In the Face of Terror, Israel’s New Arab Allies Show Solidarity

Yesterday and the day before, Israel hosted an unprecedented summit, attended by the foreign ministers of Bahrain, the United Arab Emirates, Morocco, and Egypt, along with the U.S. secretary of state. But as the delegates gathered, two Islamic State-connected terrorists opened fire at passersby on the streets of the northern town of Hadera, killing two and injuring several others. While the Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad hailed the attack as a “heroic response to the summit of humiliation and shame,” David Horovitz notes that, if anything, the shooting spree strengthened the resolve of Israel’s Arab allies:

One after another, in their public statements at the formal conclusion of their talks on Monday afternoon, Israel’s Foreign Minister Yair Lapid and his four Arab counterparts condemned the latest instance of the deadly terrorism with which all of their countries grapple, and then swiftly moved on to stress their shared determination to build a unified front against extremism.

Three of the four Arab foreign ministers—Bahrain’s Abdullatif bin Rashid al-Zayani, Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry, and Morocco’s Nasser Bourita—took a few moments in their brief speeches to highlight the need to resolve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. [Only] the U.S. secretary of state Antony Blinken went further, declaring that the Abraham Accords that brought these ministers together were no substitute for progress on the Palestinian front.

But this gathering, determinedly undeterred by terrorism, was a confident, unabashed display of normalization with Israel—of acceptance of Israel, legitimization of Israel—held adjacent to the final resting place of Israel’s first prime minister.

And just as Blinken appeared to be reading from a somewhat discordant script with his familiar comments about the Palestinian conflict, he was also the rather off-message participant when it came to confronting Iran. . . . The Negev summit, and the new, open alignment of these four Arab countries with Israel, is principally designed to facilitate better cooperation—practical, life-saving cooperation—to tackle the Iranian threat.

Read more at Times of Israel

More about: Abraham Accords, Antony Blinken, ISIS, Israel-Arab relations, Palestinian terror

Israel Just Sent Iran a Clear Message

Early Friday morning, Israel attacked military installations near the Iranian cities of Isfahan and nearby Natanz, the latter being one of the hubs of the country’s nuclear program. Jerusalem is not taking credit for the attack, and none of the details are too certain, but it seems that the attack involved multiple drones, likely launched from within Iran, as well as one or more missiles fired from Syrian or Iraqi airspace. Strikes on Syrian radar systems shortly beforehand probably helped make the attack possible, and there were reportedly strikes on Iraq as well.

Iran itself is downplaying the attack, but the S-300 air-defense batteries in Isfahan appear to have been destroyed or damaged. This is a sophisticated Russian-made system positioned to protect the Natanz nuclear installation. In other words, Israel has demonstrated that Iran’s best technology can’t protect the country’s skies from the IDF. As Yossi Kuperwasser puts it, the attack, combined with the response to the assault on April 13,

clarified to the Iranians that whereas we [Israelis] are not as vulnerable as they thought, they are more vulnerable than they thought. They have difficulty hitting us, but we have no difficulty hitting them.

Nobody knows exactly how the operation was carried out. . . . It is good that a question mark hovers over . . . what exactly Israel did. Let’s keep them wondering. It is good for deniability and good for keeping the enemy uncertain.

The fact that we chose targets that were in the vicinity of a major nuclear facility but were linked to the Iranian missile and air forces was a good message. It communicated that we can reach other targets as well but, as we don’t want escalation, we chose targets nearby that were involved in the attack against Israel. I think it sends the message that if we want to, we can send a stronger message. Israel is not seeking escalation at the moment.

Read more at Jewish Chronicle

More about: Iran, Israeli Security