The news about four Iranian ships sailing the Red Sea is not a threat to Israel for the time being as it has taken place months ago, but it is a story that encapsulates Israel's campaign to thwart and counter the Islamic Republic's designs and the fact that this was only made known to the public during another election period is another reason for concern on the Israeli side.
These ships are a part of the growing Iranian threat, based on the vision Iran's mullah regime instilled decades ago: the destruction of Israel. Many doubted the Iranians were really serious about realizing this vision but Israeli intelligence services gleaned Tehran's true intentions to establish a regional empire and drew up a list of targets.
Iran managed to build a system that threatens the national security of both Israel and the Sunni Arab world despite being marred by social and financial woes such as economic recession, water shortages, crumbling infrastructure, corruption and steep Western sanctions which are only getting worse. Iran’s strength as a nation may be waning, but it presents proudly weapon systems it believes would serve its ambitions.
As far as Israel is concerned, Iran has made progress in three key fields. First is ballistics, ergo the ring of fire Tehran is building around Israel in failed states that waive their sovereignty and allow it to entrench itself like Lebanon, Syria, Yemen, and to some extent, Iraq.
We're talking about an astounding number of rockets — around 150,000 in Lebanon alone — that act as a major deterrent.
Second, Iran has become a nuclear threshold country which would allow it to enrich uranium to military grade at its will. As far as we know, Iran still doesn’t have a nuclear weapon, or an operational one at the very least.
Third is terrorism and cybersecurity. Iran intermittently exerts its power through acts of terrorism and drone attacks against Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries while developing its offensive cyber capabilities.
What should Israel do? First of all, expedite its military buildup. It must do so in a fashion that would allow it to prevent Iran from attaining nuclear weapons, as it has successfully managed to do so far.
Some downplay this achievement, but nuclear weapons in the hands of such a violent and murderous regime could become an existential threat, and kick off a nuclear arms race that will damage Israel’s powerful deterrence.
With that taken into account, Israel must move forward with developing defensive systems with the U.S. that would give it an edge ahead of U.S. President Joe Biden's upcoming visit.
Cooperation with the U.S. is paramount, even if the IDF can strike in Iran alone, doing so without coordinating with Washington first isn’t an option – considering the possible ramifications of such an operation.
At the end of the day, Israel must be judged by the full scale of its actions, those it discloses and those attributed to it.
The test is simple: how close are we getting to curbing the Iranian threat?
Israel's gallop toward another general election in the midst of political bedlam stands in complete contrast with its need for a strong government that works day and night to counter the Iranian threat.
It’s unthinkable that while Iran is politically stable, Israel is locked in ugly political infighting that saps its leaders of the energy required to deal with it.
Even more outrageous is the holdup in the appointment of the new IDF chief of staff and the sickening fashion in which this process is being abused.
The IDF needs a stable top brass that works day and night to build its military might and execute a comprehensive military plan.
Would it make sense to cast aspersions on the candidates for the chief of staff position who hail from the vanguard of the General Staff and whose political persuasions are known to none?
The unbridled attacks on candidates and the contamination of the entire process are unquestionably weakening Israel, and we must restore stability and facilitate our military buildup while weaving a historic U.S.-led alliance with Arab states in this opportune time.