". . . and having done all . . . stand firm." Eph. 6:13


Israeli Resolve Appears Firm in Face of Iranian Missile Assault

April 16, 2024

On the heels of the Iranian regime’s unprecedented missile and drone attack on Israel over the weekend, the Jewish state’s military chief declared Monday that the assault would be “met with a response,” despite President Joe Biden and other world leaders urging against a retaliatory strike. Experts and lawmakers say Israel should not be deterred from taking action to defend itself.

“[T]his is a weak, failing president who is trying to hobble the state of Israel,” Rep. Mark Alford (R-Mo.) asserted on “Washington Watch” Monday. “We have had a close friendship with Israel for 80 years now, and for this president to try to hamstring a sovereign nation from defending itself and prevent it from being attacked again by Iran, I think it’s ridiculous. … It’s shameful.”

For its part, Iran stated during a United Nations Security Council meeting that it is not seeking further escalation after the attack, which involved the coordinated launch of over 300 missiles and drones. However, the regime also made it clear that more “decisive” strikes would come in response to any Israeli counterattack.

On Monday, CBN News’s Middle East Bureau Chief Chris Mitchell joined “Washington Watch” from Jerusalem to give an update on the Israeli response to the attack.

“Yesterday, the War Cabinet met for four hours. They met again this afternoon,” he reported. “Apparently, they do have a plan in place, and it’s going to be a painful retaliation, according to some reports. Also, the IDF Chief of Staff [Lt. Gen. Herzi] Halevi made a statement [from an] air base in the south where many of the F-35s are, and he’s promising a retaliation as well. Some people speculate that could include missiles as well from Israel into Iran. … So we’ll see how this is going to escalate perhaps in the … next few days.”

Lt. Colonel (Ret.) Bob Maginnis, Family Research Council’s senior fellow for National Security, also joined “Washington Watch” to give perspective on the ramifications of Iran’s unprecedented direct attack on the Jewish state.

“I think it was calibrated,” he noted. “[T]he drones came in with the lights on, so there wasn’t any secret about that. It was meant for psychological persuasion of the Israeli people, but at the same time, [it was] a very clear message. And that is that Iran, from its own territory, can reach out and touch Israel. [It’s] the first time we’ve ever seen this, and so the dynamics in the region have changed.”

Maginnis continued, “Now, at the same time, they not only fired from Iran, but they fired from Iraq, Syria, and Yemen. So that really made a more complex aerial battle that ensued, in spite of the fact that the Iron Dome and David’s Sling, as well as our own Patriots and F-15s and [the] USS Carney and Arleigh Burke were engaging these targets. And so that was good news because those systems worked. But [the] bad news [is that] this has really changed the formula going forward. And in fact, I think the Iranians feel emboldened.”

Family Research Council President Tony Perkins concurred, arguing that a series of actions taken by the Biden administration and Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) to undermine Israel has only aided Iran in its attacks on the Jewish state in the wake of the October 7 atrocities perpetrated by Hamas, a terrorist Iranian proxy. “[T]he Biden administration … has made Israel vulnerable to this attack by their vacillation in terms of their support and the lack of resolve to send a message to the world that we would stand with Israel,” he contended. “That has not been the message.”

Still, as Mitchell went on to report, public opinion in Israel appears to be in favor of a strong response to the Iranian attack.

“Many people here in Israel feel Iran just simply can’t have this, despite the fact that 99% of these projectiles were cut down,” he observed. “Israel has to respond. It has to restore the deterrence. … [T]his was a historic moment. Israel and Iran have been in a shadow war for about 45 years. This is the first time Iran has directly attacked Israel from Iranian territory. And it’s just really a game changer here in the Middle East.”

Mitchell further described the toll that the escalating conflict is taking on the Israeli people. “[S]ome people call the strategy ‘death by a thousand cuts.’ You have Hamas in the south, Hezbollah to the north, the Houthis down in Yemen, and you have Iranian backed militias in Iraq and Syria. So they do want to continue to drain the resources, the morale of the Israeli people, the resources of the state of Israel, and try to just make this place unlivable.”

However, as Mitchell concluded, the resolve of the Israeli people appears to be firm despite the adversity.

“If you live here in Israel, they haven’t succeeded at all. This is an amazing place to be. It’s a start-up nation. It’s actually thriving in many ways. … And I think the resolve of the Jewish people here in Israel and the Israelis is remarkable. They’re not going anywhere. … [T]his is a place where I believe God has planted the Jewish people. As Psalm 120 says, ‘He that watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.’ And he’s watching over the Jewish people today.”

Dan Hart is senior editor at The Washington Stand.