Why Christian Leaders’ Pro-Israel Letter Matters

Yesterday, a group of prominent Christian leaders sent an open letter to Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, congratulating him on the formation of his new government and affirming their support for “the world’s only Jewish state.” The missive—the result of the efforts of the writer and activist Robert Nicholson—expresses its signers’ “strong sense of friendship with Israel based on shared values that originate in the Hebrew Bible.” Elliott Abrams comments:

[T]he letter is signed by dozens of Christian leaders from very mixed ethnic and denominational backgrounds. Certainly their followers are in the tens of millions, many times the population of Israel—or the U.S. Jewish population. The list includes the leader of one of the largest black denominations in the U.S., a member of [former] President Trump’s evangelical advisory board, the CEO of the largest evangelical broadcasting channel, and a range of clergymen and -women, academics, writers, and public intellectuals.

Israel’s new leaders have certain advantages and other disadvantages as they replace Benjamin Netanyahu after his twelve years in office. Many of the relationships he developed, for example with foreign heads of government, were personal and not easy for his successor to jump into. In the United States and in Europe, where many on the left and center-left saw Netanyahu as an opponent, relations may improve; certainly, Democrats in the United States who saw Netanyahu as tied to the Republican party have an opportunity to rebuild relations now with the new team in Jerusalem. This statement by Christian leaders makes a different argument: that their support is for Israel, not any particular leader.

Read more at Pressure Points

More about: Benjamin Netanyahu, Christian Zionism, Evangelical Christianity, Naftali Bennett, US-Israel relations

Why Saturday Was a Resounding Defeat for Iran

Yaakov Lappin provides a concise and useful overview of what transpired on Saturday. For him, the bottom line is this:

Iran and its jihadist Middle Eastern axis sustained a resounding strategic defeat. . . . The fact that 99 percent of the threats were intercepted means that a central pillar of Iranian force projection—its missile and UAV arsenals—has been proven to be no match for Israel’s air force, for its multilayered air-defense system, or for regional cooperation with allies.

Iran must now await Israel’s retaliation, and unlike Israel, Iranian air defenses are by comparison limited in scope. After its own failure on Sunday, Iran now relies almost exclusively on Hizballah for an ability to threaten Israel.

And even as Iran continues to work on developing newer and deadlier missiles, the IDF is staying a few steps ahead:

Israel is expecting its Iron Beam laser-interception system, which can shoot down rockets, mortars, and UAVs, to become operational soon, and is developing an interceptor (Sky Sonic) for Iran’s future hypersonic missile (Fattah), which is in development.

The Iron Beam will change the situation in a crucial way. Israell’s defensive response on Saturday reportedly cost it around $1 billion. While Iron Beam may have to be used in concert with other systems, it is far cheaper and doesn’t run the risk of running out of ammunition.

Read more at JNS

More about: Hizballah, Iran, Iron Dome, Israeli Security, Israeli technology