Sunday, April 14, 2024

  • Sunday, April 14, 2024
  • Elder of Ziyon

President Biden loves to use the word "ironclad" in describing US support for Israel's security.

He used that term while campaigning in 2019, saying that his administration would “[sustain] our ironclad commitments to Israel’s security regardless of how much you may disagree with its current leader.”

He's said it again in 2021, 2022, 2023  last week and yesterday.

I’ve just spoken with Prime Minister Netanyahu to reaffirm America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel.  I told him that Israel demonstrated a remarkable capacity to defend against and defeat even unprecedented attacks – sending a clear message to its foes that they cannot effectively threaten the security of Israel.

While the rhetoric has been similar during the Obama and Biden administrations, both the words and US actions have indicated that Israel may only employ tools and policies to defend Israeli civilians from attack - but to do nothing beyond that.

US policy towards Israel is to keep the Jewish state - within the 1949 armistice lines -  in a hermetic bubble of fences, walls and air defenses.

The problem with this policy is that it is unsustainable. It allows Israel's enemies to keep attacking, day after day, hoping to find the weak spots in Israel's defense,  and Israel cannot do anything to stop those attempts. 

So we see things like October 7. Or Hezbollah's successful emptying out the northern part of Israel because there is no magic "Iron Dome" type defense against someone using anti-tank rockets on civilian communities. Or Gaza terror groups attempting to overwhelm Iron Dome itself because it is not 100% effective.

The US is telling Israel to sit back and accept being attacked forever, and if its defenses fail, that's a shame, but be very careful not to respond in a way that provokes Israel's sworn enemies to escalate further.

Because, US policy implies, then they would be justified.

On Friday, a US official told Al Arabiya that "The United States will take part in the response to the Iranian response, if Tehran escalates the situation inappropriately."  This means that the US would help shoot down drones and missiles, as it does when Houthis are shooting at Israel - but nothing more. 

Are the Houthis being deterred? Is Hezbollah? Is Iran? 

Israelis could see the slow-motion incoming Iranian drones for hours. The time to respond was during that time period - it was an aggressive war-like action that the entire world could monitor. And yet Israel was constrained from responding in real time, forced to only rely on its Western allies and Jordan to help knock down the threats - or, 99% of the threats in this case. 

The reason? Because the US has asked Israel, even last week, not to do anything against Iran without getting a green light from the Biden administration first. 

Depending only on purely defensive weapons is not a defense policy. It is an invitation for more attacks.

 No country in the world is expected to take a purely defensive posture and not respond aggressively to attacks - except Israel. And Israel is being told to avoid deterrence by its "ironclad" friends in Washington.

Tony Badran in Tablet's blog  doesn't pull punches:
The United States has now set itself in between Israel and Iran. On paper, it is “equidistant” between the two parties, and its rhetoric will even emphasize its ironclad commitment to the defense of Israel (i.e., we manage Israeli “defense,” because they are an imperial province). But it also demands info on what the Israelis plan to hit, and tells them whether or not they can hit it. So, in fact, the United States isn’t equidistant at all. It’s Tehran’s bagman/lawyer/errand boy. That’s what gets telegraphed to everyone in the region, too.

At this point in the Obama-Biden era, Israel toeing the U.S. line is a net loss of sovereignty, which will only get worse over time, further narrowing Israel’s maneuverability. The only place they have been able to operate freely [since Oct. 7] has been Syria. But even there the Dems are now telling them, actually, you can’t do that to the Iranians there. In Lebanon there are explicit limits. I mean, the administration publicly said no, you can’t go to war in Lebanon. And eat shit in Yemen too. We’ll handle “freedom of navigation.”
The US "ironclad" support of Israel means iron handcuffs. 

Beyond that, one wonders if the US also tacitly communicated to Iran, through intermediaries, what level of Iranian response would be acceptable to the US in order to prompt the US to hinder Israel's own response. 

After all, Iran has to defend its honor. And the US understands that - unlike Israelis, they are irrational Muslims who cannot live with themselves unless they project power and force millions of Israelis into shelters. Risking Israeli lives is a worthwhile bargain to let Iran feel victorious. Then, the bargain goes, the US will stop Israel from responding, because no one died (rumors that the Bedouin girl in the Negev hit with shrapnel died were not true) and Iran is happy. 

Iran can announce that its operation is over, vengeance is theirs, they can return to their proxy war through Hezbollah and Syria and Iraq and  Yemen, and warn the US to do its part of the bargain and not allow Israel to do anything against them. 

Iran is not deterred in the least.

Any self respecting nation would respond harshly to such an open attack on its territory. Israel should be striking at every drone factory and every missile site in Iran, at the very least, and those attacks should have started as soon as Iranian aircraft crossed Iran;s own borders towards Israel.

At the moment, with the US constraining Israel's ability to respond, Iran pays no price at all for its blatant aggression. Which means it has a green light to do it again.

The entire Middle East sees that this is what the US means when it says its support for an ally is "ironclad." Which strengthens Iran a lot more than its drones do.

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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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