• The G7, a sort of executive bureau of the collective West, met from 13 to 15 June in Italy. It was expected to announce strong measures in favor of Ukraine and against Russia. But all its heads of state and government are in serious electoral difficulty, with the exception of Italy’s Giorgia Meloni. Since the G7 is not what it used to be, its decisions have been limited to a $50 billion loan to Kiev, with no indication of who will advance it

Germany, France and Italy are counting on the United States, especially since Hungary takes over the presidency of the Council of the European Union on 1 July, and Budapest is opposed to this war. The EU expects to be paralyzed for the next six months. Ukraine therefore had only a few days to sign an agreement with the EU. Without waiting, Charles Fries, a senior French official at the EU’s High Representative for Foreign and Security Policy, drafted an agreement between Brussels and Kiev.

In its final declaration, the G7 stated: "We reaffirm our unwavering support for Ukraine, for as long as it takes. Together with our international partners, we are determined to continue to provide military, budgetary, humanitarian and financial resources to Ukraine and its people".

• As soon as the G7 was over, its members rushed to Switzerland for a summit on peace in Ukraine, to which Russia was not invited. But Vladimir Putin had made known Moscow’s peace proposal: recognition of the membership referendums of Crimea, Donbass and Novorossiya (without the Odessa oblast) and renouncing NATO membership in exchange for an immediate cessation of hostilities.

Ukraine and the United States had invited 160 states out of the 192 at the UN. Only 91 had agreed to participate. But only 75 agreed to sign the insipid final declaration.

Switzerland, which hosted the summit, has announced that a second meeting will be convened, but not in the West. It will be based on the Sino-Brazilian proposal and will include Russia.

The G7 members may rail against Russia and China, but the influence of Washington and London on the rest of the world has melted away like snow in the sun.

• It was in this ruined setting that Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dissolved the war cabinet after the resignation of General Benny Gantz from the emergency government and while US special envoy Amos Hochstein was in Tel Aviv.

The IDF immediately announced that it was taking a tactical break every day between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m.; a pause that can be used to deliver and distribute humanitarian aid.

Upon learning of the decision, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu called it "unacceptable." According to the Washington Post, the Pentagon is preparing to deliver 1,800 2000 pounds bombs and 1,700 500 pounds bombs.

Israel’s chief of staff General Herzi Halevi who has just presented his government with a plan to end the conflict in Gaza, took part in a secret meeting in Bahrain with his counterparts from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan. These states are all officially, with the exception of Saudi Arabia, engaged in a process of normalization with Israel. Tel Aviv has a duty to inform its military allies, hence this meeting.

General Herzi Halevi informed his colleagues of a plan to attack Lebanon on 22 June, against the backdrop of unconfirmed revelations about the development of Iran’s nuclear military program.

That was all it took for reports of the secret meeting to spread throughout the Middle Eastern press.
Amos Hochstein rushed to Beirut to avoid the disaster. He is the U.S. Coordinator for International Energy Affairs. The Israeli-Lebanese question is therefore in principle not within his remit. But in addition to his U.S. citizenship, Hochstein was born in Israel, acquired Israeli citizenship and did his military service there, a profile as "neutral" as that of a summit on peace in Ukraine without Russia. He asked all his interlocutors to ask secretary general of Hezbollah Hassan Nasrallah to pressure leader of Hamas in Gaza Yahya Sinwar to accept the Israeli peace plan. A vain approach.

During all these events, Hezbollah showed off some of its new weapons which are shifting the balance of power in the region.
• Two weeks ago, it released a https://arabic.cnn.com/middle-east/... filmed by one of its drones of the destruction of an element of the Iron Dome by a guided missile.
• Last week, it forced an Israeli plane that had entered Lebanese airspace to turn back. It now also has surface-to-air anti-aircraft missiles (cf. 1503).
• Finally, while Amos Hochstein was talking with Lebanese officials, it broadcast 9 minutes of videos, filmed by a squadron of drones, of the main Israeli military naval base and the port of Haifa.

In addition, it filmed the Rafael Advanced Defense Systems Ltd factory known as RAFAEL, a Hebrew acronym for "Armaments Development Authority," which manufactures Iron Dome components and all kinds of anti-aircraft missiles.

In other words, if the IDF attacks Lebanon, Hezbollah will destroy the Iron Dome, i.e., Israeli anti-aircraft protection. It’ll be able to rain down large numbers of rockets and missiles on his enemy. Hamas will also be able to resume firing rockets which, this time, will no longer be intercepted and will reach their targets. Ansar Allah has confirmed that it will simultaneously launch ballistic missiles at Israel, and Iraqi Shiite militias have also confirmed that they will join the war.

On June 18, commander of the IDF’s Northern Military Region General Oded Basiuk approved and endorsed "operational plans for an offensive in Lebanon."

In a solemn speech on June 19, Hassan Nasrallah warned Israel and Cyprus. "Expect us by land, sea, and air (...) What awaits Israel in the Mediterranean will be on a massive scale," he said. Moreover: "The opening of Cypriot airports and bases to the Israeli enemy to target Lebanon would mean that the Cypriot government is a party to the war." However, Cyprus is a member of the European Union and the United Kingdom has two military bases there, whose planes and boats spy on Gaza.

Above all, he hinted at a possible transfer of sophisticated Russian weapons to his army: "We have only fought with part of our weapons so far, and we have acquired new weapons that we will not reveal yet; This will become obvious on the battlefield."

If Israel attacks Iran, Tehran will use its hypersonic missiles against Tel Aviv. It showed on April 14 that no one, not even Western armies, had the capacity to intercept them.

The announcement of the Israeli attack on Lebanon is probably only a way for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to put pressure on Washington. Israel is unlikely to commit suicide, even though Netanyahu is the son of Benzion Netanyahu, the private secretary of fascist Vladimir Jabotinsky. He probably hopes that the Biden administration will momentarily save Israel and accept that it resumes its ethnic cleansing of Palestine.

Whatever the next step, the West has already lost its aura and power over the rest of the world.

After five centuries of Western domination, the world is changing eras.

This is the editorial from our paywalled "Voltaire, international newsletter", n°92. For more information, do not hesitate to subscribe: 150€ per year or 15€ per month.

Gregor Fröhlich