By Sending Aid to Nepal, Israel Is Not Trying to Win a Popularity Contest

After the recent earthquake, Israel sent the largest delegation of any nation to help locate, rescue, and care for survivors. Predictably, some of Israel’s enemies accused it of trying to distract from its imagined wrongdoings, or to polish its tarnished image, while a more hardened anti-Semite suggested that Israel was “heading to Nepal to learn from the earthquake how to kill better.” Haviv Rettig Gur responds:

Those who see propaganda in every piece of good news from Israel are missing the single most important fact you can know about Israel—that it isn’t a political campaign begging for your vote. It is a nation. . . . It doesn’t go away if it loses some imaginary popularity contest. And as with any human society, it offers an endless stream of failures and successes that will let you “prove” any narrative you want.

So go ahead and hate Israel. Or love it. It doesn’t really matter. The reality of Israel isn’t affected by whatever story might be playing out in your imagination.

Like so many of my fellow Israelis, I’m desperately proud of our countrymen who are saving lives today in Nepal. And also like them, I don’t give a damn what the global chattering classes think about it.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Anti-Semitism, Hasbara, Humanitarian aid, Israel & Zionism, Israel and Asia, Nepal

Iran’s Options for Revenge on Israel

On April 1, an Israeli airstrike on Damascus killed three Iranian generals, one of whom was the seniormost Iranian commander in the region. The IDF has been targeting Iranian personnel and weaponry in Syria for over a decade, but the killing of such a high-ranking figure raises the stakes significantly. In the past several days, Israelis have received a number of warnings both from the press and from the home-front command to ready themselves for retaliatory attacks. Jonathan Spyer considers what shape that attack might take:

Tehran has essentially four broad options. It could hit an Israeli or Jewish facility overseas using either Iranian state forces (option one), or proxies (option two). . . . Then there’s the third option: Tehran could also direct its proxies to strike Israel directly. . . . Finally, Iran could strike Israeli soil directly (option four). It is the riskiest option for Tehran, and would be likely to precipitate open war between the regime and Israel.

Tehran will consider all four options carefully. It has failed to retaliate in kind for a number of high-profile assassinations of its operatives in recent years. . . . A failure to respond, or staging too small a response, risks conveying a message of weakness. Iran usually favors using proxies over staging direct attacks. In an unkind formulation common in Israel, Tehran is prepared to “fight to the last Arab.”

Read more at Spectator

More about: Iran, Israeli Security, Syria