Iron Clad Defense

On Saturday, Iran launched nearly 300 missiles and drones at Israeli targets in retaliation for the killing of several senior Iranian military targets in Syria by Israeli forces on April 1st.

The attack was not unexpected. Iran had been signaling for nearly two weeks that they intended to retaliate. However, it was the scope of the attack and the fact that it was done directly by Iran, rather than through its proxies, that was a surprise.

Where Israel had conducted a surgical strike to eliminate military targets that were supposedly planning the next Oct 7th-like attack, Iran’s strikes were aimed all over Israel—including near sites in Jerusalem that are holy to all three major religions. A number of missiles were aimed at the West Bank, where the majority of the population is Arab, not Israeli.

Lucky for all those people, a quickly formed coalition of the US, UK, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and other countries formed to help the IDF fend off the attacks, supplementing Israel’s Iron Dome defense. Nearly 99% of the projectiles were shot down by the combined force. Only one young Bedouin girl was severely injured by falling shrapnel—no one was killed.

It remains to be seen what the next step in this escalating conflict will be. Everyone in the region wants the situation to deescalate. Yet, preventing future attacks is critical to Israel’s safety, and six months after the Oct 7th massacre, 130 hostages are still held in Gaza.

The enemy of my enemy is my friend. It appears Iran failed to take into account how mutual concern about Iranian activities could bring together such a disparate group of players to thwart such a large attack. Perhaps a new coalition will emerge to help ensure stability in the region.

Meanwhile, as Jews around the world prepare to celebrate Passover on Monday evening, the traditional text recited at the Passover Seder takes on new meaning this year. To end the war in Gaza, Hamas needs to pay attention to what Moses said to Pharoah, “Let me people go!”


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