It is Time to Deal with Iran

In the wake of the attack on an Israeli patrol this past week, it is clear that Hezbollah has responded for the Israeli airstrike in Syria two weeks ago, which killed six Hezbollah operatives and an Iranian general. Based on the general strategy of an eye for an eye, the path is clear: if Israel responds to this attack, Hezbollah will again respond and the situation will escalate into war. That is probably the only known course of action. Beyond that, the path is murky. If Israel does not respond, will it continue to allow Hezbollah to build up its arsenal in Lebanon and Syria in order to launch future attacks against the Jewish State?

According to some news sources, Hezbollah conveyed to Israel that it did not want an escalation of violence. For now. This Iranian proxy is just biding its time before it feels physically and strategically ready to drag Israel into a prolonged war that will include many painful losses. Hamas, an Iranian proxy to the south, already had its semi-regular war with Israel this past summer. If Hezbollah and Hamas were to collaborate and (with Iranian backing), wage war against Israel (in conjunction with groups from Lebanon, Syria, Gaza, and Judea and Samaria), then Israel could be on the brink of facing the most foes in a war it has fought since the 1973 Yom Kippur War.

Last week, the world (or most of it) observed International Holocaust Memorial Day. The reason such a day is observed is that in the 1930s, there was a global threat, which the world did not take seriously enough. While the international community tried dealing with the threat diplomatically, over time, it became uncontainable. Only when there was seemingly no other route and Nazi Germany threatened global security in ways never seen before, did many countries take actual notice and begin fighting back. Iran, in a way, is this modern threat. The country believes that the world should be in accordance with its guidelines and is willing to kill the infidels who prevent this notion from coming to fruition. It tries, through proxies such as Hezbollah and Hamas, to take over more land in order to expand its sphere of influence. Through state sponsored terrorism and the glorification of radical Islam, Iran arguably poses the most serious threat to global security since Nazi Germany 80 years ago.

Inaction at this critical juncture between the West and Iran could lead to very negative consequences for all democratic countries who believe in the freedoms the United States of America is predicated on. While Israel is on the front lines of this battle, as evidenced by its interactions with Hezbollah and Hamas, it ranges far beyond the Jewish State. Iran will not settle until the United States and all of its allies are defeated.

The international community needs to be cautious of Iran’s guise for peaceful nuclear power. There is a precedent for Iran’s behavior (see North Korea). Iran must not be allowed to acquire nuclear energy otherwise an arms race will begin in the Middle East. This country clearly has an agenda to destroy the Jewish State and cause widespread mayhem across the world. Its actions in providing military and monetary support to terror groups in Gaza, Lebanon, and Syria show the regime’s true colors. The groups’ actions against Israel are just the first stage of Iran’s plan. The United States should do whatever it takes to prevent the situation from deteriorating. If increased and hardened sanctions against Iran do not implement change, then the West and countries who believe in democracy need to act swiftly in order to prevent Iran from becoming more of a danger to the world. Hopefully, Israel will not be forced to face (and ace) this threat alone.

About the Author
Joshua Z. Lavine is a second-year MALD candidate at The Fletcher School of Law & Diplomacy at Tufts University, concentrating in International Security Studies and Southwest Asia & Islamic Civilization. Prior to Fletcher, he worked at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) for three years. Following his first year at Fletcher, he spent the summer interning at the Permanent Mission of Israel to the United Nations. Josh is from Scarsdale, New York and holds a BA in Hebrew & Judaic Studies and Journalism from New York University.