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Iran saves Netanyahu, allows world to sympathise with Israel again

April 15, 2024 at 2:00 pm

Fox News television channel, a US media outlet, announces Iran’s retaliation attack on Israel as a “breaking news” around the building in New York, United States on April 13, 2024. [Selçuk Acar – Anadolu Agency]

For about five hours on Saturday night, Iran launched a very large and unprecedented attack on Israel saying it came in retaliation for the Israeli attack on Tehran’s diplomatic mission in Syria in which a senior Iranian official was killed.

The attack consisted of more than 350 projectiles – including around 170 drones and over 120 ballistic missiles. Some of them reached their targets in Israel including the Israeli military airport of Nevatim.

“Together with a defence coalition of international partners, we achieved a successful interception of 99% of aerial threats launched by Iran,” an Israeli army statement said.

Commenting on the attack, the Iranian mission to the UN warned that it will respond with “stronger and more resolute” actions if Israel retaliates following the strikes.

But the question is: Why did this happen while Iran and its proxies have been subject to deadly Israeli attacks on Iranian soil and abroad?

This attack was critically needed by the US and Israel. I believe that Israel and Iran are like siblings, whose guardian – the US – watches as they quarrel, only interfering in order to prevent them posing an existential threat to the other.

Countering Iran’s overnight attack costs Israel $1.35bn: Israeli media

Over the past few weeks and even months, the US has been subjected to regional and international criticism due to its blind support for Israel’s genocide in Gaza. This became too great to bear and left it in need of a renewed pretext to justify its support of the occupation state and its war crimes.

While Israel needed this “attack” to cover up its crimes in Gaza, to distract the world from the ongoing genocide, to remind the Arabs that Israel is not their enemy, and point the finger at Iran. In this way, Tel Aviv hopes to regain international sympathy and ensure the continuation of arms sales from the West.

On a personal level, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu needed this attack to save himself as his popularity had dwindled as a result of his handling of the war on Gaza. He hopes calls for his ouster will die down in light of the new “threats” Israel is facing.

Following Iran’s attack, in a phone call with Netanyahu, US President Joe Biden reaffirmed “America’s ironclad commitment to the security of Israel.”

“To support the defence of Israel, the US military moved aircraft and ballistic missile defence destroyers to the region over the course of the past week,” he said in a statement released by the White House.

“Thanks to these deployments and the extraordinary skill of our servicemembers, we helped Israel take down nearly all of the incoming drones and missiles.”

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Britain also reiterated its full support for Israel as it stressed that it was prepared to intervene using Royal Air Force aircraft positioned in the region. “These UK jets will intercept any airborne attacks within range of our existing missions, as required,” a Defence Ministry statement said.

Even France, which has said it would file a ceasefire proposal to the UNSC, was actively involved in this play. “We are working closely with the US, UK and France who acted tonight. This partnership has always been close, but tonight it manifested itself in an unusual way,” an Israeli military spokesperson said.

Meanwhile, Iran had been seriously criticised due to the silence of its army and proxies regarding the unprecedented Israeli genocide in Palestine; nevertheless, it has been claiming it is the sole supporter of the Palestinians and their resistance.

Tehran needed this well-engineered attack in order to prove its hostility to Israel and prove its support for the Palestinian resistance. But this support came too late; 190 days after Israel began slaughtering Palestinians.

Its massive attack was allegedly aimed at destroying Israel, but it came with fanfare, warnings and advance warning; Israel announced that the drones had been launched and that they would take two hours to reach its borders. In the end, only one Arab-Israeli woman was injured, Iran garnered support for itself, saved Netanyahu, distracted the world from covering the genocide in Gaza, justified US and Western support for Israel and revived global sympathy for the occupation state.

Palestinians will continue to be slaughtered in Gaza and attacked in the occupied West Bank while the world is busy in reporting the “big attack” and analysing its consequences!

The views expressed in this article belong to the author and do not necessarily reflect the editorial policy of Middle East Monitor.