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Wed, Jun

Poking the Tiger: How Much Longer Should Biden Continue to Prop Up the Current Israeli Administration?

VOICES

ACCORDING TO LIZ - The American government had not only the right but the obligation to step up and protect Israel from the slew of missiles that flew from Iran to Israel on Saturday. 

Alongside Jordan, American forces rode to the rescue to save its ally’s residents from death and destruction. Without U.S. defensive participation, Israelis would have died and the possibility of all-out war in the Middle East would have become a probability. 

Although Iran almost certainly counted on a strong Israeli defense to limit their being guilty of civilian deaths and widespread infrastructure destruction. 

More than 300 drones and missiles produced only limited damages, only one severe injury, and no deaths. 

The technical superiority of the Israel Defense Forces meant a reported 99% of the threats launched from Iran were intercepted outside of Israel’s borders. An IDF spokesperson reported only minor damage to one military base and confirmed that while a 10-year-old girl was “severely injured by shrapnel… as far as we know, there are no additional casualties.” 

Complacent military strategists in Israel clearly considered the Damascus attack yet another safe shot fired across the bow of the Iranian ship of state to force it to back off supplying Hamas and Hezbollah. But pride and the Iranian leadership had no desire to continue to be seen as a paper tiger in the eyes of the world in general, and of its terrorist client allies. 

The proxy war continues even as the world waits and watches for a response to the first direct confrontation between Iran and Israel: Hezbollah fired rockets at an Israeli military site on Saturday in its ongoing support of Hamas and, in response, Israel sent its fighter jets to strike Hezbollah targets in Lebanon. 

To be clear, the Iranian missile attack on Saturday was not about the immoral war on Gaza that the world has been moaning about for months but the promised retaliation for the illegal and bellicose Israeli bombing of the Iranian National Guard’s outpost in Damascus and the murder of Iranian military leaders. 

This was not an attack on the panoply of nations backing Bibi, but to teach the Israeli leader that you can’t poke the tiger and not expect it bite back. 

As a top Iranian official wrote on social media: “The matter can be deemed concluded. However, should the Israeli regime make another mistake, Iran’s response will be considerably more severe.” 

Any further military intervention by the United States would be a disastrous commitment to escalation of military action in the Middle East, expanding the United States’ never-ending war against the Axis of Resistance, leading to the almost certain destruction of Israel – in the concept of a rightful home for the exiled descendants of Abraham, if not scorched earth of the Holy Land for three major religions. And triggering the downfall of Biden. 

So far Biden appears set on tamping down Bibi’s more belligerent impulses. 

But the United States could act more decisively and seize this opportunity to join with the United Nations in encouraging Israelis to disavow Netanyahu, and assisting in the transformation of the area into the two states promised for generations, not one subject to the other, but two co-equals. 

Israel had the right to crack down on Hamas, but that did not give the militarily superior power the right to slaughter tens of thousands, and mutilate far more of the civilian population of Gaza. Using weapons supplied by the United States, Germany, the UK and Italy, countries that should know better than to encourage corrupt despots. 

Nor did Israel have any right to destroy homes and schools, hospitals and mosques, roads and food supplies, running water and sewage systems, rendering an impoverished state virtually uninhabitable. 

Investing in the construction of a truly independent Palestinian state will not be cheap and won’t come easy but it is the sole path to peace and redemption in the lands claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians, a contretemps that goes back over a century. 

The president of the National Iranian American Council called on Biden to “to exercise the United States' considerable diplomatic leverage to restrain Israel and Iran to ensure this conflict does not spiral further out of control” in order to break this “cycle of violence and inhumanity.” 

Preventing a regional war that could explode into a worldwide conflagration must be the central tenet of the current administration in the days and weeks to come, but to ensure that it will never again become a reality, the underlying quarrels and existential angst must be defused once and for always. 

Above all, the President must pull back from the personal loyalties that have pulled America yet again into diplomatic hot water, and start acting in the interests of the people who he serves, in the interests of truth, justice and the American way. 

Biden must rethink his slavish devotion to the irascible Bibi, repudiate Netanyahu and his violent suppression of anything not Israel and for poking the unpredictable Iranian tiger, and take the lead in solving the challenges, rather than throwing more explosives onto the fire now raging in the land provided by God for his chosen people. 

All his chosen people.

(Liz Amsden is a contributor to CityWatch and an activist from Northeast Los Angeles with opinions on much of what goes on in our lives. She has written extensively on the City's budget and services as well as her many other interests and passions.  In her real life she works on budgets for film and television where fiction can rarely be as strange as the truth of living in today's world.)