Hezbollah rally
Hezbollah rally Reuters

Veteran military historian Aryeh Yitzhaki thinks that the upcoming elections are deflecting the Israeli public's attention from a war that is brewing in the north, just as an election campaign in 1973 distracted Israelis when Arabs were about to launch a surprise offensive.

Yitzhaki told Arutz Sheva that in the course of the last 93 years, there have been 11 major military confrontations between the Zionist movement's military forces and those of what he terms "the Arab national movement." All of these except one – the War of Independence in 1947/8 – broke out in the summer or early fall, he noted. The War of Independence began in the late fall and early winter.

That war started out with a local Arab “intifada-style” offensive, to which the Jews eventually responded with a successful counteroffensive that culminated in the declaration of the state of Israel. This was immediately followed by a full scale war with the Arab countries and their armies, which ended a year later with a Jewish victory.

While Yitzhaki seems to see some elements of that scenario being repeated, the current situation reminds him more of the situation before the 1973 Yom Kippur War. Elections were supposed to be held that fall and everyone was preoccupied with campaigning until the war broke out.

There are warning signs of an impending conflict that the Israeli public is blind to, he insisted: “The situation on the ground is a boiling lava of hatred and enmity toward the Jews and Israel, and any spark can lead to a much greater eruption.” The recent death of convicted terrorist turned Palestinian Authority (PA) minister Ziad Abu Ein marks a high point in this tension, and it could go higher.

Hezbollah, he adds, “has warned that it is preparing for action against Israel and presented a plan for conquering the Galilee with tunnels, inflicting civilian casualties and killing of hundreds of people. They are preparing for this and talking about a mega-terror attack. They have a creative mind and they will do it in the winter, on a particularly rainy week, in order to neutralize as much as possible the response of the air force, which is limited in its activity when there is intense cloudiness.”

The latest IAF strike in Syria also portends ill, he opined. All six strikes that preceded this one took place at night, but this one was carried out in the daytime. “That indicates something very important,” he explained. The fact that Russia also protested against the attack shows that “there was a tie-breaking weapon there.”