DC Edit | Israel needs to show restraint

The world is waiting to see what Israel would do in retaliation for the large-scale strike that Iran carried out from its soil last weekend. Even before the 300 projectiles in the form of drones and missiles came at it from Iran, Israel’s war cabinet, having US intelligence at hand on an impending strike, had ordered the military to draw up plans for wide-ranging attacks against Iran.

Now, as Israel bides its time, pressure has built up for restraint, especially because the Iran assault came to virtually nothing in terms of human damage — one child was hurt by shrapnel — as Israel’s Iron Dome stood up to a litmus test of defence and the US and even Arab nation Jordan shot down Iranian missiles and drones in the air.

It is now up to the Joe Biden-led West to hold Israel back from any misadventure that could sharply escalate the West Asia conflict into a big regional war, as Iran is unlikely to take direct hits without striking back even if it drew some derision for its missiles being unable to inflict any pain on Israel, with social media posts suggesting that people died only from laughter at the ineffectiveness of a wide-ranging attack.

For Benjamin Netanyahu, the beleaguered Israeli Prime Minister who is facing protests at home from tens of thousands of people calling for fresh elections and by that his exit, which is said to be guaranteed given his unpopularity anywhere outside his war cabinet, sitting out after Israel being hit cannot be for too long. Therein lies the danger as the Israeli PM’s decision, with a question of his survival as a politician, could put the region and the world in danger.

When Israel launched the operation in Damascus to strike a building belonging to the Iranian embassy in Syria and get at top commanders including Mohammad Reza Zahedi, the commander for Syria and Lebanon of Iran’s elite Quds Force, a branch of Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, it did not inform US of its plans until the very last moment.

Having put off its operations plans for Rafah in the Gaza Strip after the Iran strike, Israel can be said to be in a quiet contemplative phase. If restraint somehow keeps occupying its thinking, there might just be a chance for restoring peace in the Middle Eastern cauldron.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle )
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