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OPINION

Does Biden Get That Israel Won't Lose This War?

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Micah Halpern By Tuesday, 16 April 2024 10:05 AM EDT Current | Bio | Archive

Everything changed on April 13th. Almost no analyst correctly predicted what would happen. They all knew that Iran would attack Israel.

But almost no one predicted that Iran would directly attack Israel. And almost no one predicted that over 330 ballistic missiles, drones and smart bomb cruise missiles would be careening toward the Jewish State.

This Iranian attack on Israel was a watershed. No more reliance on proxies and plausible deniability.

By striking Israel directly, Iran is hoping to gain the support of Muslims around the world. And in part, the plan worked. There were celebrations in Gaza and throughout Iran.

There were even celebrations in the United States. When told that Iran was attacking Israel, crowds in Chicago cheered.

Iran is also hoping to galvanize support and create a united front against Israel, the United States and the West. They fervently believe that Iran and only Iran has the strength to successfully attack and defeat Israel and the United States of America and so, with this attack, Iran changed the rules of the game.

There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind or calculus that April 13th and October 7th are integrally linked. Linked not just because Iran sponsors Hamas, but because with Iranian guidance and planning, Hamas, too, attacked Israel. And then Iran followed suit by joining in and supporting that battle.

The most critical question for every analyst now is this: What constitutes victory? It is a question being asked in Israel, throughout the United States, in Iran and in capital cities around the world.

According to reports, after the prolonged aerial attack on Israel, U.S. President Joe Biden and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu spoke by phone. Biden’s agenda was to cool the flames and urge Netanyahu not to retaliate. He is reported to have told Bibi “take the win.”

The point the U.S. president was trying to make is that Israel, together with a coalition led by the United States, successfully interceptedover 99% of the incoming armaments.

By all standards, that is in and of itself a historic moment in military history. An air defense system successfully repelling over 330 attacks in one extended barrage is, indeed, a successful defense the magnitude of which is indeed historic.

The problem with Biden’s message is the terminology. President Joe Biden should know better. A successful defense is not a win!!! Just because Iran did not score a win in no way means that it was a win for Israel.

Israel did not lose — but they certainly did not win.

The only way a win can be attributed to one side is if the other side, in this case Iran, suffers a loss. Iran did not suffer a loss at all. Iran emerged unscathed. Thankfully, of course, so did Israel.

But that’s not where it ends. Quite obviously, the danger of a larger regional conflict looms large. And that’s why Israel’s response — and rest assured Israel will have a response — must be very calculated and very precise.

It is implausible to even imagine that over 330 rockets are launched at any other country and that country does not respond. Think of the U.S., the U..K, France, any country — not an errant missile shot by mistake — but over 330 drones and missiles deliberately targeting your country and there is no response? Impossible.

Israel’s response may not be immediate. Jerusalem has time to prepare a response, to make certain that the targets they hit are targets within the ruling regime in Iran, not the people of Iran.

Lecturing Israel and advising the Jewish State on the nature of an appropriate response, as the United States is doing, is patronizing and the height of arrogance. Israel will try to accommodate the wishes of the U.S. president, but Israel will be crafting a response to Iran that transmits an unmistakable message.

And the message is that neither Iran, nor Hamas, nor any other country or entity can attack Israel with impunity.

It is one of the most important messages that Israel is sending in their war against Hamas. Israel’s war is not about damage and destruction. It is not about revenge. Their war against Hamas is about sending a message that brutally murdering, raping and burning Jews comes with a price.

Israel does not turn the other cheek.

It is about making certain that an atrocity like October 7th never happens again. It is one of the international rules governing the self-defense responses of every nation. You are permitted to hit back to the point which the attacker will not strike again.

For Israel, making certain that Hamas is no longer a political or military power is essential. For Israel, the return of hostages, dead and alive, is critical. For Israel, these are absolute goals.

Partial success is not possible. Hamas cannot be part of the future of Gaza. Hamas cannot be allowed to rebuild their terror network and once again, murder Jews.

So, too, with Iran. If Iran was allowed to attack Israel with impunity, Israel will continue to be Iran’s target.

Israel already has a list of targets. The list includes physical plants, infrastructure, leadership and cyber targets. Wait and watch.

Iran will soon see just how capable Israel is in their response.

Sorry, Joe. Not this time.

Micah Halpern is a political and foreign affairs commentator. He founded "The Micah Report" and hosts "Thinking Out Loud with Micah Halpern," a weekly TV program, and "My Chopp," a daily radio spot. Follow him on Twitter @MicahHalpern. Read Micah Halpern's Reports — More Here.

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MicahHalpern
There should be no doubt in anyone’s mind or calculus that April 13th and October 7th are integrally linked. Linked not just because Iran sponsors Hamas, but because with Iranian guidance and planning, Hamas, too, attacked Israel.
israel, joe biden
928
2024-05-16
Tuesday, 16 April 2024 10:05 AM
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