Fire in Upper Galilee
Fire in Upper GalileeAyal Margolin/Flash 90

View of a large fire caused by rockets fired from Lebanon, near Ramot Naftali, in the Upper Galilee near the Israeli border with Lebanon, June 1, 2024.

Melanie Phillips, a British journalist, broadcaster and author, writes a weekly column for JNS. Currently a columnist for The Times of London, her personal and political memoir, Guardian Angel, has been published by Bombardier, which also published her first novel, The Legacy, in 2018. To access her work, go to:

(JNS) If people think the war in Gaza is intolerable, they should buckle up for what may now be coming.

This week, the north of Israel burned as fires caused by barrages of Hezbollah rockets from Lebanon consumed 3,460 acres of land. In addition, Hezbollah, which has been subjecting northern Israel to rocket and missile attacks for eight months, expanded its range as far south as Acre and Nahariya.

This escalation may mean that Israel, which has been carefully limiting its responses to Hezbollah’s aggression, now takes the gloves off and mounts a full-scale assault on Iran’s proxy army.

Israel has been reluctant to do so because of what may follow. Hezbollah has embedded an arsenal of some 150,000 rockets and missiles in Lebanon. If it unleashes its full might, tens of thousands of Israelis may be killed.

Iran may enter the battle directly, along with its proxies in Iraq, Syria and Yemen. And Russia and China may escalate this further into a world war.

Clearly, this is best avoided if at all possible. Equally clearly, Israel cannot allow itself to be under such an onslaught from Lebanon even more so than under the intolerable threat from Gaza.

People assume that if Israel comes under overwhelming attack from Hezbollah, the U.S. will come to its defense. Yet it’s America that brought us to this fateful juncture.

The appeasement of Iran by the administrations of both President Joe Biden and former President Barack Obama laid the groundwork for the Oct. 7 pogrom. Even now, the U.S. continues to thwart Israel’s necessary defense.

Astoundingly, the Biden administration is today doing everything it can to prevent the destruction of Hamas as a military force and to protect Iran.

Although it sent two aircraft carriers to the region immediately after Oct. 7, it was clear from the start that the Biden administration’s embrace of Israel was also designed to prevent the Jewish state from taking essential action against both Iran and the Palestinian Arabs in Gaza.

Even before the Hamas stormtroopers had been finally stopped on Oct. 7, U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken called for an immediate ceasefire between Israel and Hamas. Soon afterward, Biden forced Israel to abort the preemptive strike against Hezbollah by which the IDF intended to prevent what has now unfolded: the daily barrages of missiles and rockets from Lebanon.

When the IDF went to war in Gaza to prevent Hamas from repeating such a massacre ever again, the Biden administration made the Israelis prioritize Palestinian Arab lives over their own people. It forced the IDF to proceed so slowly that Hamas had time to regroup. The Americans forced the Israelis to accept ever greater consignments of aid, most of which Hamas stole for itself.

The Biden administration promulgated Hamas propaganda demonizing Israel with lies about civilian casualty figures in Gaza and the withholding of aid. When Iranian proxies launched dozens of attacks on American interests, the U.S. responded only weakly.

After Iran launched an unprecedented direct attack against Israel with hundreds of drones and rockets, the U.S. did come to Israel’s defense—but only after having in effect choreographed with Tehran the limits of the attack, while instructing Israel not to go any further.

In the current ceasefire negotiations, Biden tried to bounce Israel into surrender by suggesting falsely that the Israeli government was proposing a permanent end to the war without the return of all the hostages and with Hamas remaining a player in Gaza.

And according to a report in The Wall Street Journal, the U.S. tried to pressurize Britain and European countries into backing off plans to censure Iran at this week’s International Atomic Energy Agency’s board meeting over Tehran’s accelerating progress towards developing nuclear weapons.

The explanation for America’s bewildering and malign behavior lies in a number of fundamental conceptual errors that it has made for years and continues to make about both the Middle East and America’s role in the world.

The Biden administration refuses to see the onslaught against Israel as part of the war by Iran to destroy the Jewish state and conquer the West. It views the onslaught instead as a war by Hamas in Gaza, on the back of which Hezbollah is making trouble.

The Bidenites think the solution is a Palestinian state that would end the conflict between Israel and the Palestinian Arabs and, as a result, put Hezbollah back in its box.

Every part of that is woefully, lethally wrong. It mistakes the Palestinian Arab war of extermination against Israel for a dispute over territory between two peoples with legitimate claims to the same piece of land.

This mistake has been for decades the unchallenged assumption of successive U.S. administrations and indeed of the West in general.

As a result, the U.S., Britain and Europe have sanitized, incentivized and funded the Palestinian Arabs’ genocidal agenda to destroy Israel, while pressurizing Israel to accommodate it. Every time the Palestinian Arabs ratcheted up their rejectionism, terrorism and incitement to mass murder, the U.S. and the West—with the exception of the Trump administration—have thrown yet more money at them and put yet more pressure on Israel to compromise its own security.

The West refused to see that the Palestinian Arab cause was the principal means by which the Islamists realized they could destroy Israel and conquer the free world for Islam. The Palestinian Arab cause has accordingly brought together the Sunni Muslim Brotherhood—whose military wing consists of Hamas, Al-Qaeda and ISIS—and the Shi’ite fanatics of Iran.

The most lethal component of this infernal alliance is Iran because it has become a regional hegemon. And it is America that has enabled that to happen.

As president, Obama viewed Iran as an essential component of a new Middle East order. The aim was apparently a balance of powers in the region which would ensure that everyone was forced to rub along with each other.

The strategy of taming Iran by bringing it in from the cold led to the 2015 nuclear deal which, falsely claiming to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons, explicitly legitimized such a development after only a few years delay and funneled billions in sanctions relief into Tehran’s war chest.

This was the equivalent not only of giving a box of matches to an arsonist but providing the kerosene and the dry tinder as well.

The Biden administration has continued with the kumbaya liberal fantasy that genocidal fanaticism can be neutralized by negotiated concessions. In practice, this appeasement of the implacable and unconscionable means letting Israel swing in the murderous winds of the Palestinian Arab and Iranian agendas.

Virtually none of this is understood by the Western public whose media and leaders, in cahoots with the Hamas-compliant international human rights and humanitarian establishment, have instead demonized Israel and incited hatred of the Jews with malicious falsehoods about Israel’s conduct in Gaza.

People in the West have been indoctrinated by the BBC, The New York Times and others that Israel is the reason for the war in Gaza, Israel is the problem and this crisis is all Israel’s fault.

They have heard virtually nothing about Hezbollah’s daily rocket and missile attacks. They are told nothing about the plight of tens of thousands of Israelis who have been displaced from their homes in northern Israel by the war and been made refugees in their own country. They saw almost no reports at all of the fires that consumed northern Israel this week.

Consequently, when Israel goes to war in Lebanon to defend its people against annihilation it will be vilified and demonized even more intensely as the region’s aggressor.

But it is in fact Biden and Obama’s America, whose delusional fantasies facilitated the Oct. 7 pogrom, empowered the enemies of civilization and are hanging Israel out to dry, that is now leading the world into a terrible war.