Netanyahu rejects advice: We (Israel) will decide what to do next

Israel will decide on its own how to defend itself, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said today, after a meeting with the German and British foreign ministers, Analene Berbock and David Cameron

by Sededin Dedovic
Netanyahu rejects advice: We (Israel) will decide what to do next
© Sean Gallup / Getty Images

In light of escalating tensions following Iran's drone and missile strikes over the weekend, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stated in no uncertain terms that Israel will determine its defense strategies independently.

The declaration comes after a meeting with German and British foreign ministers Annalen Berbock and David Cameron, who reiterated calls for Israeli restraint. "Let it be clear - we will make our own decisions, and the State of Israel will do whatever it takes to defend itself," Netanyahu said after meeting with Cameron and Annalena Berbock, expressing gratitude for their support, Reuters reports.

The foreign ministers of Germany and the United Kingdom are in Israel to prevent the Israeli-Iranian conflict from escalating into a wider regional crisis. Cameron noted that it was becoming evident that Israel was planning to retaliate against the Iranian attack.

German diplomacy reiterated that the escalation "will serve no one, neither Israeli security, nor the dozens of hostages still held by Hamas, nor the Palestinian population in Gaza who are suffering, nor the many citizens of Iran who suffer the current regime, nor third countries in the region simply wanting to live in peace." The United States, also urging Israel to exercise restraint, is working with allies on a coordinated response to Iranian drone and missile attacks on Israeli territory, which would trigger new sanctions on Tehran.

The European Union and the Group of Seven announced plans to impose tougher sanctions on Iran to persuade Israel to refrain from potential military retaliation for the Iranian attack, carried out in retaliation for Israel's bombing of the Iranian consulate in Damascus in early April.

According to White House National Security Adviser Jake Sullivan, President Joe Biden is "coordinating with allies and partners, including the Group of Seven, as well as bipartisan leaders in Congress, on a comprehensive response," as reported by Voice of America.

In announcing the new sanctions on Iran, Sullivan said they would include measures against Iran's missile and drone development programs, as well as against entities that support the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps and Iran's Ministry of Defense.

U.S. President Joe Biden confers with his National Security Advisor Jake Sullivan during a roundtable with Jewish community lead© Drew Angerer / Getty Images

Biden "doesn't want to see a war with Iran.

He doesn't want the conflict to expand or deepen," said White House national security spokesman John Kirby. Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi said today that even the "weakest invasion" by Israel would lead to a "massive and powerful" response.

Raisi made the announcement at the annual military parade, which was moved from its usual location in southern Tehran to the north of the Iranian capital, and was not televised live for the first time. The recent exchange of hostilities between Iran and Israel did not occur in isolation, but is deeply rooted in the complex geopolitical landscape of the Middle East.

At the heart of the matter lies the long-standing animosity between the two nations, exacerbated by the war in Gaza. Iran, under the leadership of President Ebrahim Raisi, has consistently followed a confrontational approach towards Israel, viewing it as an illegitimate entity occupying Palestinian land.

This position is further supported by Iran's support for militant groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, which have been involved in armed conflict with Israel in the past. On the other hand, Israel perceives Iran as an existential threat due to its nuclear ambitions, support for anti-Israel proxies and repeated calls for the destruction of the Jewish state.

Iranian-backed drone and missile attacks on Israeli territory only serve to confirm Israel's concerns about Tehran's aggressive posture. For the United States, the most important thing is to ensure the safety of its ally Israel while preventing a wider conflagration in the Middle East.

Hence the Biden administration's emphasis on diplomacy and coordinated action with allies to de-escalate tensions. Similarly, the European Union and the Group of Seven recognize the destabilizing impact of the protracted conflict between Iran and Israel on regional security and global energy markets.

By imposing sanctions on Iran, they aim to pressure Tehran to refrain from further provocations, thereby preventing a larger-scale confrontation. The current conflict between Israel and Iran has far-reaching implications for regional stability and international security.

A misjudged move by either side could trigger an all-out military conflict with catastrophic consequences for the entire Middle East and beyond. Permanent members of the UN Security Council and allies of Iran, China and Russia, will have to work constructively together to mitigate the crisis that threatens us all.

Together they have the power and leverage to do it. Netanyahu's cynical machinations, Tehran's violent miscalculations, Biden's stark dilemma - all point in one direction: the need for urgent, concerted international action to stop further fighting and prevent an escalation in the Middle East that is sucking up Syria, Lebanon, and the Gulf and Red Sea regions.

Benjamin Netanyahu German