Iran’s Clever Proxy War with Israel
Some days, I wonder if I have gone to sleep on Earth and awoken in an alternate dimension. Much like Alice, I fear I have fallen down the rabbit hole and emerged in an upside-down, topsy-turvy world where wrong is right, evil is good, and lies are truths.
How is it that Iran just succeeded in fighting a proxy war with Israel for a week, and no one seems to notice or care? No one wants to call this conflict what it was – the opening salvo in overt Iranian aggression in Israel. And the public relations success Iran won will only embolden it to strike more openly and devastatingly in the future.
While it seems like the events of the past week parallel similar escalations in conflict between Israel and Gaza in 2008, 2012, 2014, 2021, 2022, etc. etc. with barrages of missile attacks fired from Gaza at Israeli border towns and Tel Aviv, this week stands apart for a highly significant reason.
This mini-war was not waged by Hamas, the governing party in Gaza. Hamas seems to have stayed out of the conflict. It was instigated and carried out exclusively by Palestinian Islamic Jihad, a smaller terrorist organization solely funded by the Islamic Republic of Iran. To analogize, PIJ is to Hamas as a deer tick is to a dog tick: a smaller, more virulent parasite preying on the Palestinian people, while carrying the added venom and pestilence of the insidious, Iranian mullahs.
True, Hamas receives funding and weapons from Iran, as well. But Hamas sources its terrorist arsenal from numerous places, and it remains at heart an Ikhwanist movement. It is a downstream offshoot of Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood, a Sunni Islamist movement that technically remains ideologically at odds with Iran’s Shi’ite, religious fanaticism.
PIJ, on the other hand, is funded exclusively by Iran, armed by Iran, and ideologically brainwashed by Iran. Its members have even converted to Shi’ism to show their loyalty and devotion to the Ayatollahs.
For all intents and purposes, PIJ is Iran by proxy.
Iran’s proxy fought an overt, aggressive war against Israel in broad daylight with Iranian missiles and Iranian fanaticism, and yet somehow, they seem to have won the public diplomacy battle for the world’s sympathy as the purported victims of the violence.
There was a disturbing beauty to the efficacy of Iran’s proxy success. Like a carefully choreographed ballet replete with soaring missiles, emotive terror, and glorified death, Iran’s war against Israel captured the world’s fascination and continues to hold its attention through international Nakba Day celebrations dramatically bewailing the “catastrophe” of Israel’s birth.
The beauty of Iran’s success is that military dominance was not its goal. By that standard, it would have to be judged a dismal failure, with PIJ managing only to kill one Israeli woman and accidentally killing and injuring several Palestinian workers in Israel along with numerous people within Gaza on whom its faulty rockets fell. PIJ does not care if it kills Israelis or Palestinians. Collateral damage for which Israel is held so carefully accountable is irrelevant to PIJ. Its aim is to destabilize on behalf of Iran, and it is remarkably effective.
Iran’s true goal was three-fold, and it appears to have scored highly on all counts:
- To strike terror in the hearts and minds of Israelis, no matter where they live;
- To further delegitimize Israel in international public opinion, while stoking the fires of sympathy for the Palestinian plight; and
- To draw attention away from itself.
Such was its success that tens of thousands of foreigners across the globe marched in solidarity with the Palestinian cause, shouting “Free, Free Palestine” while simultaneously much of Israel was sheltering in bunkers from over 1,000 missiles fired aggressively at its civilians in flagrant contravention of international law. How can one explain the illogic of that?
Now, Iran has the world’s eye focused on Israel as the great enemy, while our true foe – the one who refers to Israel as the “Little Satan” and the US as the “Great Satan” – quietly advances its nuclear, hegemonic, and jihadi ambitions.
Somehow, Iran succeeded in making Israel more hated, more beleaguered by false claims of Apartheid and genocide, and more vulnerable despite the fact that its missiles were fired pro-actively in a flare up of conflict instigated by its stand-in, PIJ.
Through some magical sleight of hand, Iran’s aggressive, proxy war has been inverted in interpretation as Israeli-instigated. While Palestinian children danced safely in the streets around rocket launchers, knowing the IDF would not drop a bomb on a group of children used as human shields, Israeli children cowered in terror with their families in bomb shelters. They did not do this because they are less brave. They did this because Israeli responses were aimed exclusively at military targets and terrorists while concomitantly designed to avoid collateral damage wherever possible – a fact known by those Palestinian children. In contrast, Iran’s rockets were aimed indiscriminately at anyone and everyone in a deliberate effort to inflict casualties.
The more the world falls victim to Iran’s disinformation campaign to demonize Israel while it surreptitiously prepares for Armageddon and continues to massacre its own people, the less safe we all are. That goes for all of the protestors around the world – in London, New York, Barcelona, Ireland – wherever you sit in relative comfort and spout armchair politics at people cowering in bunkers.
While you shout “From the River to the Sea,” you forget that jihad does not end ideologically with the downfall of Israel. You are blindly allowing Iran to use you as it advances its jihadi goals, goals that will not end well for you.
Wake up and recast your eyes eastward toward Tehran – the true aggressor in this latest Gaza war – before it is too late.