Hezbollah Chief’s Anticlimactic Speech Leaves Supporters in Limbo | BUSINESS TIMES

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Avi Melamed’s insights quoted in “Hezbollah Chief’s Anticlimactic Speech Leaves Supporters in Limbo”, an article by Larry Lee for The BUSINESS TIMES.

Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official, surmised that while Nasrallah confirmed Hezbollah’s participation in the war, their actions thus far do not match their full military potential, indicating a conscious decision not to escalate the conflict further.

After much anticipation, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah’s public address left a trail of mixed reactions, ranging from disappointment to derision. Nasrallah’s speech, which some expected to announce a major escalation in hostilities, instead upheld the status quo, much to the dismay of those yearning for a more robust stance against Israel. While Nasrallah reiterated Hezbollah’s involvement in the conflict since October 8 and voiced support for Hamas and Palestinians, the substance of his delivery fell short of the dramatic rallying call some had hoped for.

In the aftermath, reactions spanned the spectrum. Firas Maksad of the Middle East Institute remarked on the palpable letdown for those expecting more decisive action from Hezbollah, noting Nasrallah essentially restated the group’s ongoing efforts. In a similar vein, Lebanese political scientist Hilal Khashan characterized Nasrallah’s comments as “defensive and apologetic,” pointing to a possible reluctance to fully engage in warfare with Israel.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded with a stern warning, underscoring Israel’s readiness to counter any miscalculations with substantial repercussions. Meanwhile, the U.S. State Department called for restraint, emphasizing the dire consequences that any escalation by Hezbollah could have for Lebanon and its people, who are already grappling with profound economic turmoil.

The backdrop to Nasrallah’s remarks was an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) offensive against Hezbollah, which had Israeli spokesperson Eylon Levy mockingly questioning the quality of Nasrallah’s speechwriting, possibly affected by recent IDF actions. Levy’s biting critique of Nasrallah hiding “like a coward” during his speech was an attempt to underscore what he perceives as a lack of leadership courage.

Avi Melamed, a former Israeli intelligence official, surmised that while Nasrallah confirmed Hezbollah’s participation in the war, their actions thus far do not match their full military potential, indicating a conscious decision not to escalate the conflict further.

Despite Hezbollah’s solid support base within Lebanon, the country’s crippling economic crisis, coupled with the memory of the devastating 2006 war with Israel, has left many Lebanese wary of another full-scale conflict. Hezbollah’s popularity, once unshakable, now contends with the grim reality of over half the population living below the poverty line, according to World Bank data.

As Lebanon faces these harsh economic challenges, the potential for increased hostilities with Israel looms large, casting a shadow over the already embattled nation.


Avi Melamed’s insights quoted in “Hezbollah Chief’s Anticlimactic Speech Leaves Supporters in Limbo”, an article by Larry Lee for The BUSINESS TIMES.

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Avi Melamed
Avi Melamedhttps://insidethemiddle-east.com
Avi Melamed is an expert on current affairs in the Arab & Muslim World and their impact on Israel & the Middle East. A former Israeli Intelligence Official & Senior Official on Arab Affairs, Fluent in Arabic, English, and Hebrew, he has held high-risk Government, Senior Advisory, Intelligence & Counter-Terrorist intelligence positions in Arab cities & communities - often in very sensitive times - on behalf of Israeli Government agencies. He is the Founder & CEO of Inside the Middle East | Intelligence Perspectives - an apolitical non-partisan curriculum using intelligence methodology to examine the Middle East. As an Author, Educator, Expert, and Strategic Intelligence Analyst, Avi provides Intelligence Analysis, Briefings, and Geopolitical Tours to diplomats, Israeli and foreign policymakers, global media outlets, and a wide variety of international businesses, organizations, and private clients on a range of Israel and Middle East Affairs.

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