The greatest victory is that which requires no battle.” (Sun Tzu, The Art of War).

This famous quote sums up Israel’s superior strategic position against Iran and her local proxies; Hamas in the Gaza Strip, Hezbollah in Lebanon, armed militias in Syria, and Palestinian Arab terror cells throughout Judea and Samaria {aka 'West Bank'}. For the first time in history, Iran openly declared war on Israel by firing, from Iranian sovereign territory, over 300 drones, cruise, and ballistic missiles towards the State of Israel.

Iran defines itself as the Iranian Islamic Republic, and acts as a kind of regional superpower. The anti-Semitic rhetoric of the Iranian regime is reminiscent of the Nazi period of anti-Semitism that promoted “redemptive anti-Semitism”, a form of anti-Semitism that seeks the total annihilation of Jews so as to “free humanity” and “redeem” those that liberate the world of Jews. To advance this Nazi inspired form of “redemptive anti-Semitism”, Iran supports terror groups and anti-Semitic organizations throughout the world that threaten Israel and Jews who live in Democratic societies such as the United States and the nations of the European Union. Iran like most Islamic nations, are believers of their own self-glorifying propaganda, half-truths, and historical fabrications. Iran is unable to free itself from the shackles of their centuries old sense of inferiority of the West, with Israel representing the spear lodged in the heart of the Islamic nation in the Middle East.

In recent years, the Iranian regime has taken pride in their missile and drone technologies. They have paraded these offensive missiles at every opportunity threatening to attack not only Israel, but also Muslim Sunni nations that are aligned with the United States, England, and other Western nations. Despite the Iranian rhetoric and hype that sounds more like a modern version of “A Thousand and One Night” folklore stories of Aladdin and Ali Baba, it seems much of Iran’s military is outdated, technologically inferior, and generations behind the defensive and offensive capabilities of the State of Israel.

This past week, despite the massive unheard of missile attack by Iran against Israel, 99% of the drones, and missiles either crashed in Iranian territory or where destroyed by the Israeli Air Force and “made in Israel” defensive anti-missile systems. The Iranians reluctantly realized that their offensive systems against Israel are largely worthless, and unworthy of a nation that calls itself a regional superpower.

What began during the era of the Reagan Presidency including the Arrow development program within the “Star Wars” military procurement period, seemed at the time like science fiction. With persistency and determination to counter any existential threat, Israel’s defense industries including Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and Rafael, the Israel Defense Forces and the Israel Air Force have developed the most advanced air defense systems in the world, and this past week we were given proof of the efficacy of these systems.

As the discussion now turns to what should be Israel’s response to the Iranian attack on the State of Israel, it is important to be reminded that Israel’s main strategic goal is to complete the dismantlement and destruction of the Hamas terror organization, the withdrawal of all Hezbollah forces to areas north of the Litani River in Lebanon, and the return of all the Oct 7 hostages being held in the Gaza Strip by Hamas. Should Israel’s proven military superiority over Iran be leveraged to achieve these goals without directly attacking Iran and widening the perimeters of the conflict? Will Israel’s deterrence against Iran be weakened or strengthened by not directly attacking Iran?

Sun Tzu wrote in “The Art of War”; "He will win who knows when to fight and when not to fight,” is the key to victory. Israel’s main objective against Iran is to prevent the Islamic regime from acquiring and developing nuclear weapons. To achieve this goal, Israel has wisely exposed as little as possible of her capabilities and technologies that can incapacitate Iran’s offensive military capabilities and nuclear arsenal. Directly attacking Iran would force Israel to expose prematurely its military and technological capabilities. Let’s not forget the lessons of the Gulf War in 1991, where Iraq launched 33 Scud missiles on Haifa and the greater Tel-Aviv region. At the time Prime Minister Shamir was urged by the United States not to respond and to allow the international coalition to act against Iraq, which they did.

Self-glorifying propaganda might very well go viral on social media, as Iranian leaders continue to threaten Israel despite Iran’s humiliating failure to show tangible results after attacking Israel. Iran’s inability to make good on these meaningless threats has also shown to astute observes that Iran in actuality wants to cut her losses by negotiating a face saving alternative rather than exposing her military and technological failures further humiliation.

In the same manner that Iran manipulates proxies to attack Israel, Iran can let its proxies pay the price for Iran’s decision to attack Israel. Should Iran order Hezbollah to move her forces in their entirety north of the Litani River and order the remaining forces of Hamas including its entire leadership to exit the Gaza Strip through Egypt, Israel would be spared the necessity of attacking Iran directly. This scenario can be implemented without firing a bullet while leaving the Iranians in the dark concerning Israel’s defensive and offensive superiority in the future.