OpinionIsrael at War

Why Israel must strike back

To allow a tyrannical regime to get away with attacking a liberal democracy would be a terrible injustice.

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
Fiamma Nirenstein
Fiamma Nirenstein was a member of the Italian Parliament (2008-13), where she served as vice president of the Committee on Foreign Affairs in the Chamber of Deputies.

Anyone who thinks that an Israeli failure to strike back at Iran following its unprecedented attack on the Jewish state will lead to a “regional de-escalation” is wrong.

There could be no worse mistake today than to forget the essence of the Iranian regime’s strategy and worldview: A murderous loathing of anything that is not its extremist interpretation of Shiite Islam.

The world should remember the moment in 2012 when Iran’s genocidal former president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad stood before the U.N. General Assembly and pledged to slaughter “the present unbearable oppressive system that dominates the world”—a reference to the U.S.-led world order and the liberal democracy it represents.

Remember too the unyielding messianic faith that drives this apocalyptic vision; the belief in the coming of the Mahdi—an occulted centuries-old imam—who will redeem the world in a global war that destroys the U.S., Israel and indeed anyone who fails to accept the rule of Ahmadinejad and his ilk.

Or perhaps simply recall the moment in 1979 when it all began and the disciples of Ruhollah Khomeini conquered Iran and imposed their theocratic tyranny, taking innocent Americans hostage in the process. By attacking Israel, that tyranny once again showed its true nature. It followed it up by resuming its campaign of arresting and raping unveiled Iranian women.

To the Iranian tyrants, Israel is also an unveiled woman. Thus, they fired hundreds of missiles and drones at great cost, even threatening the Temple Mount they claim to revere. It was not just an attack; it was an expression of the desire to humiliate and conquer Israel.

Thankfully, it was Iran that ended up humiliated. The preening macho terrorists were exposed as impotent by the brave pilots who defied death to intercept the drones and missiles, together with the defense systems used by Israel and its allies.

Although the attack failed, Israel remains a small country that can never allow such massive assaults to become “normal.” Yet the world demands that Israel “stay calm” and consolidate the coalition of Western and Sunni Arab nations that helped repel the attack. The problem with this is obvious: To Iran, any kind of quiet is simply a ruse, a lie like the lie that it does not seek nuclear weapons. The mullahs would simply take the opportunity to plot and plan far more horrendous attacks and atrocities.

Moreover, if Israel does not respond, it will weaken its alliances, not strengthen them. The Abraham Accords were made possible in 2015 when Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu told the U.S. Congress that there should be no nuclear deal with Iran but rather a tough and determined fight against the tyrannical regime. At that moment, the Sunni Arab states understood that they could trust Israel with the common defense.

A lack of retaliation would weaken the U.S. as well, though the Biden administration seems not to know it. If the U.S. does not back its primary regional ally after such aggression, the Sunni Arab states will look elsewhere for help—perhaps to the Russia-China bloc that Biden fears so much.

More than anything else, however, to allow Iran to get away with its bullying would be a terrible injustice. The world saw missiles rain down on a liberal democracy, fired by a regime that hates Jews, dissidents, homosexuals, all non-Shiite Muslims, all Shiite Muslims who disagree with the regime’s ideology, and perhaps the entire world.

Have not the people of the West raised their eyes to the skies and realized those missiles will soon rain down on them? That they will see them over the Vatican, the Eiffel Tower and the White House? Bad are the times when anyone can look up without seeing the reality they face.

The opinions and facts presented in this article are those of the author, and neither JNS nor its partners assume any responsibility for them.
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