OpinionIsrael at War

The mother of squandered opportunities

America’s military action against Iran and its proxies would push them back onto their heels to create the best opportunity to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East.

“USS Dwight D. Eisenhower” in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: U.S. Navy (file) Photo by Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class John Frietze via Wikimedia Commons.
“USS Dwight D. Eisenhower” in the Mediterranean Sea. Credit: U.S. Navy (file) Photo by Aviation Warfare Systems Operator 2nd Class John Frietze via Wikimedia Commons.
Marc Weisman
Dr. Marc Weisman is a physician and writer.

The Middle East finds itself, despite the catastrophe of Oct. 7 and the current conflagration, at its best chance for peace in 75 years. The only ingredient missing to achieve previously unachievable permanent peace is American leadership. U.S. President Biden has been paralyzed with fear over a “wider war” with Iran, which is exactly what is needed to finally achieve Middle East peace.

Under former President Donald Trump, four Sunni nations joined Egypt and Jordan in normalizing relations with Israel as part of the Abraham Accords. That brings to six Arab nations at peace with Israel: Egypt, Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Morocco and Sudan. While each of these nations has its own reasons to risk the wrath of their population by making peace with the Jews, the common denominator is economics. Egypt in 1979 and Jordan in 1994 couldn’t afford to keep fighting Israel, so they sued for peace. The smaller, wealthy nations that recently normalized relations with Israel in the fall of 2020 did so precisely because of their wealth; they like the taste of economic success and finally wish to build on that success more than they wish to kill Jews. It’s that simple.

While all these nations’ relations with Israel are important, by far the most crucial player to a lasting Middle East peace is Saudi Arabia. Iran, however, has had its eye on domination of the region since the 1979 Islamic Revolution. To achieve that goal, it would have to defeat Israel and Saudi Arabia, the two most powerful nations in the Mideast.

Enter the Palestinians. By keeping the “Palestinian cause” a festering and open wound, Iran keeps Israel, the Arabs, and frankly, the world “occupied,” which is the only real “occupation” in Gaza. Iran perpetuates the false narrative that Israel is an occupier of Gaza, even though every single Jew in the coastal enclave was forced to leave in the summer of 2005 and none have ever returned, hoping it would lead to a peaceful coexistence with the Arabs. That failed miserably, and now Iran funds 93% of the war machine and launchpad that Gaza has been turned into after Israel left 19 years ago to keep this narrative hot.

It is widely believed that directly or indirectly, Iran is responsible for Hamas’s Oct. 7 massacre at the Gaza-Israel border. Why? Because Iran must prevent peace between Saudi Arabia and Israel if it is ever to reign supreme over the Middle East. To that end, the Islamic Republic must destroy Israel (“little Satan”), boot the United States (“big Satan”) out of the region, and engineer the overthrow of the House of Saud in Saudi Arabia—arguably the wealthiest, most powerful Arab nation in the Middle East. Peace between Saudis and Israel would cement the end of Iran’s dream of total dominance of the Middle East and beyond.

On its face, it seems Iran succeeded in that regard. The problem for Tehran is that once the bullets of war start to fly, they act as a catalyst for unpredictable and often unintended consequences. One such consequence is that the pervasive global anti-Zionism and antisemitism exposed by the war, which has shocked American liberals and Democrats who must have slept through much of the last 20 years when they permitted the planting of the seeds of virulent antisemitism. They did so by supporting policies such as Islamist immigration; nearly unlimited student visas from radical Muslim nations; ignoring antisemitic and anti-Israel reporting and bias by the media’s boundless diatribe against Israel with false claims of it being genocidal and apartheid; and, worst of all, promoting anti-Israel and antisemitic education from middle school to college campuses.

But an unexpected thing happened. The country has been shocked and deeply stirred by the magnitude of hatred being displayed at protests in New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and at scores of universities. The image of thousands of demonstrators brandishing Palestinian flags, burning American ones, desecrating public menorahs, and violently rioting and disrupting Thanksgiving and Christmas celebrations all while screaming for the death of the Jews is just too much to ignore. Conservatives have found it surprising that these same liberals and Democrats who enabled such antisemitism are finally seeing what their well-intentioned but naive support for the evil forces of the “anti-Jew movement.” And it frightens them, as it should. What we are witnessing now is a deep schism in liberal precincts, including the media and the Democratic Party itself.

Back to our enormous, missed opportunity. We have 19 American warships, including three battle groups, in the Middle East. We all remember when Biden repeatedly whispered to Iran and its proxies: “If you’re thinking about joining the war—don’t.” Well, Iran and its proxies have attacked the United States more than 100 times and Israel dozens of times, and still, all that American firepower just sits in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Red Sea.

Iran is the undisputed aggressor. Could we ask for a better invitation to justifiably attack the Iranians offensive capability? Now imagine a world where America had a leader. The United States would take advantage of the opportunity to use its awesome military might in the region to diminish Iran’s offensive capacity that must include employing bunker-busting bombs to set back their nuclear capability. No one is calling for U.S. boots on the ground, just good old-fashioned, made-in-the-USA ordinance to set Iran back a few years, and most importantly, to re-establish the deterrence that Biden squandered early in his presidency.

Better to act now before Iran has nuclear-tipped warheads. Yes, there is a risk of a wider war. But imagine Iran having intercontinental nuclear missiles aimed at New York, Boston and Philadelphia. What could be worse than that from these maniacal religious zealots who hate us more than they love life? A “wider war.” I think not.

If we could find the courage to act, then we can stand strong with Israel and counter the global false narrative that Israel is committing genocide when it is actually among the most humane armies in the history of warfare. We would continue to provide material to Israel as they finally and irreversibly eliminate Hamas in Gaza.

Finally, America’s military action against Iran and its proxies would push them back onto their heels to create the best opportunity to achieve lasting peace in the Middle East. Nothing breeds success like success, so we would, by our action, open the path for other Arab nations—likely Saudi Arabia—to join the Abraham Accords. Who benefits? Everyone except Iran and its new axis partners, North Korea, China and Russia. Importantly, the Palestinians also benefit as they shed the albatross of Hamas and their Iranian benefactors, who have stolen their wealth, their peace and their futures for 17 years.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
You have read 3 articles this month.
Register to receive full access to JNS.

Just before you scroll on...

Israel is at war. JNS is combating the stream of misinformation on Israel with real, honest and factual reporting. In order to deliver this in-depth, unbiased coverage of Israel and the Jewish world, we rely on readers like you. The support you provide allows our journalists to deliver the truth, free from bias and hidden agendas. Can we count on your support? Every contribution, big or small, helps JNS.org remain a trusted source of news you can rely on.

Become a part of our mission by donating today
Thank you. You are a loyal JNS Reader.
You have read more than 10 articles this month.
Please register for full access to continue reading and post comments.
Never miss a thing
Get the best stories faster with JNS breaking news updates