Photo Credit: Wisam Hashlamoun/Flash90
Israel’s air defense system intercepts Iranian projectiles over Hebron, April 14, 2024.

Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday told Jewish American leaders that an escalation with Iran is not in the interests of the US or Israel, Barak Ravid reported on Axios, citing three US Jews who were there.

Apparently, Blinken is concerned that an Israeli attack would trigger yet another Iranian response, possibly a much bigger one, which Israel would not be able to thwart with the same rate of efficiency – 99%. According to reports, the overall cost of the Israeli effort to block the attack Saturday night was $1.5 billion, give or take.


A US official told Axios, “We think it will be very hard to replicate the huge success we had on Saturday with defeating the attack if Iran launches hundreds of missiles and drones again — and the Israelis know it.”

Nikolai Patrushev, Secretary of the Security Council of the Russian Federation on Monday told Israel’s NSC head Tzachi Hanegbi that President Vladimir Putin’s opinion is “it is appropriate to act on the diplomatic level following the Iranian attack in order not to be dragged into escalation,” Kan11 News reported on Wednesday morning.

On Wednesday, Shas Chairman Aryeh Deri, who is a member of Netanyahu’s war cabinet, said in an interview with Shas magazine Haderech that Israel should not attack Iran for the time being. Describing Saturday’s attack as a great miracle of victory for Israel, and “It has been proven to the whole world that Israel knows how to reach anywhere with accurate intelligence,” Deri concluded: “There is a campaign that we haven’t finished in Gaza, we need to know how to end the event with Hezbollah, so the right thing at this time is to focus on that and not open more fronts, not to seek to escalate the situation, our enemies are looking for that and we should not be dragged to this place.”

The Iranians are well aware of their own increased deterrence, as voiced by the Axios article. IRNA reported on Wednesday that Mohammed Al-Hindi, Deputy Secretary General of the Islamic Jihad, said that Iran’s attack exposed Israel’s failed deterrence. Al-Hindi told Lebanon’s Al-Mayadeen network that “Israel’s strategic weight has decreased at all fronts. The balance of power in the world is changing and America is not in a good condition and Israel no longer rules the region.”

Al-Hindi is not wrong. In the end, Iran’s attack was a success not because of the damage it inflicted – one injured Bedouin girl and some structure on an air force base in the Negev. The near-zero impact attack succeeded because it showed Iran was ready to attack Israel directly, and would do so again.

This is the burden on the Israeli leadership today, or the world will enter a new era in which Iran controls political reality by wielding the threat of unlimited drone attacks, combined with ICBMs.

The Telegraph this week quoted Tobias Ellwood, a former chairman of the Commons defense committee, who said the UK needed an Iron Dome to boost its defenses against missile and drone attacks after Iran’s attack on Israel acted as a “wake-up call” to the West.

Ellwood told The Telegraph: “We need to prepare for all scenarios. We need to prepare for a multitude of types of attacks from the non-state to state actors. And that will require investments, absolutely, in an Iron Dome for the UK.”

The lesson here is clear: Iran will terrorize the West and its regional neighbors unless someone pushes it back, no matter the consequences.

Speaking of regional neighbors, IRNA reported a phone conversation held by Qatar’s Emir Sheikh Tamim ibn Hamad Al Thani on Tuesday with Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud and President of the United Arab Emirates Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. In the phone conversation, obviously leaked by the Qatari Emir, the Saudi and Emirati “emphasized the need to work toward the stability and security of the region and prevent the spread of tensions and danger of a war,”

Just in case the US and/or Israel would prove less aggressive against the Islamic Republic than the pro-Western Arab rulers expected.

The Financial Times on Wednesday supported Blinken’s cautious point of view in a report titled, “Ukraine’s air defense struggle shows risks to Israel,” suggesting Israel might have to struggle to maintain critical external backing indefinitely, particularly if it launches a significant retaliatory attack on Tehran. Such action would only serve to heighten regional tensions, a scenario unwanted by any of Israel’s allies.

The FT noted that should an all-out war ensue between Israel and Iran, resembling the war between Russia and Ukraine, Israeli military officials admit that at least some of Iran’s projectiles would break through, “especially in the face of repeated salvos fired from multiple directions by Iran-armed militants in Lebanon, Yemen, Syria and Iraq.”

Ukraine’s President Volodymyr Zelensky speaks via Zoom link to Israeli Knesset, March 20, 2022. / Knesset Channel via Ynet/YouTube screengrab

President Volodymyr Zelenskyy said on Sunday, “We in Ukraine know very well the horror of similar attacks,” and rebuffed the world leaders from Putin to Biden who insist on diplomatic efforts to bring down the flames between Israel and the Islamic country that dedicated so much of blood and treasure to its annihilation.

“Words do not stop drones and intercept missiles,” Zelenskyy raged. “Only tangible assistance does.”

Prime Minister Netanyahu on Tuesday added his view in a meeting with new recruits at the IDF absorption center in Tel Hashomer: “Iran stands behind Hamas, behind Hezbollah, and behind others, but we are determined to win there and to defend ourselves in all sectors.”

That short speech (he said more, but this was the crux of it), combined with a strike against Iranian targets that may or may not instigate a response, is how Israel will regain its deterrence, and raise the hopes of Iran’s fearful Sunni Arab neighbors.

It’s relatively simple: if Iran chooses not to retaliate directly after Israel retaliates, it would mean Israeli deterrence will have been restored. If Iran retaliates, Israel would have to attack again, until Iran cries uncle.

Democracies must take up arms to put down a bully, otherwise, as history taught us, the bully just gets bigger and bigger.

White House National Security Adviser John Bolton and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem. / Kobi Gideon / GPO

As former US envoy to the UN John Bolton put it after the Iranian attack on Saturday: “What we had tonight was a massive failure of Israeli and American deterrence. … And I think that means by definition, Israel’s response — and there should be a response — should not be proportionate. It should be far stronger, because when deterrence fails to reestablish if you have to teach the adversary that any gain they may hope to get by any future attack will be more than outweighed by the damage that will be called.”


Previous articleA Night Of Protection In The Shadow Of War
Next articleUS Jewish Academics Fight Back with #KeepTheLightOn Campaign
David writes news at