Only a Preventative Attack on Hamas Could Have Averted the Current Crisis

Any prospects for peace will have to follow on an Israel military victory, which in turn involves learning from the mistakes that made Hamas’s initial, blood-soaked success possible. In his general evaluation of the war thus far, Yaakov Amidror urges the Jewish state to rediscover its commitment to preemption:

Over the years the defense establishment and the political leadership let go of the concept of a “preemptive strike,” let alone the notion of launching such a war.

No longer. The mood of the country has been transformed and so should the support for Israel abroad. Israel’s future leaders must restore to the tool kit of national security the understanding that wars of choice are legitimate. Israel must seriously weigh preventive action to push away the buildup of military capabilities which threaten it—not only in terms of the nuclear threat in all its manifestations, but also the removal of acute conventional threats. The “Begin Doctrine” (of preemptive strikes against nuclear targets, first in Iraq in 1981, then in Syria in 2007 and beyond) should be applied also to organizations such as Hizballah when they attempt to acquire tiebreaker technologies.

A small country such as Israel, surrounded by many threats but possessing high technology, must occasionally embark on a preventive war. This was the one measure that could have prevented the catastrophe of October 7.

Read more at Jerusalem Strategic Tribune

More about: Gaza War 2023, Hamas, Israeli Security, Menachem Begin

 

How America Sowed the Seeds of the Current Middle East Crisis in 2015

Analyzing the recent direct Iranian attack on Israel, and Israel’s security situation more generally, Michael Oren looks to the 2015 agreement to restrain Iran’s nuclear program. That, and President Biden’s efforts to resurrect the deal after Donald Trump left it, are in his view the source of the current crisis:

Of the original motivations for the deal—blocking Iran’s path to the bomb and transforming Iran into a peaceful nation—neither remained. All Biden was left with was the ability to kick the can down the road and to uphold Barack Obama’s singular foreign-policy achievement.

In order to achieve that result, the administration has repeatedly refused to punish Iran for its malign actions:

Historians will survey this inexplicable record and wonder how the United States not only allowed Iran repeatedly to assault its citizens, soldiers, and allies but consistently rewarded it for doing so. They may well conclude that in a desperate effort to avoid getting dragged into a regional Middle Eastern war, the U.S. might well have precipitated one.

While America’s friends in the Middle East, especially Israel, have every reason to feel grateful for the vital assistance they received in intercepting Iran’s missile and drone onslaught, they might also ask what the U.S. can now do differently to deter Iran from further aggression. . . . Tehran will see this weekend’s direct attack on Israel as a victory—their own—for their ability to continue threatening Israel and destabilizing the Middle East with impunity.

Israel, of course, must respond differently. Our target cannot simply be the Iranian proxies that surround our country and that have waged war on us since October 7, but, as the Saudis call it, “the head of the snake.”

Read more at Free Press

More about: Barack Obama, Gaza War 2023, Iran, Iran nuclear deal, U.S. Foreign policy