July 7, 2022

In-Depth Issues:

Israel Thwarted 172 Terrorist Attacks in the Last Year - Yonah Jeremy Bob (Jerusalem Post)
    The Israel Security Agency thwarted 172 substantial terrorist attacks in the last year, while failing to stop seven, agency chief Ronen Bar said on Tuesday.
    The attacks prevented ranged from shootings to bombings and suicide attacks.

Iran's Revolutionary Guards May Not Want a Revived Nuclear Deal - Baria Alamuddin (Arab News-Saudi Arabia)
    Iran's Revolutionary Guards probably don't want a revived nuclear deal.
    The paradoxical impact of sanctions has been that most oil is smuggled out via their vast economic conglomerates, and as the price soars they are making a killing.
    Their revenues now mostly come from outside the official government budget, something that wouldn't be tenable if the deal were revived.

Palestinian Lawyers Protest in Ramallah Against Legislation by Decree - Qassam Muaddi (Al-Araby Al-Jadeed-UK)
    Hundreds of Palestinian lawyers marched in Ramallah on Tuesday to protest against the continuing rule by decree in the Palestinian Authority.
    "Our message to the president [Mahmoud Abbas] is that legislation by decree, which affects the rights and liberties of Palestinians, must stop," said Suheil Ashour, president of the Palestinian Bar Association.
    The Palestinian elected law-making body for the West Bank and Gaza, the Legislative Council, has been inactive since 2007 following the political division between Fatah and Hamas. Since then, the law-making process in the Palestinian Authority is by presidential decree.

Ben and Jerry's Sues Unilever over Sale of Ice Cream Business in Israel - Talal Ansari (Wall Street Journal)
    Ben & Jerry's on Tuesday filed a lawsuit against its parent company, Unilever, to block the sale of its Israeli business to its Israeli licensee and prevent the distribution of its products in the West Bank and eastern Jerusalem.
    A spokesperson for Unilever said, "The deal has already closed."

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Hamas Restoring Ties with Syria a Source of Concern for Israel - Yaakov Lappin (JNS)
    "Hamas has decided to restore ties with Syria 10 years after its leadership shunned Damascus over opposition to President Bashar Assad's crackdown on a revolt against his rule," Reuters reported.
    Hamas had to vacate its Damascus headquarters in 2012 after it came down on the side of Sunni rebels who were fighting to topple the minority Alawite Assad regime.
    Michael Barak, a senior researcher at the Institute for Counter-Terrorism in Herzliya, said, "We know that Hamas is building up its presence in...Lebanon. If Hamas opens a headquarters in Syria, it can start building capabilities in Syria, too."
    With much of Syria under Iranian control, Hamas has a new opportunity to receive access to weapons from Iranian-backed forces in the area.
    "Hizbullah has helped secure a reconciliation between Hamas and Syria; this is part of an Iranian strategic calculation to turn Syria into another zone of activity for Palestinian terror organizations."

Israel Donates Medical Equipment to Moldova (Moldpres-Moldova)
    Israel on Wednesday donated a consignment of medical equipment to Moldova valued at $700,000 for diagnosis and surgery rooms.

NBC Corrects: Israeli Communities in West Bank Not on "Palestinian Territory" (CAMERA)
    CAMERA's Israel office last week prompted correction of an NBC article from June 22 which erroneously cited "Jewish settlements on occupied Palestinian territory."
    The partisan designation of the disputed West Bank as "Palestinian territory" does not reflect the fact that the West Bank's ultimate disposition remains under contention, as noted in the Oslo Accords. At no time in history was the West Bank "Palestinian territory."
    NBC agreed to a correction that amended the text to accurately refer to "disputed territory."

UK Media Watchdog Exempts Palestinians from Rule Against Media Incitement - Adam Levick (CAMERA-UK)
    Ofcom, Britain's broadcasting watchdog, prohibits "material promoting or encouraging engagement in terrorism."
    Yet it ruled that London-based [Arabic language] Al-Hiwar TV celebrating the terrorist murderer of Israeli tour guide Eli Kay as a "martyr" was acceptable because it presented a "Palestinian perspective."
    It appears that Ofcom holds Palestinians to a lower standard of moral accountability than the rest of the broadcasters it regulates. 

The IDF Trains for the Next War - Seth J. Frantzman (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel's army is training for a new kind of war. The goal is to push intelligence to frontline units and streamline the "sensor to shooter" loop, meaning that soldiers should be able to identify threats faster and neutralize them with a variety of means.
    That entails knitting together ground forces with the air force, using digital technology and artificial intelligence.
    New combat vehicles and drone swarms will be used as well.
    "You can see a huge difference," said one officer. "When I was in the army for the first time 10 years ago, nothing was digitized, and now it's [the technology is] quick and up-to-date, and you can activate whatever unit you want to fire."
    An officer in an operations room noted, "If there is a platoon that is trying to take a certain objective and they get stopped by snipers...they can use us to help them remove the target in a short period of time."

Vietnamese Israelis - 45 Years Later - Avi Kumar (JNS)
    From 1977 to 1979, Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin permitted entry to 360 Vietnamese "boat people" in the aftermath of the Communist takeover in that nation, citing parallels with Jews struggling to find refuge during the Holocaust.
    Most settled around Jaffa and Bat Yam, and the community today numbers 150-200.
    Tongi Noyan, 28, works as a real estate broker in Tel Aviv. He speaks perfect Hebrew with no accent. He said the majority of Vietnamese Israelis are Buddhists, like his father, with some being Christian, like his mother. Some have also recently converted to Judaism.
    While noting that many members of the community left Israel for the U.S., France or other countries, including Vietnam, to him Israel is home.
    "Of course I'm a true Israeli....I speak Hebrew, I was born and raised here."

The Blinded IDF Soldier Who Won a Triathlon Medal - Justin Cohen (Jewish News-UK)
    Oren Blitzblau was blinded while serving in Gaza in 2005 but went on to serve another decade in the IDF and became Israel's first blind Ironman and a medal winner in paratriathlon.
    He told 400 guests at Beit Halochem UK's annual dinner that the rehabilitation he received from the charity helped turn his "nightmare to dreams."

Israeli Startups Raised $1.6 Billion in June (Globes)
    Israeli startups raised $1.6 billion in June 2022, for a total of $9.7 billion in the first half of the year.

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News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • Four Jews Killed in Highland Park Parade Shooting - Leslie Hirschfeld
    Four of the seven victims killed in the Highland Park, Illinois, shooting spree on July 4 were members of the Jewish community: Katherine Goldstein (64), a master cook and gifted photographer; Stephen Straus (88), a financial adviser; Jacki Sundheim (63), events coordinator at North Shore Congregation Israel; and Irena Levberg McCarthy (35). McCarthy's husband Kevin was also killed while protecting their child, Aiden, 2, who will now be raised by his grandparents. More than 30 victims were treated at four local hospitals, including members of Am Shalom congregation in nearby Glencoe. (JTA-Fox13)
  • U.S. Says Tehran Is Stalling on Nuclear Deal - Steve Inskeep
    U.S. special envoy for Iran Robert Malley said in an interview Tuesday that at a recent meeting with the Iranians in Doha, Qatar, "they seem, at this point, not capable of providing an answer. And so it was more than a little bit of a wasted occasion....The party that has not said 'yes' is Iran....The party that needs to provide an answer now is Iran."
        The Iranians "have, and including in Doha, added demands that I think for anyone looking at this would be viewed as having nothing to do with the nuclear deal....They need to come to a conclusion about whether they are now prepared to come back into compliance with the deal."
        Malley said the Iranians have enough highly enriched uranium on hand to make a bomb. "It would take them a matter of weeks. Again, it would be something that we would know, we would see, and to which we would react quite forcefully."  (NPR)
  • U.S.: Bullet Test in Journalist's Killing Inconclusive - Spokesperson Ned Price
    After an extremely detailed forensic analysis, independent, third-party examiners, as part of a process overseen by the U.S. Security Coordinator (USSC), could not reach a definitive conclusion regarding the origin of the bullet that killed Palestinian-American journalist Shireen Abu Akleh. Ballistic experts determined the bullet was badly damaged, which prevented a clear conclusion.
        The USSC concluded that gunfire from IDF positions was likely responsible for the death of Shireen Abu Akleh. The USSC found no reason to believe that this was intentional but rather the result of tragic circumstances during an IDF-led military operation against factions of Palestinian Islamic Jihad on May 11, 2022, in Jenin, which followed a series of terrorist attacks in Israel. (U.S. State Department)
        See also IDF: No IDF Soldier Deliberately Fired at Journalist
    The IDF investigation concluded that the source of the fire that led to the death of Ms. Abu Akleh could not be determined based on the available information. The IDF investigation conclusively determined that no IDF soldier deliberately fired at Ms. Abu Akleh. (Israel Defense Forces)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel Says Iranian Warships in Red Sea Present a Global Threat - Anna Ahronheim
    Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz unveiled recent satellite images showing four Iranian military ships in the Red Sea at the Economist Government Roundtable in Athens on Tuesday. "Iran is expanding its aggressive operations," Gantz said. "Today, we can confirm that Iran is methodically basing itself in the Red Sea, with warships patrolling the southern region."
        "The presence of Iran's military forces in the Red Sea in recent months is the most significant in a decade. It is a direct threat to trade, energy and the global economy."
        Gantz also noted that the test of an Iranian satellite launcher last week "demonstrates that the Iranian regime has the capabilities to develop intercontinental ballistic missiles that may reach as far as the center of Europe."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Tel Aviv Light Rail Company Hit by Cyberattack amid Iranian Claims of Responsibility
    The company building the light rail network for the Tel Aviv area said Monday that its website was temporarily disrupted by a foreign denial-of-service cyberattack, as Iranian media reported that pro-regime hackers had unleashed a "massive" attack. Israel's NTA Metropolitan Mass Transit System said "a glitch was detected," but that NTA had regained control of the website and that it had sustained no lasting damage.
        Iranian media claimed the attack targeted the "Israel Metro." However, the Tel Aviv light rail is still under construction and has not yet begun operations. (Times of Israel)
  • Israeli Stabbed by Palestinian near Bnei Brak
    Yitzhak Dahan, 47, suffered serious head wounds after being stabbed on a pedestrian bridge near Bnei Brak on Tuesday. The Palestinian attacker has been arrested, police announced Wednesday. (Jerusalem Post)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:


  • The Ayatollah's Model for the World - Amir Taheri
    Ayatollah Ahmad Alam al-Hoda, one of the possible successors to Supreme Guide Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, envisions the rise of Iran's "Islamic model" to lead the post-modern world. But what is the true picture of Iran under the Islamic Republic?
        Iran accounts for 50% of all executions in the world although the country represents only 1.1% of the world population. More than 40% of all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience are in Iran.
        Each year, an average of 150,000 highly-educated Iranians, among them 3,500 medical doctors, leave the country to join the 8 million (almost 10% of the population) already in exile. Flight of capital is estimated to be between $22 billion and $30 billion a year. According to official estimates, more than 1.5 million Iranians have purchased property in Turkey, while a further 1.2 million have invested in real estate in Georgia, Armenia and Serbia.
        Iran's position on the global life expectancy chart has fallen to 49th place compared to 38th in 1977. Iran is also facing a downward demographic curve, with a significant number of young people unable to get married and raise families.
        The writer was editor-in-chief of the Iranian daily Kayhan. (Asharq Al-Awsat-UK)

  • Palestinians

  • Twenty-Year Scars of the Second Intifada - Shany Mor
    20 years ago, on the first night of Passover 2002, the most infamous suicide bombing in Israel took place. That night, and the weeks that followed, marked a dramatic turning point in the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians which still dictates the contours of the conflict today. Options for a political settlement that might have existed before, disappeared into a new reality.
        In March 2002 alone, more than 100 Israelis were killed in suicide bombings; hundreds more were injured. Sitting at a cafe, riding a bus, walking through an outdoor market became imbued with a feeling of danger. When Israel responded, protests against Israel erupted in all the major Western capitals, though there were few, if any, protests against the Palestinian suicide bombings. The European Parliament passed a non-binding resolution calling for sanctions against Israel. International media coverage of the operation was overwhelmingly negative.
        The 1993 Oslo Accords were pitched to Israelis with a promise that they would improve security. And if that first promise remained unfulfilled - even after Israel recognized the PLO and carried out the withdrawals from Gaza and the West Bank as called for in the Agreements - then the whole world would see who the bad guys really were and stand by Israel.
        Neither promise was realized and this left deep scars on the Israeli psyche. An enormous skepticism emerged about peace with the Palestinians. Moreover, the broad center of Israeli politics no longer is moved by expectations of global support.
        The writer, an Adjunct Fellow at FDD, is a former Director for Foreign Policy at Israel's National Security Council. (Foundation for Defense of Democracies)
  • IDF Doesn't Use Type of Weapon that PA Claims Killed Reporter - Sean Durns
    As Reuters and other news outlets reported, the Palestinian Authority's Attorney General, Akram Al-Khatib, said that the PA's investigation determined that Israel "directly and deliberately" targeted al-Jazeera reporter Shireen Abu Akleh, and that the IDF used a Ruger Mini-14 to shoot her. But the IDF doesn't use Ruger Mini-14s. Yet not a single major Western news outlet bothered to note that the IDF doesn't even field the weapon that the PA says was used. (CAMERA)

  • Other Issues

  • Dutch MEPs: International Law Must Be Applied Consistently, including When It Concerns Israel
    At the European Parliament in Strasbourg on Monday, following numerous statements regarding Israel's "occupation" by EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Josep Borrell, Netherland MEP Bert-Jan Ruissen told the parliament that Borrell's characterizations were "incorrect and careless."
        "He constantly talks about occupation. According to international law, this is a term that should only be used if the occupied territory belongs to another recognized state. But who did the West Bank belong to before 1967? Not to Jordan, not to the Ottoman Empire, not to Britain. It is peculiar that in the case of Northern Cyprus, where its legal status is crystal clear, the High Representative does not speak of illegal settlement activity."
        Netherland MEP Michiel Hoogeveen asked, "Why hasn't the EU ever called any other people's residential activities in other occupied territories an international crime? We are aware that there are many territories the EU deems occupied around the world, even in Europe. Yet, people move in and out of them all the time. However, the EU only talks about illegal settlers in relation to Israeli Jews."
        Prof. Eugene Kontorovich, head of the Kohelet Policy Forum's international law department, said, "It is not just Israelis who are appalled by the EU's creation of supposedly 'international' law rules that only apply to one country." He said, "the term 'illegal settlements' has no general applicability; it is merely a diplomatic euphemism for Jews living where we don't want them to."  (JNS)
  • Boycotting Israel Isn't Free Speech - Eugene Kontorovich
    35 states have enacted laws barring taxpayer money from being used to contract with or invest in companies that boycott Israel. These laws are modeled on existing, and constitutionally uncontroversial, antidiscrimination laws that bar states from doing business with firms that boycott gays and other groups. But when the same logic was applied to protect Israelis, critics denounced the anti-BDS laws as unconstitutional violations of free speech.
        The American Civil Liberties Union launched a nationwide litigation campaign against the anti-BDS laws, claiming that the First Amendment protects companies' right to boycott Israel. On June 22, the Eighth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals held that while a company's explanation of its boycott may be speech, the boycott itself is conduct. The court ruled that anti-BDS laws do not ban publicly criticizing Israel. They only prohibit "economic decisions that discriminate against Israel."
        The writer is director of the Center for the Middle East and International Law at George Mason University Law School. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Licking Ben and Jerry's: Evil Can Be Defeated, Provided It Is Fought - Melanie Phillips
    Last summer, the Unilever-owned company Ben & Jerry's said it would stop selling its ice-cream in "occupied Palestinian territory." Unilever has now sold Ben & Jerry's Israeli interests to the licensee who has sold its product in Israel and the disputed territories for the past 34 years and will now continue to do so.
        This shows what can be achieved when there's a backlash against anti-Israel bigotry. Arizona and Illinois had divested their pension funds from Unilever; other states threatened to follow.
        The source of anti-Israel bigotry is a narrative about the Middle East that is deemed to be true even though it is based entirely on lies. There has never been any "Palestinian territory," and the "West Bank" has been a legal no-man's land ever since Israel was created. The claim that it is "occupied" by Israel rests upon a willful misinterpretation of the Geneva Conventions. Moreover, the Palestinian cause is based on a fictional historic Palestinian identity constructed solely with the aim of exterminating Israel and denying the truth that it is the historic national homeland of the Jewish people.
        The writer is a columnist for The Times-UK. (JNS)
  • It's No Longer "Muslims Only" in the Holy Saudi City of Medina - Avi Jorisch
    For 1,300 years, only Muslims have been allowed to visit Medina, Islam's second holiest city where the Prophet Muhammad is buried. But that is changing, part of a larger transformation in Saudi society. Saudi officials recently removed signs reading "Muslims only" on the road to Medina.
        Last month, a delegation of 50 Jewish business leaders closely affiliated with Israel visited the Prophet's Mosque in Medina. Wherever we went, it felt like old friends and family being reunited. Not every conversation was easy, but it seemed clear to us that they were breaking centuries-old taboos and re-imagining working together. Our Saudi colleagues seemed overjoyed that we made the effort to understand their civilization by visiting one of Islam's most revered places. "Your visit will force us to see Jews and Israelis differently," said one Saudi.
        The writer is a senior fellow at the American Foreign Policy Council. (Jerusalem Post)
  • Following in the Footsteps of Abraham - Irit Tratt
    A new book by Jason Greenblatt, a former Middle East envoy and one of the chief architects of the Abraham Accords, provides a fascinating personal and professional look at his role in creating meaningful change in the Middle East. Greenblatt, U.S. Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, and senior advisor Jared Kushner - all political "outsiders" - were successful in altering decades of U.S. policy in the region that saw resolving the Israeli-Palestinian conflict as the key to Arab acceptance of Israel.
        The book, In the Path of Abraham, devotes considerable time to President Trump's "Peace to Prosperity" plan, which laid out an economic and political framework for an Israeli-Palestinian peace deal. Greenblatt reveals that many Arab leaders, both publicly and privately, urged the Palestinians to accept the proposal, but the Palestinian Authority's rejectionism led to its failure.
        The writer is a fellow of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs. (JNS)

  • Anti-Semitism

  • BDS at Harvard - J.J. Kimche and Angelique Talmor
    As we Jewish students have witnessed, the routine vilification of the State of Israel - both inside and outside the classroom - indicates that something in the contemporary Harvard education has gone seriously awry. In the latest example of this trend, the editorial board of the Harvard Crimson endorsed the movement to boycott, divest, and sanction (BDS) the Jewish state in an April 29 editorial. BDS represents the economic arm of a global effort - spearheaded militarily by Hamas, Hizbullah, and Iran - to destroy the Jewish state.
        The hostility toward Israel that has permeated our campus - which often involves the endorsement of anti-Semitic attitudes, assumptions, and activities - is symptomatic of larger trends: a retreat from robust critical thinking and a surrender to the most hysterical, least rigorous elements of campus activism.
        BDS rests upon the pernicious falsehoods that Jews don't belong in Israel, that their presence constitutes an act of colonialism against the native Palestinian population. Such a position betrays an often-contrived ignorance of the millennia-long connection between the Land of Israel and the Jewish people. It is also a denial of the right of self-defense for history's most persecuted minority.
        J.J. Kimche is a Ph.D. student in Harvard's department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations. Angelique Talmor is an MPP Student in Harvard's John F. Kennedy School of Government. (City Journal)

  • Weekend Features

  • The Jewish Experience of the Last 70 Years Is Profoundly Better because of Israel's Existence - Israel's Special Envoy for Combating Anti-Semitism Noa Tishby interviewed by Mara Fahl
    I started becoming an advocate for Israel because I just couldn't sit still based on what I was hearing. People had severe misunderstandings about Israel; they knew nothing about it and yet had very strong opinions.
        My biggest message for young Jewish adults and for Jews in general is that wherever they live, their sense of freedom and their ability to do whatever they want is directly connected to the fact that there is a Jewish state and a Jewish military. Much of the younger generation doesn't understand that the Jewish experience of the last 70 years is profoundly different - for the better - because of Israel's existence.
        We don't need to re-justify the existence of a Jewish state in the Land of Israel; it's based on indigeneity, on history, on archaeology, on religion, on science. Israel is a very small piece of land, and the Jews deserve self-determination and self-governance in their ancestral land. Israel has issues and controversial elements just like the U.S., France, or Canada. What's awarded to Israel is the questionable honor of doubting its right to exist. Nobody talks about dismantling other places, but they do talk about dismantling Israel. (JNS)
  • When Frank Sinatra Helped Israel - Nati Gabbay
    In March 1948 the Haganah was working back channels in order to arm the Jewish population in Mandatory Palestine as the fight for Israel's independence was already underway. Teddy Kollek, later to be Mayor of Jerusalem, was in a New York hotel with a mission to transfer funds to the captain of an Irish ship, docked not far away and loaded with ammunition, before it set sail to the Land of Israel. But Kollek, a known Haganah operative, was being monitored by U.S. federal agents.
        In the same hotel was the Copacabana nightclub, frequented by entertainer Frank Sinatra. One morning Kollek left the hotel holding a bag. FBI agents followed him. At the same moment, Frank Sinatra left out the back exit, carrying a million dollars in a paper bag. He went down to the pier, made the delivery to the captain, and the ammunition ship sailed on its way. "It was the beginning of the young nation, I wanted to help," Sinatra later told his daughter Nancy. (The Librarians-Jerusalem Post)
        See also Video: Frank Sinatra's 1962 Visit to Israel (YouTube)
  • Tapes Reveal Eichmann Admitting His Role in the Holocaust - Harriet Alexander
    Audio recordings of Adolf Eichmann, the architect of the Holocaust, boasting about his actions have been made public for the first time, 60 years after his execution for crimes against humanity. Eichmann recorded the interviews in 1957 in Argentina, where he fled after the war, which are being broadcast now thanks to Israeli documentary makers.
        In them, Eichmann admits to his role in the "Final Solution." "If we had killed 10.3 million Jews, I would say with satisfaction, 'Good, we destroyed an enemy','' Eichmann says. "Then we would have fulfilled our mission." He said, "Jews who are not fit to work must be sent to the Final Solution, period." He said that he "did not care" whether those sent to Auschwitz lived or died. At one point, Eichmann can be heard swatting a fly that was buzzing around the room and describing it as having "a Jewish nature."  (Daily Mail-UK)
        See also Video Trailer: The Devil's Confession: The Lost Eichmann Tapes (Docaviv)
  • Nazi Collaborator's Name Removed from Canadian Mountain - Bill Kaufmann
    On June 29, the British Columbia government followed Alberta in officially rescinding the name for Mt. Petain on the border between the two provinces. Neither province has chosen a new name for the mountain yet.
        The mountain was named in 1919 for French field marshal Philippe Petain who was hailed as a hero in the 1916 Battle of Verdun during the First World War. But during the Second World War, Petain led the Vichy French government in German-occupied France and worked closely with the Nazi administration. He even wrote a letter congratulating the Nazis in the 1942 Dieppe Raid, in which 3,367 Allied soldiers, including 916 Canadians, were killed. After the war, the French government convicted Petain for treason. (CBC Radio-Canada)

The U.S. Needs a Better Strategy to Deter Iran - Dennis Ross (Foreign Affairs)
  • U.S. President Joe Biden's administration has a strong desire to put Iran's nuclear program back in the box and to avoid choosing from an unappealing list of options for preventing Tehran from enriching uranium to near weapons grade and shrinking its "breakout" time to close to zero.
  • Clearly, if there is no deal, or if Iran begins to ramp up its nuclear program as part of its negotiating strategy, the U.S. will need a better strategy for deterring Tehran. But even if the two sides reach an agreement, the Biden administration will need to improve its deterrence. Key provisions of the 2015 deal will "sunset" in 2030, leaving Iran without limits on the size of its nuclear infrastructure, the number or quality of its centrifuges, or the level of its enrichment.
  • To improve U.S. deterrence in the long run, the aim must be to restore Iran's fear of U.S. military action. Iran's leaders must know that by pressing ahead they will risk losing their entire nuclear infrastructure, which has taken them several decades to develop. Washington must put Iran on notice that it will respond with all appropriate means if it detects movement toward a nuclear weapon. Instead of saying "all options are on the table" - a statement that no one takes seriously - the Biden administration should say that if Iran moves toward a weapon, it will jeopardize its entire nuclear infrastructure.
  • To make its declaratory policy credible, the Biden administration should instruct the U.S. Central Command to conduct exercises to rehearse air-to-ground attacks on hardened targets. It should also run exercises in which it refuels Israeli aircraft. What it should not do is what it did in May: deny that it refueled Israeli aircraft during a joint exercise. Washington needs to stoke Iranian fears of an attack, not give the country's leaders reason to doubt it would ever act militarily against them.
  • Finally, the U.S. must be prepared to respond more forcefully to attacks by Iranian proxies on U.S. forces in Iraq and Syria. Bases where U.S. forces are stationed have been targeted more than 40 times, but the U.S. has responded in a highly calibrated way only twice. Washington's responses must be unexpected, and they must signal to Iranian leaders that the U.S. is willing to use force against them. The U.S. must make clear that it is no longer willing to tolerate these attacks.
  • Ironically, restoring Iran's fear of the U.S. may be the only way to avoid a war, limit Iranian threats in the region, and produce an acceptable diplomatic outcome on the character of the Iranian nuclear program.

    The writer, who served in senior national security positions in four U.S. administrations, is the Counselor at the Washington Institute for Near East Policy.
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