April 16, 2024
A project of the Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs
Israel's Global Embassy for National Security and Applied Diplomacy

In-Depth Issues:

Saudi Arabia Acknowledges Helping Defend Israel Against Iran - Tovah Lazaroff (Jerusalem Post)
    Saudi Arabia acknowledged that it had helped the newly forged regional military coalition repel an Iranian attack against Israel, in an unusual post on its royal family's website.
    The post summarized what a source from the Saudi royal family had told Israel's Channel 11, which noted that "any suspicious entity" in Saudi airspace is automatically intercepted.
    The Saudi official said, "Iran is a nation that endorses terrorism, and the world should have curtailed it much earlier."
    See also below Observations: How the U.S. Forged a Fragile Middle Eastern Alliance to Repel Iran's Attack on Israel - David S. Cloud (Wall Street Journal)

Iran's Attack Exposes Close Cooperation between Israel and Jordan - Smadar Perry (Ynet News)
    Jordan's King Abdullah II wasn't seen, his voice was not heard, and all of the military activity carried out by the Jordanian Air Force pilots on Saturday night seemed to have taken place without his involvement.
    However, the king, the supreme commander of Jordanian security and intelligence establishments, was acting behind the scenes.
    Even before the Iranian attack on Israel, the king made it clear he would not allow the Iranians to operate in Jordanian territory as they do in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.
    According to reports, Israeli Air Force fighter jets and sophisticated electronic equipment targeted the Iranian UAVs in Jordanian airspace.
    Meanwhile, Jordanian aircraft flew to intercept Iranian drones making their way to Israeli territory.
    Sunni Muslim Jordan decided to take action against Shiite Muslim Iran in order to avoid becoming a puppet state like Iraq and to prevent the IRGC from roaming freely in its territory.
    See also Jordan: We Defended Our Borders and People, Oppose Any Iranian Attempt to Violate Our Sovereignty (MEMRI)
    The Iranian attack on Israel via Jordan's airspace was perceived not only as an infringement of Jordan's sovereignty but also as an attempt by Iran to expand its regional influence into the kingdom.
    Jordanian Foreign Minister Ayman Al-Safadi clarified that the country has a permanent policy of defending its airspace.
    Government spokesperson Muhannad Al-Mubaidin explicitly condemned Iran, stating that the government refuses to let Jordan be used by a country that is trying to "promote regional agendas" at its expense.
    The state daily Al-Rai explained in an editorial that Jordan will not be an arena for score-settling by other countries.

Israel to Arab Countries: Coming Response to Iran Won't Endanger You (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel has sent messages to Arab countries saying that it will not respond to Iran's drone and missile attack in a way that would endanger these countries, Israel's Channel 11 reported Tuesday.

Iranian General Killed in Israeli Strike Was Architect of Oct. 7 Massacre (Iran International)
    In a statement issued on April 3, Iran's Coalition Council of Islamic Revolution Forces (SHANA) hailed slain IRGC commander Mohammad Reza Zahedi's "strategic role in forming and strengthening the resistance front as well as in planning and executing the Al-Aqsa Storm" - the name given by Hamas to the Oct. 7 massacre in Israel.
    SHANA is headed by former Parliament Speaker Gholam-Ali Haddad-Adel, a figure close to Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei.

Video: Israeli Fighter Jets Hunt Down Iranian Drones and Cruise Missiles (Ynet News)
    The IDF released footage showing Israeli fighter jets intercepting and neutralizing suicide drones and cruise missiles from Iran.

Israel's Arrow Intercepted Iranian Ballistic Missiles - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Iran's drones had a flight time of multiple hours to reach Israel, and the cruise missiles would have taken more than an hour to reach their target.
    The ballistic missiles, however, have a much shorter flight time - around 10 minutes - and are more challenging to intercept.
    The IDF said the long-range Arrow air defense system knocked down the "vast majority" of the ballistic missiles headed toward Israel.
    The Arrow 3 system is designed to take out ballistic missiles while they are still outside of the atmosphere.
    Unlike the drones and cruise missiles, the ballistic missiles were shot down over Israel, leading the IDF to activate warning sirens over fears of falling shrapnel.
    The explosions heard across the country were a result of the Arrow interceptions, despite them being shot down high in the sky and, in some cases, in space.
  A few ballistic missiles managed to bypass the Israeli defenses and strike the Nevatim airbase.
    "Iran thought it would be able to paralyze the base and thus damage our air capabilities, but it failed," said IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari.

Many Iranian Missiles Failed to Launch or Crashed before Striking Target, U.S. Officials Say - Gordon Lubold (Wall Street Journal)
    Roughly 50% of the ballistic missiles fired by Iran failed to launch or crashed before reaching their target, three U.S. officials said.

IDF: No Cargo Plane Was Damaged, No Second Airbase Was Hit in Iran Attack - Emanuel Fabian (Times of Israel)
    Contrary to an ABC News report, no cargo plane was damaged in the Iranian missile attack on Nevatim Airbase, the IDF said.
    The report further claimed that another four ballistic missiles hit "the Negev Airbase." There is no airbase in Israel with that name, and no other bases in Israel were hit in the attack.
    IDF Spokesman Daniel Hagari said four missiles hit Nevatim. One hit close to a runway, two struck open areas, and another hit close to a building that was under construction.

Dershowitz: Israel Is Entitled by Law to Act Against Iran - Nir Cohen (Ynet News)
    Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz told Ynet on Monday that Israel is entitled by law to act against Iran.
    "Iran had declared war on Israel officially. Israel is entitled to respond disproportionately in any possible way."
    "Israel is also free to act because, in the early 1990s, Iran attacked its embassy, not some consulate building, not some building with military people, but the actual embassy building in Buenos Aires, killing some 23 people, so Iran cannot say that Israel acted improperly by attacking the building that was being used to house the generals from Iran."
    "Ultimately the world will recognize that it was a disastrous failure to allow the Iranian regime to continue." He likened it to the failure of Britain and France to act against the Nazi regime in the 1930s ahead of WWII.
    "The failed attack by Iran on Israel provides a complete legal and moral justification for regime change and, unless regime change occurs, there will be no peace in the Middle East."
    If regime change were to occur, that would mean the end of Hamas, the end of Hizbullah, and the end of the Houthis, he said.

The Lessons of Israeli Missile Defense - Editorial (Wall Street Journal)
    The performance of Israeli air defenses, combined with assistance from U.S. jets and interceptors, saved countless lives.
    If the more than 300 drones and ballistic and cruise missiles had reached their targets, the mass casualties would have all but guaranteed a large-scale military escalation.
    The success of air defenses is a tribute to Israeli strategy and decades of investment in defense technology.

Israeli Pilot Describes "The Most Meaningful Flight of My Career" - Tamar Uriel-Beeri (Jerusalem Post)
    Israel Air Force pilot Maj. "N," who has been on reserve duty since Oct. 7, said Monday after participating in Israel's broad defense operation amid the Iranian attack:
    "I've been a pilot for over 20 years, and I have participated in many operations, both in and out of Israel. This was the most meaningful flight [yet]."
    "I experienced what it was like to participate in something far bigger than myself....I feel that this was very meaningful and that I physically safeguarded Israel from the 60 tons of [Iranian] weapons."

Israel Air Force Traffic Controller Describes Iranian Drone Strike - Eliav Breuer (Jerusalem Post)
    Maj. "A" is a reserve officer on duty since Oct. 7 in the IDF Southern Command's Air Traffic Control (ATC) Division.
    Her job is the defense of Israeli airspace, including identifying each threat, directing relevant forces, and operating firepower.
    On Saturday night, this was the unit that managed the war zone. Dozens of dots began to appear on the unit's screens and the unit worked to identify the threats and coordinate the response to each one of them.
    "The feeling was one of very high tension and very high professionalism...but we finished the night with a feeling of pride but also modesty."
    "Now we continue at full strength....This is one night among many, we are cocked and ready 24/7."

News Resources - North America, Europe, and Asia:
  • U.S.: How Israel Responds to Iranian Attack "Is Going to Be Up to Them. We Understand That and Respect That" - Kristen Welker
    U.S. National Security Council Spokesman John Kirby told "Meet the Press" on Sunday: This "is just an incredible military achievement by Israel and quite frankly the United States and other partners that helped Israel defend itself against more than three hundred drones and missiles. I mean it's just an extraordinary example of military superiority that Israel demonstrated to the whole world last night."
        "And I think Israel also demonstrated that it has friends, that it's not standing alone. That it's not isolated on the world stage. Now, whether and how the Israelis will respond? That's going to be up to them. We understand that and respect that."  (NBC News)
  • U.S. Details Pentagon's Role in Defending Israel from Iranian Attack - Dan Lamothe
    A senior U.S. military official said the USS Carney and USS Arleigh Burke, destroyers in the eastern Mediterranean Sea, shot down between four and six ballistic missiles in the Iranian attack. U.S. troops manning the Patriot missile defense system in Irbil, Iraq, took down another missile. "There's virtually no infrastructure damage to Israel at all," he said, despite Iran's intent to cause "significant damage and deaths in Israel."
        Retired Gen. Kenneth "Frank" McKenzie, who oversaw U.S. forces in the Middle East before retiring in 2022, said on Sunday that Iran expended a lot of resources in the attack that will affect its ability to carry out anything similar soon. McKenzie said that Iran has more than 3,000 missiles scattered across the country, with a little more than 100 in western Iran, where they can target Israel. "Based on what the Israelis are saying, I believe they fired most of those weapons at Israel....Iran could not replicate last night's attack tonight, if they had to."
        McKenzie called the attack a "maximum effort," and said there was "nothing moderate" about it. Iran used its "most important capability," ballistic missiles, in the assault, and it still failed, he assessed. "So I think Israel this morning is now much stronger than they were yesterday, and Iran is relatively weaker than it was yesterday."  (Washington Post)
        See also U.S. Destroyed 80 Drones and Six Ballistic Missiles in Iranian Attack on Israel
    On April 13-14, U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) forces, supported by U.S. European Command destroyers, successfully engaged and destroyed more than 80 attack drones and at least six ballistic missiles intended to strike Israel from Iran and Yemen. This includes a ballistic missile on its launcher vehicle and seven UAVs destroyed on the ground in Yemen. CENTCOM remains postured to support Israel's defense against these dangerous actions by Iran. (U.S. Central Command)
  • How RAF Pilots Helped Israel Repel Iran's Drone Onslaught - Sean Rayment
    Four RAF Typhoon fighter jets based in Cyprus were scrambled after Iran launched an unprecedented drone swarm attack against Israel on Saturday night. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak had given them clearance to engage hostile enemy drones en-route to Israel. The RAF jets shot down between 10 and 20 Shaheed "suicide" drones over Iraq and Syria. The RAF were joined in the skies by Jordanian, U.S. and Israeli forces. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Iran's Attack on Israel Stirs Admiration among Gaza Palestinians - Nidal Al-Mughrabi
    Iran's attack on Israel drew applause from many Palestinians in Gaza on Sunday. Footage from Gaza showed many residents, including inside displacement tents, whistling and chanting Allah Akbar in joy as the skies were lit up by Iranian rockets and Israeli interceptions. "Whoever decides to attack Israel...is a hero in the eyes of Palestinians," said Majed Abu Hamza, 52, from Gaza City. "Now Iran...is hitting back at Israel and this brings joy into our hearts."  (Reuters)
News Resources - Israel and the Mideast:
  • Israel: Iran Must Pay a Price for Its Aggression
    On Saturday night, a large-scale and unprecedented attack - consisting of hundreds of UAVs, cruise missiles and ballistic missiles - was launched by Iran against the State of Israel. The attack, which originated from Iranian territory, was supplemented by additional attacks by militias in Iraq, the Houthis in Yemen and Hizbullah in Lebanon.
        This attack proves once again what Israel has been saying for years: Iran is the one behind the terrorist attacks in the region, and is also the greatest threat to regional stability and world order. Iran attacked Israel, and it has attacked the Gulf states in the past, threatens Jordan, threatens the U.S., dispatches weapons for use in the war on Ukraine, and endangers world peace. This is precisely why Iran must never obtain nuclear weapons.
        Iran must pay a price for its aggression. The initial price must be the immediate recognition of the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps - which launched the attack - as a terrorist organization. Painful sanctions must be imposed on Iran, including, but not limited to, the field of missiles. (Israel Ministry of Foreign Affairs)
  • U.S., Israel Call on UN Security Council to Condemn Iran's Attack, but No Action Taken - Tovah Lazaroff
    The UN Security Council debated, but did not condemn, Iran's missile and drone attack against Israel on Sunday, as the U.S. and Israel called on it to do so. "The Security Council must unequivocally condemn Iran's aggressive actions and call for Iran and its partners and proxies to cease their attacks," U.S. Ambassador Robert Wood told the special session.
        Israel's Ambassador to the UN Gilad Erdan noted that a Bedouin Israeli girl, age 7, was seriously wounded in the attack. He held up a video of the Iranian missiles above the al-Aqsa Mosque compound and said, "To Iran, Israel's annihilation and igniting the region is more important than Islamic holy sites."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Edelstein: "If Israel Doesn’t Respond, Iran Will Think It Can Attack Every Week" - Tovah Lazaroff
    Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee Chairman Yuli Edelstein said, "There will be a response" to the Iranian attack. "I don't think that we can pretend that nothing really happened because we managed to defend ourselves and [didn't] let all these cruise missiles and ballistic missiles and drones kill thousands of Israelis." If "there's no retaliation," Iran "can decide that this is something they can do every week."  (Jerusalem Post)
  • Report: Hamas Offers Truce Deal with No Hostage Release for Six Weeks
    Hamas presented mediators on Sunday with a proposal for a permanent ceasefire and total withdrawal of the Israeli army from Gaza, Ha'aretz reported Monday. No hostages would be returned during the first six weeks, though hostilities would need to be halted from day one. A former IDF intelligence officer, Raphael Yerushalmi, said, "It is ridiculous even to consider it."  (i24News)
        See also U.S. Accuses Hamas of Being "Obstacle" to Gaza Truce after It Rejected Mediators' Proposal - Jacob Magid
    The U.S. on Monday accused Hamas of being the barrier to a temporary ceasefire in Gaza, adding that Israel had moved in a "significant way" to submit a reasonable proposal in the ongoing hostage talks, U.S. State Department spokesperson Matthew Miller said. "It is Hamas right now that is the barrier and the obstacle to a ceasefire in Gaza," he said. (Times of Israel)
Global Commentary and Think-Tank Analysis:

    Iran Attacks Israel

  • Attack on Israel Exposes Iran to a Direct Response - Meir Ben Shabbat
    Iran carried out the largest missile and UAV attack any country has ever launched against another country. In doing so, it exposed itself to a direct response, led to the formation of a coalition of countries against it, and provided an opportunity to showcase an impressive array of air defense capabilities against Iran. Israel need not rush to respond. It would be wise to keep Iranian nerves in tense anticipation, allowing the Iranian rial to continue plummeting and enabling internal criticism of the regime to intensify.
        The writer, a former Israeli national security advisor, is chairman of the Misgav Institute for National Security & Zionist Strategy in Jerusalem.  (Israel Hayom)
  • Israel Shouldn't "Take the Win" Against Iran - Walter Russell Mead
    "Take the win," President Biden reportedly advised Prime Minister Netanyahu after Iran's unprecedented missile and drone attacks against Israel sputtered. It would be national suicide for any Israeli prime minister to do so.
        If the U.S. hopes to step back from a front-line role in the Middle East, it must foster an alliance that can check Iran's unrelenting and fanatical drive for hegemony. Iran has become so powerful, and America's reputation as a source of reliable support so weak, that only resolute American backing of our allies can turn the tide.
        Israel sees the common fight against Iran as part of its own fight for survival. It will be a reliable ally because it has no choice. Moreover, Israel offers the mix of strength and relentlessness without which Iran cannot be stopped. People fighting for their survival against an utterly amoral opponent will do what they must.
        The writer, a fellow at the Hudson Institute, is Professor of Foreign Affairs and Humanities at Bard College. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iran's Ominous Attack on Israel - Editorial
    Iran's drone and missile assault on Israel Saturday night is an open act of aggression. It's an escalation of the war Iran has been waging against Israel for months through its Middle East proxies. The difference now is that Iran's imperialistic face is in the open rather than in the shadows, and that should change calculations in Washington.
        Iran's weekend attack should be clarifying to Western leaders about Iran's malevolent intentions. Iran's bombardment wasn't discriminate or limited to military targets, unlike Israel's precision strike that killed the IRGC generals.
        President Biden had warned Iran not to attack after U.S. intelligence detected signs of preparation in Tehran. "Don't," Mr. Biden said. But Iran went ahead anyway. White House theories of escalation management don't work against a regime that thinks a U.S. president fears escalation more than Iran does. U.S. restraint since the Oct. 7 massacre has encouraged Tehran to see how much more it can get away with.
        Imagine how Iran would behave if it acquires nuclear weapons. It is also a messianic regime bent on spreading Shiite revolution. Such a regime might be all too willing to risk Armageddon to destroy the Jewish state.
        "Take the win," Mr. Biden reportedly told Mr. Netanyahu. But is it a win if Iran can directly attack Israel without consequences? Israel shouldn't have to wait in a defensive crouch until Iran decides to attack again. Israel is justified in attacking Iran's assets, including military targets in Iran. (Wall Street Journal)
  • Iran Just Made a Big Mistake - Thomas L. Friedman
    There now needs to be a massive, sustained, global initiative to isolate Iran - to deter it from trying such an adventure again. There must be major diplomatic and economic consequences for Iran. When Tehran fired all those drones and missiles, it could not know that virtually all of them would be intercepted. Some were shot down over Jerusalem. A missile could have hit al-Aqsa Mosque. Another could have hit the Israeli Parliament or a high-rise apartment house, causing massive casualties.
        We are talking about an escalation without precedent. Without a U.S.-led global initiative to impose sanctions on Iran and further isolate it on the world stage, Iran's behavior would be tacitly normalized.
        Iran just showed the whole world that Israel and its Western allies have far superior antimissile capabilities than Iran has missile capabilities. Ha'aretz veteran military correspondent Amos Harel wrote Sunday: We are talking about "an unprecedented achievement in the history of Israel's wars - albeit with some help from friends - that largely takes away the main card held by Iran and the axis: drones and missiles."  (New York Times)
  • Iran's Attempt to Hit Israel with a Russian-Style Strike Package Failed - Brian Carter and Frederick W. Kagan
    The Iranian missile-drone attack on Israel was very likely intended to cause significant damage. The attack was designed to succeed, not to fail. The strike package was modeled on those the Russians have used repeatedly against Ukraine to great effect. The attack caused more limited damage than intended likely because the Iranians underestimated the tremendous advantages Israel has in defending against such strikes.
        The 170 drones were launched well before the ballistic and cruise missiles, very likely in the expectation that they would arrive in Israel's air defense window at about the same time. The purpose is to have the slower cruise missiles and drones distract and overwhelm air defenses in order to allow the ballistic missiles, which are much harder to shoot down, to reach their targets. The Iranians likely hoped that a significantly higher percentage of the ballistic missiles would hit their targets.
        Israel also benefits from the 1,000 km. separating its borders from Iran. Israel and its allies used that distance to intercept all of the incoming drones and cruise missiles with ground-based air defense and combat aircraft before they even came within Israel's own missile-defense umbrella.
        The lessons that Iran will draw from this attack will allow it to build more successful strike packages in the future. Israel and its partners should not emerge from this successful defense with any sense of complacency. (Institute for the Study of War)

  • British Commentary on the Iranian Attack

  • Tehran's Mayhem Cannot Be Tolerated - Editorial
    Israel's leaders and people are forever being entreated to avoid escalation and to act proportionately. They are hectored, lectured and told to act responsibly. No other country in the world is required to behave in this way when it is attacked by states that want to wipe it off the face of the earth.
        Yet it is not Israel that has caused all of the trouble, but Iran. It is the ayatollahs in Tehran who bankrolled Hamas and encouraged its murderous pogrom last autumn. It is Iran who arms and funds Hizbullah in Lebanon, where thousands of missiles - provided by the Iranians - are targeted at Israel. It is Iran who supports the Houthis in Yemen currently subjecting the world's shipping to the threat of drone and missile attacks, forcing vessels away from the Suez Canal.
        Where are the protest marches against Iran, against its treatment of women and minorities, its efforts to arm itself with nuclear weapons, its extra-judicial killings? Why is a brutal, theocratic autocracy considered somehow deserving of greater latitude than a democracy responding to attacks on its territory? No one should any longer harbor illusions about Iran's malign role in the Middle East. Its hand can be detected in all of the region's most dangerous crises. Allowing the ayatollahs to continue with their campaign of mayhem is no longer an option. (Sunday Telegraph-UK)
  • Israel Needs the Unequivocal Backing of Its Allies after Iran's Despicable Attack - Col. Richard Kemp
    On Saturday night I witnessed the most intensive aerial assault I have seen against Israel. To the soundtrack of thunderous explosions, the sky over Jerusalem was lit up with air defense projectiles colliding with Iranian missiles. It is important to recognize this was not a symbolic attack designed to fail. That would have been done with far fewer missiles and drones. Iran's clear intent was to hit hundreds of targets and kill hundreds of people.
        President Biden has told Prime Minister Netanyahu that he should consider this "a win." Such a call to Israel now is preposterous. It is exactly this approach that has led us to where we are today - consistently appeasing Iran and responding with abject feebleness to repeated attacks against U.S. forces.
        Iran's military mission to the UN has said that, with its strike on Israel, "the matter can be deemed concluded." But it is far from concluded. Iran has repeatedly confirmed its intent to annihilate the Jewish state and has constructed a "ring of fire" of proxies surrounding Israel to achieve that. Hamas' massacre of Israelis on Oct. 7 was part of this monstrous design, as are the daily rocket attacks against Israel since then by its proxy Lebanese Hizbullah.
        The writer, a former commander of British forces in Afghanistan, was chairman of the UK's national crisis management committee, COBRA. (Sunday Express-UK)
  • Time to Call Iran's Bluff - Con Coughlin
    Saturday night's drone and ballistic missile attack on Israel demonstrated the Iranians' true status as a hostile state that is intent on waging war against the West and its allies. Until now, Iran has avoided a direct confrontation with Israel, preferring to rely on a deadly network of terror groups, such as Hamas in Gaza and Hizbullah in Lebanon, to do its dirty work. This has enabled Iran to maintain a cloak of deniability about its true intentions, one that has persuaded naive leaders in the West to engage with the Iranians in the belief that compromise was possible.
        Iran's attack on Israel has revealed the Islamic Republic's true intent for all to see, a watershed moment that is likely to have a profound impact on how the world's major democracies view the ayatollahs in future. Iran will now be regarded as a tangible threat to Western security that must be tackled head-on.
        Iran claimed its assault on Israel was in response to an attack on the Iranian consulate in Damascus on April 1. Yet, far from being engaged in diplomatic activity, the building served as a command and control center used by Iran's Revolutionary Guards to supervise its nexus of terrorist activities throughout the region. This is why no Iranian diplomats were reported killed in the attack, just high-ranking members of the IRGC's Quds Force, a unit established by the ayatollahs to export Iran's Islamic revolution throughout the Muslim world.
        Western leaders should accept that they are now at war with Iran, and act accordingly. (Telegraph-UK)
  • Britain Must Stand with Israel - Editorial
    Iran launched a major drone attack on Israel on Saturday night. Footage showing Iranian weapons passing low through Iraqi airspace indicated that they were the same weapons deployed to such devastating effect by Vladimir Putin's forces in Ukraine.
        The regime in Tehran has cast a long shadow over the world. From its direct funding of the evil of Hamas in Israel, to the proxies it uses to assault shipping in the Red Sea, to its assassination plots on British soil, it has constantly sought to undermine the global order. With the launch of a direct assault upon Israel, it has crossed into outright, explicit and undeniable attacks upon the West.
        The time for appeasement is now over. Britain must stand in full behind Israel and its right to defend itself. The Iranian proxies threatening shipping in the Red Sea must be utterly defeated.
        Western leaders who proclaimed their solidarity with the Jewish state in the immediate aftermath of the Oct. 7 pogrom have begun to lose their stomach for the defense of the ideals they professed so strongly to hold. As Israel set about neutralizing the genocidal threat posed by Hamas, and ensuring the safety of its people, this support began to ebb away, even as antisemites took to the streets in Western capitals, baying for blood.
        It is time for us to remember who our friends are, and where our interests lie. The Iranian regime is an autocracy that threatens all our values. Britain must stand with Israel to the last. (Telegraph-UK)
  • If 300 Missiles and Drones Hit Britain, Would We Be Sitting on Our Hands? - Andrew Neil
    Within hours of Iran's mass missile and drone attack on Israel on Saturday night, the consensus of the global commentariat was that Israel should refrain from retaliation. It is quite remarkable advice for a country which has just been the target of more than 150 Iranian drones armed with explosives, 30 cruise missiles and 120 ballistic missiles. If so many weapons of destruction had rained down on Britain, would we be agreeing that it would probably be best for all concerned if we just sat on our hands?
        There would be an overwhelming national demand for a robust response to show we cannot be attacked with impunity - and that those who think they can should pay a terrible price. We'd expect our allies to stand alongside us, offering every possible assistance.
        It's clear that Iran, by sending so many drones and missiles at once, hoped to overwhelm Israel's defenses. That it failed should not be a factor in determining Israel's response. You do not launch 300 missiles and drones on another country unless you're aiming to cause a lot of death and destruction. Iran has attacked Israel directly from its own territory. That is reason enough why Israel can hardly look the other way.
        The command center that Israel hit in Damascus was a major base for the IRGC's Quds Force, which arms, trains and finances Iran's proxy militias across the region, including Hamas and Hizbullah, which have brought so much misery to Israel. The general killed was a pivotal link with the proxies. So it was a legitimate target.
        Israel has every right to respond to the mass attack. There is too much loose talk about it leading to World War III if it does. This is designed to intimidate Israel into doing nothing. (Mail on Sunday-UK)

  • Other Issues

  • Hamas Loyalists Hope to Blockade Shipping to "Free Palestine" - Dr. Dan Diker and Tirza Shorr
    On April 15, 2024, protests by anarchists and far-left radicals were scheduled around the world to blockade shipping activity at ports in the name of "a Free Palestine." The action is labeled "A15." Evidence presented by opponents of the Iranian regime suggests that the Revolutionary Guards "support and encourage Palestinian movements [to act] toward the political isolation of the Zionist regime."
        BDS-aligned movements have shut down main thoroughfares in the West in recent months. The intended collective punishment via the global economy that anarchists wish to exact in cooperation with pro-Hamas activists on April 15 is a pressure tactic that complements that of Iran's unprecedented and massive drone and ballistic missile attack on Israel on April 14.
        Dr. Dan Diker is President of the Jerusalem Center, where Tirza Shorr is a senior researcher and program coordinator. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
        See also Pro-Palestinian Protests Block Bridges, Major Roads across U.S. - Daniel Wu
    Pro-Palestinian demonstrators blocked roads, highways and bridges across the country on Monday, snarling traffic and sparking arrests from coast to coast. (Washington Post)
  • The PLO-PA-Iranian Terror Alliance - Lt.-Col. (res.) Maurice Hirsch
    There was no Palestinian condemnation of the Iranian missile attack on Israel that could have just as easily killed Palestinians as it could Jews. There was even no condemnation of the missiles fired toward Jerusalem.
        Significant expressions of the Palestinian-Iranian partnership in the past include the Karine A ship with 50 tons of Iranian weapons for the PLO intercepted by the IDF in the Red Sea in 2002. In 2014, the IDF intercepted another huge Iranian shipment of arms on board the Klos-C, this time destined for Hamas in Gaza.
        In March 2024, the IDF intercepted yet another substantial Iranian weapons cache destined for Fatah - i.e., PLO/PA - terrorists in Judea and Samaria. Officials affiliated with Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps, linked to the Quds Force in Syria, were the masterminds of the operation.
        In the wake of the Iranian attack, either the Palestinian leadership stands with the international coalition or it stands with the axis of evil. There is no middle ground.
        The writer, Director of the Initiative for Palestinian Authority Accountability and Reform at the Jerusalem Center, is former Director of the Military Prosecution for Judea and Samaria. (Jerusalem Center for Public Affairs)
  • The News Media Has Helped Normalize Hamas - Dan Perry
    As a former foreign correspondent in the Middle East, I've frequently found myself defending the industry with Israelis who charge media bias. But as I observe the cluelessness of Hamas apologists worldwide, I realize we have failed to tell the story of a jihadi outfit considered a terrorist group by the U.S.
        Support for Hamas in this war is not support for the Palestinian cause of an independent state on a share of the Holy Land. That is not only not the cause of Hamas - it is precisely what Hamas has for decades been laboring to prevent. Hamas is not in power in Gaza due to elections but because of a coup. It runs a quasi-theocratic mafia state where opposition will get you killed, and it seeks eternal war till total victory. Since the 1990s, whenever there were peace talks, Hamas tried to scuttle them with terrorism.
        In the case of the Gaza war, the media has largely stuck to its instincts for impartiality: "Both sides" have their narratives, and both have good and bad. One may be a terrorist group and the other a Western-leaning democracy, but in this era of progressive decolonization narratives, an association with the West will not get you very far with much of the Western media.
        Hamas is a violent fundamentalist movement that seeks not just the demise of Israel but also, with its jihadi fellow travelers, of the West. Hamas and its accomplices share none of the values that drive the modern world, from respect for human rights to freedom of speech to the rule of law. Are so many Westerners too feeble-minded to get this?
        Some argue that no one appointed journalists to connect the dots for people, and that the wisest approach would be to just "report the facts." But when the result is the normalization of a monstrosity like Hamas, that is malpractice.
        The writer is the former chief editor of the Associated Press in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, and former chairman of the Foreign Press Association in Jerusalem. (Newsweek)

  • Gulf countries feared being seen as coming to Israel's aid at a time when relations are badly strained by the war in Gaza and many details about the role played by Saudi Arabia and other key Arab governments are being closely held.
  • Israeli and U.S. forces were able to intercept most of the Iranian drones and missiles in part because Sunni Arab countries quietly passed along intelligence about Tehran's attack plans, opened their airspace to warplanes, shared radar tracking information or, in some cases, supplied their own forces to help, officials said.
  • In March 2022, Marine Gen. Frank McKenzie, then the top U.S. commander in the region, convened a secret meeting of top military officials from Israel and Arab countries to explore how they could coordinate against Iran's growing missile and drone capabilities. The talks, held at Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, marked the first time that ranking Israeli and Arab officers met under U.S. military auspices to discuss countering Iran.
  • Cooperation between Israel and Arab government on air defense with the U.S. as an intermediary has become common, even with Saudi Arabia, which still hasn't established diplomatic relations with Israel. In recent weeks, in talks with the U.S., the UAE and Saudi Arabia agreed privately to share intelligence, while Jordan said it would allow use of its airspace by U.S. and other countries' warplanes and use its own aircraft to assist in intercepting Iranian missiles and drones.
  • Two days before the attack, Iranian officials briefed counterparts from Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries on the outlines and timing of their plan for the large-scale strikes on Israel so that those countries could safeguard airspace. The information was passed along to the U.S., giving Washington and Israel crucial advance warning. The Pentagon took the lead in coordinating defensive measures between Israel and Arab governments, according to a senior Israeli official.
  • Arab countries offered help in defending against the Iranian attacks because they saw the benefits of cooperating with the U.S. and Israel, as long as it remained low profile, said Yasmine Farouk, a nonresident fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. "Gulf countries know they still don't have the same level of support that Israel gets from the United States and see what they did [Saturday] as a way of getting it in the future."
  • The Iranian missiles and drones were tracked from the moment they were launched by early warning radars in Persian Gulf countries linked to the U.S. operations center in Qatar, which transmitted the information to fighters jets from several countries in the airspace over Jordan and other countries, as well as to warships at sea and missile-defense batteries in Israel.

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