Iran–Israel Conflict Heads Down Dangerous Path


The tit-for-tat cycle of retaliation between Israel as well as Iran has begun a new era that has ended a time of shadow war and moved to more open violence between states. 

This is a risky time for their standoff in the military and for the Middle East more widely since old standards are being ripped up, and new ones are yet to be reached, whether in either way or explicitly.

What Israel responds, if any point, is crucial to determine if the time of Tel Aviv and Tehran acting subtly in their interstate conflicts is over and a war period is about to begin.

Norm Erosion

Ben-Gvir’s remarks, whether formal or not, suggest that the tone of the debate and the actuality of the conflict have changed. In both the Hamas attacks as well as the Iranian UAV and missile strike, which was mostly orchestrated through the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC).

It was a significant deviation from the norms and regulations in which the Middle Eastern conflict was being waged. 

Israel’s assault on an Iranian consulate located in Damascus on 1 April has been widely seen as an expansion of its willingness to strike at Iran directly, even though Tehran has been accused of aiming at an Israeli consulate previously.

The behavior of the past few days is quite different from the past when both sides often tried to cover their actions in the shade of plausible (or sometimes absurd) denial. 

On the one hand, on the Israeli side, the actions included the assassination of Iranian scientists who were involved with Iran’s nuclear programme and the Stuxnet cyber-attack on atomic weapon facilities. 

From the Iranian side, such activities mainly involved using proxy servers to keep direct involvement in attacks to an arms-length distance.

The shift from the traditional methods to the latest ways to operate opens the possibility of greater risk when both sides try to test the boundaries of the other. 

The risk of an escalated situation is heightened by the hawkish voices from either side that seem to be growing in popularity. 

When there is anxiety and change, the people who demonstrate clarity and strength in their solutions to complex problems often acquire popularity, as shown by the centuries of fluctuation and ebbs and flows of popular sentiment across the West and the globe.

Western governments are trying to determine how much direct support they will provide Kyiv, and there is talk of “boots on the ground” that the Kremlin has called a red line for open conflict against the West. Russia has been hesitant despite previously regarding red lines. The issue in Ukraine and around the Middle East is how much one side is willing to take against the other.

Where Is It?

Western and a few Middle Eastern countries are hoping Israel could ‘win because of the success it and its allies enjoyed in taking down Iranian UAVs as well as missiles. UAVs embarrassed the IRGC throughout the process. 

Leaders across the world are trying to stop Israel from launching a new attack. United States President Joe Biden, who is a strong supporter of Israel, has also stated his administration would not participate in any retaliation. 

The American military will not take part in a retaliatory strike against Iran. French President Emmanuel Macron has encouraged isolation in the face of escalation. 

British Foreign Minister David Cameron also signaled that the UK would not take part in any response made by Israel.

Israel has a variety of choices. It may, as some allies believe, claim a strategic victory. It could also opt for the traditional method of retaliation, delaying the action until a later time and then pursuing IRGC targets in a more hidden manner.

The Netanyahu government’s willingness to take this approach is unclear, however, due to its tendency to emphasize its ability to deploy force militarily on a vast scale. 

However, Tel Aviv’s choices now are likely to set the stage for the upcoming phase of conflict.

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