Israel 'must respond' to Iran, former Trump adviser says as White House urges de-escalation

He says that the Biden administration is looking for de-escalation over concerns that another war in the region would harm the U.S. economy.
Israel soldiers, Sderot, Israel, Oct. 28, 2023

Israel needs to respond to Iran's massive attack over the weekend or it risks facing more attacks from Iran, former Trump adviser Robert Greenway said, even though the White House is urging de-escalation in the region.

"Israel must respond because of the public and overwhelming nature of what Iran launched," Greenway, who currently serves as the Heritage Foundation's National Defense Center director, told the "Just the News, No Noise," TV show this week. "The region is looking at what the United States and Israel are going to do in response to it. And if nothing is done, they'll judge that a green light continues to exist."

Iran launched more than 300 missiles and drones at Israel over the weekend, 99% of which were shot down by Israel with the help of U.S. and British forces. 

However, U.S. President Joe Biden reportedly told Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Sunday that Israel should consider the deflection of most of the Iranian barrage to be a win, and that America would not support an Israeli counter-offensive. 

While White House national security spokesman John Kirby said Monday that the U.S. is committed to the defense of Israel, when pressed about a counter-offensive, he said that Saturday's attack was an "incredible success" for Israel, and that America is "not looking for a war with Iran."

Iran on Tuesday threatened to attack Israel with weapons "never used" before if the country responds to the weekend barrage. Tehran launched the attack over the weekend in response to airstrikes in Syria earlier this month that killed Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps officials. Among those killed included Brig. Gen. Mohammad Reza Zahedi, who reportedly helped orchestrate the Oct. 7, 2023, Hamas attack on Israel that killed 1,200 people.

Greenway says that the Biden administration is looking for de-escalation over concerns that another war in the region would harm the U.S. economy, but he said those types of policies lead to "appeasement," which is "exactly what got us in this position" and will ultimately "lead to greater escalation" down the line.

"At the end of the day, Israel will respond, they will respond swiftly and it'll be more effective than the Iranian attack," he also said. If rockets were launched at the United States without effect, "we'd celebrate but we'd respond equally," he added.

Israel's war cabinet, formed days after the Oct. 7 attack, remains determined to respond to the attack, but the timing and scope of any counter-offensive remains unclear.  

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