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‘Israel showed us how to stand up to bullies’

In the wake of Iran's April 14 attack on Israel, the leader of the U.K. House of Commons called for Britain to emulate Israel's "long-sightedness" in investing in defense.

Air defense systems fire interceptors at drones and missiles fired from Iran, over Tel Aviv on April 14, 2024. Source: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90
Air defense systems fire interceptors at drones and missiles fired from Iran, over Tel Aviv on April 14, 2024. Source: Tomer Neuberg/Flash90

The leader of the U.K. House of Commons on Wednesday praised Israel’s ability to defend itself against Iran’s April 14 missile and drone attack. In a Daily Mail op-ed, Penny Mordaunt stated that Britain can learn lessons from how the smaller nation was able to mount such a formidable defense despite its size.

On April 14, Iran launched more than 300 drones and missiles towards Israel. Virtually all of the incoming threats were neutralized before entering Israeli airspace, resulting in the attack causing little to no damage.

“Israel’s defense showcased its capabilities and gave it strategic choice, deterrence, and diplomatic capital,” wrote Mordaunt. “You don’t have to be a big country to be a powerful one.”

She highlighted how Israel has consistently dedicated around 5% of its GDP to defense, allowing for major investments in training, technology, infrastructure and strategic capabilities, arguing that this has strengthened Israel’s economy rather than hindered it.

“Israel’s long-sightedness and ability to find long-term consensus on defense policy” should be something Britain proudly emulates, according to Mordaunt. She stated Britain has also kept defense spending strong compared to other European nations.

The opinion piece comes as Britain has announced steady annual increases in defense spending, allocating an extra £75 billion ($93 billion) over the next six years. This is intended to not only boost security but drive resilience and economic growth as well.

“These obvious threats to our interests, combined with the aftermath of a global pandemic, have left people feeling worried and vulnerable. No words, only action will assure them,” Mordaunt wrote, referencing threats like the war in Ukraine, cyber attacks and terrorism.

The spending increases will cement Britain’s position as the biggest defense power in Europe and second only to the United States within NATO, according to Mordaunt.

“Strength is a choice. It is a choice the prime minister has made,” she added.

Originally published by Israel Hayom.

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