Iran and her proxies around Israel’s borders have become the main threat that Israel struggles with every day of the year. For the first 30+ years, Israel’s main nemesis was Egypt. Israel fought 4-5 wars that were all centered around Egypt over the years.
In the War of Independence, Egypt had the most formidable army that fought against the fledgling State of Israel. Egypt’s divisions came up to the southern tip of Jerusalem, the Kibbutzim around Ashkelon, and threatened Tel-Aviv. Following the defeat of it’s Army, Egypt never stopped threatening Israel. Egypt also had proxies from Gaza, known as the fedayeen, that wreaked havoc on Israeli citizens. In the Sinai War in 1956, Israel fought a major war in the Sinai – only with Egypt.
But the major wars came 11 years later in 1967, and another 6 years after that in what would become known as The Yom Kippur War. Egypt joined forces with Syria and Jordan in 1967, but the main battlefield was in the Sinai Desert. Most of Israel’s casualties in the Yom Kippur War were inflicted by the Egyptian Army. But in 1979, the peace agreement between Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat, brokered by Jimmy Carter, put an end to the hostilities between the two countries. The lack of war has lasted till today between Egypt and Israel.
But right around the same time that Egypt stopped being a major threat to Israel, Iran went through a major earthquake. The revolution in Iran ushered in a dictatorship of the Ayatollahs. Iran was well on the way of becoming a modernized country, perhaps the most modernized country in the Middle East. But all of that went down the drain overnight.
Since then, Iran has used it’s vast natural resources to fund a worldwide terror network with Israel at the epicenter of it’s focus. Hizbullah to Israel’s north, Hamas in Israel’s south, and weapon smuggling via Jordan, are top priorities from Iran. If one wants to understand why Benjmain Netanyahu continues to be reelected time and again, it is because he has convinced the Israeli electorate that only he possesses the stalwart focus to keep Iran’s threats as threats and no more than that.
But , Israel can never rest on it’s laurels. The threats are indeed never ending. The key to deterrence is to not appease, but to fight back and fight hard.