The Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security

Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror

Major General (res.) Yaakov Amidror

Amidror of JISS: But let’s keep ‘cautious’ Nasrallah around; ‘He lives in a basement, why eliminate him?’

The Jerusalem Post, 19.02.2020

The IDF will eventually need to destroy Hezbollah, former national security council chief Maj. Gen. (ret.) Yaakov Amidror said on Wednesday.

At the same time, he vehemently rejected a suggestion from an audience member that the IDF carry out a targeted killing of Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah.

Speaking at a panel before the Conference of Presidents of Major American Jewish Organizations in Jerusalem, Amidror (who is also a fellow at the Jerusalem Institute for Strategy and Security) said that, “there is no way to balance Hezbollah [within Lebanon]. If we don’t want them to get precise weaponry in the future, we will have to find a solution to the existence of this beast in Lebanon.”

“How and when, I don’t have a good answer. But we need to remember their over 100,000 rockets can reach everywhere from the nuclear reactor in Dimona to Kiryat Shimona in the North… In the end we will need to destroy Hezbollah by force,” he said.

However, Amidror’s aggressive perspective on Hezbollah does not extend to its leader.

With the panel universally supporting the US targeted killing of Iran Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corp Quds Force chief Qassem Soleimani on January 3, an audience member asked how come Israel was not doing the same to Nasrallah.

The former national security council chief responded, “Nasrallah is the most cautious leader in the Middle East – why eliminate him? He understands the situation. He is living in a basement and is not going out. He is having a very positive role now” in preventing the outbreak of a larger war with Israel.

Moreover, Amidror added that Israel had tried this with Hezbollah before and failed when it assassinated Nasrallah’s predecessor Abbas al-Musawi.

Amidror said that “Hezbollah found a good successor” – many historians argue that Hezbollah became a far bigger threat to Israel under Nasrallah than it had been under al-Musawi – meaning that killing al-Musawi might have made things worse and killing Nasrallah might also.

By YONAH JEREMY BOB, The Jerusalem Post, 19.02.2020