Arnon Grunberg



On respones - Harel in Haaretz:

‘Iran's missile and drone barrage last Saturday night is expected to elicit an Israeli response. A decision in principle has already been made, and Israel has in effect committed itself to that course by virtue of a series of remarks made by ministers and senior army figures.’


‘The seriousness of the Iranian attack cannot be taken lightly. Iran aimed at least 350 different projectiles at Israel. They were meant to reach their targets quickly and cause a great deal of damage, even taking into account that the brunt of the attack was focused on Israeli Air Force bases in the Negev that are fairly distant from population centers. The extent of the ordnance fired at them was huge. If the attack had succeeded, it would have done a great deal of damage to Israel's fleet of F-35s, to sensitive operational sites and to the IAF's capabilities.’


‘There is no escaping the fact that Israeli intelligence did not see the Iranian response coming. The assumption was that the Iranians would exercise restraint after the assassination of Hassan Mahdavi, the commander of Iran's Quds Force in Syria and Lebanon, making do with a minimal response, as has been the case after similar actions in the past.
Instead, Tehran made a strategic decision for the first time to attack Israel from Iranian soil using considerable ordnance. This could have been the consequence of one or more factors – that Mahdavi's killing had crossed a red line, that Israel was weak (one of the factors behind Hamas' October 7 attack) or an overestimation of its own power. One way or the other, Israel did not realize quickly enough that Iran's strategic outlook has changed, from Israel's point of view, for the worse.’


‘The principle by which Tehran operates, according to Western intelligence, is "good enough." The Iranians don't strive for technological perfection but for mass production and deployment. Only some of it has to work well to achieve its military goals. However, the failure of the weekend attack was total.’


‘The nature of Israel's response in the end will be influenced by Washington. Despite bilateral strains, it is clear that the stunning success in thwarting the Iran attack was achieved through close cooperation with the United States, mainly the U.S. army's CENTCOM.
Leon Panetta, the head of the CIA during the Obama administration, this week told CNN that Israel needs to remember that "revenge is a dish best served cold." Echoing U.S. President Joe Biden, Panetta said Israel would do better to leverage the regional alliance that played such an important role to undertake diplomatic steps vis a vis Iran and the Palestinians.’


‘Going forward, he [Khamenei] will have to take into account another consideration: Iran is preparing for a transfer of power, for only the second time since the establishment of the Islamic Republic 46 years ago. Entering a long, exhausting and unpredictable regional war is not a recipe for a smooth succession process, certainly in a country where a significant part of the population despises the authorities.’

Read the article here.

Israeli intelligence failed to see many things lately.

And the word ‘influenced’ is most probably a delightful euphemism.

After all the ‘stunning success’ of thwarting the Iranian attack was made possible by the US.

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