Sherwin Pomerantz

No Need to Retaliate against Iran

Israel’s War Cabinet on Sunday recommended retaliating to the first-ever direct Iranian attack on the Jewish state, although they were divided on the scope and timing of the response, Reuters reported on Monday, citing Israeli officials. However, no final decision was made, per reports, and ministers were to reconvene at 2 p.m. today to continue deliberations.  “We will build a regional coalition and exact the price from Iran in the fashion and timing that is right for us,” Minister Gantz said ahead of the meeting, which lasted over three hours.

Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Husseini Khamenei, wrote a message in Hebrew saying, “Holy Al-Quds (i.e. Jerusalem) will be in the hands of the Muslims, and the Muslim world will celebrate the liberation of Palestine,” on his X account on Sunday.  The tweet in Hebrew was written by the supreme leader of Iran above footage of missiles and drones that were intercepted in the sky over the Temple Mount in Jerusalem.  The tweet comes following Iran’s historic barrage against Israel, ending a four-decade long shadow war between the two countries. The barrage contained around 350 drones and missiles.

On Sunday night, US House Majority Leader Steve Scalise spoke to The Jerusalem Post before unveiling a series of bills that express support for Israel and denounce Iran. As US forces intercepted missiles and UAVs Saturday night during Iran’s unprecedented attack on Israel, Scalise announced he’d be rearranging the upcoming week’s legislative schedule to bring bills and resolutions supporting Israel to the floor.  On Sunday evening, President Biden spoke with House leadership urging Congress to pass the Senate-passed national security supplemental bill which packages Israel aid with funding for Ukraine and the Indo-Pacific. Humanitarian aid for Gaza and Ukraine is also included in the Senate’s bill.   As of Sunday night, House Speaker Mike Johnson is still negotiating with the White House on an Israel aid package, Scalise said, but there’s a strong desire to get Israel aid passed this week. Johnson overnight agreed to bring the bill to a vote this week.

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Sunday issued a reminder that acts of reprisal involving the use of force are barred under international law after Iran’s attack on Israel, while the US warned the Security Council it would work to hold Tehran accountable at the UN.  Guterres, speaking to a meeting of the UN Security Council, told member states that the UN charter bars the use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state as he condemned Iran’s attack on Israel and warned against further escalation.  “The Middle East is on the brink. The people of the region are confronting a real danger of a devastating full-scale conflict. Now is the time to defuse and de-escalate,” Guterres told the meeting, which was called after Iran’s attack.

 Prime Minister Netanyahu has decided to delay the IDF operation in Rafah in southern Gaza, Israel’s Kan News broadcaster reported Sunday night.  According to information approved by the military censor, the initial date set by the government was postponed for undisclosed reasons.  Kan News said it could not divulge additional details on the issue.  Also on Sunday, the IDF announced the call-up of two reserve brigades to reinforce troops carrying out targeted raids against Hamas terrorists in Gaza.

Following the IDF’s withdrawal of almost all ground forces from Gaza on April 7, the army has shifted into a new phase in the war against Hamas, which last week saw forces enter the eastern Gaza City neighborhood of Shejaiya as well as Nuseirat in the central Strip.  Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant has told IDF soldiers that the decision to withdraw troops was made in preparation for the looming offensive in Rafah, where Hamas’s final battalions are concentrated and where the senior leadership and remaining hostages are believed to be.

Regarding a retaliatory strike on Iran, my personal opinion is that there is no need to retaliate at all.   Israel made a decision two weeks ago to attack a foreign government on its own soil. The fact that it was the Iranian Embassy compound in Damascus does not make it any less the territory of Iran than Tehran itself (Legally, the embassy of a country, wherever it is located, is considered sovereign territory of that country).  This was an initiative of our government.

As expected, Iran retaliated in a forceful way by sending 60 tons of explosives towards Israel conveyed by rockets, missiles, UAVs and whatever else they had that could take to the air.   We, along with a host of allies who also see Iran as a world disrupter, defended the onslaught and 99% of the rockets, missiles and UAVs that were launched were disabled before they reached us.  Clearly a defeat for Iran, a success for us and a sign, for some of us, that the good Lord continues to protect us.

We proved that we could repel their attack, we showed that their armaments were technically inferior to ours and successfully embarrassed their leadership and put their boasts to shame.  We need do no more at this point in time as any further response runs the risk of escalating the fight into a regional war that none of us need.  We have enough yet to do in Gaza and Lebanon without opening another active front.

Let us hope that our leadership will resist the very normal calls for retaliation and that they will take the “high road” at this point in time for the good and welfare of Israel and our still detained hostages.

About the Author
Sherwin Pomerantz is a native New Yorker, who lived and worked in Chicago for 20 years before coming to Israel in 1984. An industrial engineer with advanced degrees in mechanical engineering and business, he is President of Atid EDI Ltd., a 32 year old Jerusalem-based economic development consulting firm which, among other things, represents the regional trade and investment interests of a number of US states, regional entities and Invest Hong Kong. A past national president of the Association of Americans & Canadians in Israel, he is also Former Chairperson of the Board of the Pardes Institute of Jewish Studies and a Board Member of the Israel-America Chamber of Commerce. His articles have appeared in various publications in Israel and the US.
Related Topics
Related Posts