Friday, April 19, 2024

  • Friday, April 19, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon
Late Wednesday, I published a Twitter/X poll asking my readers what Israel's response to Iran's attack was likely to look like: 

"Symbolic attack" placed only 7th out of 8 choices, but that appears to be the actual response after the initial reports of a much larger set of airstrikes, reported primarily by ABC News  and then repeated and elaborated on by others.

Israel was trying hard to come up with a response that threaded the needle between lots of competing desires: don't prompt an escalation, don't appear weak, don't upset Joe Biden, don't wait too long.

We still don't know all the details, but we know that Israel hit an airbase near Isfahan as well as an air defense site in Syria. The latest reports say it was hit with missiles fired from aircraft, probably from outside Iranian airspace.  Earlier reports that drones were involved appear to not be true.

At the moment it appears that the attack was calibrated to appear similar to Iran's target of an Israeli airbase. In that case the target was also chosen to be symbolic. Iran tried to hit the airfield from which Israel allegedly struck Damascus, killing senior Iranian Revolutionary Guards leaders. 

But the symbolism in this morning's strike is multifaceted..

First of all, Iran's strike was much more massive - and much less successful. Israel is sending a message that it can hit Iran much more easily than Iran can hit Israel. 

Secondly, the choice of an airbase in Isfahan is significant, since Iran has nuclear facilities in Isfahan. Israel is telling Iran that it could have done a lot more if it wanted.

Thirdly, it is Iran's Supreme Leader's 85th birthday today.  Israel was sending an unmistakable "present" not only where but also exactly when it wants to. 

Fourthly, Israel's response was a surprise, unlike Iran's which was telegraphed for days - if not carrier-pigeoned.

Fifthly, Israel made it clear to the world that it would not succumb to massive Western pressure notto respond.

Sixthly, Israel sent a message that it was not isolated - it has powerful friends to help it defend itself. Iran has no one.

Finally, Iran  had promised it would respond to the tiniest attack "within seconds" at an "immediate and maximum level." Iran has lost credibility, both to its people and to the Arab world altogether that it wants so badly to lead.

Iran is very sensitive to symbolism, and it received these messages loud and clear.  

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Elder of Ziyon - حـكـيـم صـهـيـون

This blog may be a labor of love for me, but it takes a lot of effort, time and money. For over 19 years and 40,000 articles I have been providing accurate, original news that would have remained unnoticed. I've written hundreds of scoops and sometimes my reporting ends up making a real difference. I appreciate any donations you can give to keep this blog going.


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