Ariel Beery
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Go long against Iran

Israel needs time to win back its allies, and to see that tight military cooperation is the key to success in the larger war
Snapshot from footage of the Iranian attack over Jerusalem's Temple Mount/Haram al-Sharif (Social media/X; used in accordance with Clause 27a of the Copyright Law)

Why we should not strike back today, so we may striker harder tomorrow

The first wave of Iran’s attack on Israel has just ended as I write these words. Israel’s response has not yet begun. According to reports, over 300 ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, and attack drones were fired from Iran towards a number of locations in Israel – in the North, South, and the Jerusalem area. There is no doubt that Iran has a hundred-fold of what it just launched and anticipated Israel would shoot down the overwhelming majority of the munitions, as it did. Israel cannot let this attack on its territory from Iran stand. To win the war, however, Israel should not respond today. Not even in the next few weeks. To win the war, Israel needs to take a moment, pause, and prepare for the fight tomorrow by winning back our allies.

Just yesterday, the New York Times ran an editorial arguing for limiting US military support for Israel. This followed an increasing number of public statements by US representatives and senators — including Nancy Pelosi and Elizabeth Warren — who have turned on Israel since October 7 explaining that it is due to how the Gaza operation has been conducted. Those who forget October 7 will forget Iran attacked Israel first. Coupled with the Republicans’ America First isolationism, and the growing calls for an arms boycott that has stopped or slowed sales from many of our traditional allies, Israel is at its lowest point of international support since 1966.

Contrast that with the show of force put on by our allies, not from the love of Mordechai, but due to their hate for Haman. The fact that the Jordanian and Saudi Air Forces joined American and British militaries in shooting down the munitions targeting Israel should be a reminder how helpful it is to have other militaries on your side. Especially those who geographically buffer Israel from its major enemy, providing Israel with the strategic depth its geography lacks. This show of support was surprising even and especially to Israel’s leadership, and should not be underestimated or taken for granted. It was a massive show of force, by Israel for taking out a major attack on its territory, and by its allies for their willingness to risk their lives to stop Iran’s aggression. As the strategist and managing director of the Abraham Center, Joel Braunold, wrote in response to the attack on X, “Next time someone says Israel must dwell alone, might be good to remember who’s doing what tonight.”

Iran cannot be allowed to step away from such an attack thinking that bygones are bygones. Deterrence must be re-established. Civilians were injured, killed. An Israeli girl of Bedouin descent. Three Jordanians, reportedly from the debris. We will learn of others as the dust literally clears. The criminals in Tehran should be brought to justice. Just not now.

Now is a time to build alliances that make formal what is currently understood but not publicly recognized. As Hussein Aboubakr Mansour wrote, in “serious moments like these, out of the haze of rhetorical battles, pathetic politicking, and media circuses, that we grasp a rare moment of clarity of who standing where with whom. Many Arab countries made their position clear today. This is a new Middle East.” Israel needs to lean into this new Middle East. To declare that this was an attack on all of us, not only Israel. That we intend to win this war by taking the fight to the enemy. That we stand together to defend the region from the Iranian imperial threat, for the safety and security of all peoples Iran has chosen to subjugate through its proxies and militias.

This will require a swift resolution to the Gaza War, what we now should all know was the wrong war to fight when the far greater threat is looming. Hamas must be utterly destroyed, and never again allowed to rule or command troops. Yet the road to victory in Rafah leads through Amman and Riyadh and Cairo. It is possible to clear the Muslim Brotherhood out of Palestine and Hezbollah out of Lebanon just as it was eradicated by our neighbors, but only if we remove their base of support. Iran’s attack should give Israel the excuse to declare a unilateral ceasefire in Gaza as requested by Biden out of gratitude for the alliances’ support, and recognition that tight military cooperation is the key to our success in the larger war. We’ve proven our power by shooting down the attacks against us. Now we need to build up our forces to take the fight to the enemy on a prolonged basis, to not stop until the enemy is defeated.

It is rare that a nation or a person is given the chance for a do-over. Both Benjamin Netanyahu and Benny Gantz now have that opportunity. Netanyahu’s reputation is at an all-time low. Gantz is increasingly losing the faith of Israel’s electorate. As the two leaders of Israel’s war cabinet, they have the opportunity to rise above the noise, to loudly and publicly declare that Iran’s leadership will be held responsible, and then to quietly work to clean up the diplomatic and military mess we’re in. To ensure we win this war, the only war that has truly existential implications on Israel. All who love Israel should take this moment to share with them our hope that this attack portends not the end of Israel, but a new strategic beginning.

About the Author
Ariel Beery is a strategist and institution builder dedicated to building a better future for Israel, the Jewish People, and humanity. His geopolitical writings - with deeper dives into the topics addressed in singular columns - can be found on his substack, A Lighthouse.
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