until today.

As of this writing, Israeli officials have declined to comment on the record about the strike that targeted Hamas officials in the terrorist group’s offices in Beirut — reportedly killing, among other Hamas officials, one of the outfit’s highest-ranking officers, Saleh al-Arouri. As the New York Times reported, Arouri served formally as Hamas’s second-in-command and, unofficially, as Hamas’s ambassador to the Iran-backed terrorist organization Hezbollah.

Despite sporadic exchanges between the Israel Defense Forces and Hezbollah operatives in southern Lebanon, the widespread concern that the Iran-aligned terrorist organization would soon open a second front in Israel’s war against Hamas has so far proven unfounded. That may change in the wake of this successful strike. Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah pledged that his organization would retaliate if Israel expanded its campaign against Hamas to include its strongholds in Lebanon. Whether he wants to or not, Nasrallah may be compelled to make good on this pledge. If he does not, both Hezbollah and Iran risk a dangerous loss of face.

If Hezbollah’s back is now against the wall, Joe Biden may soon face the truest test of his resolve to support Israel in its defensive war against Hamas. It’s no secret that the administration’s objective in its decision to dispatch a fleet of naval assets off the Lebanese coast was designed to deter Hezbollah — and Iran — from opening a second front. With the news that the long-deployed USS Gerald R. Ford is heading back to port, that deterrent force has lost some of its compelling power. Hezbollah could be encouraged by these circumstances to test America’s resolve.

If deterrence fails, Biden will have to act. If he does not, the party that loses face will be the United States.

Dan Butcher

Dan Butcher (aka HP Pundit) is not a Democrat or Republican. He is a free thinking independent bringing you news and commentary with a dose of much needed common sense.

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