IRAN - Really an Existential Threat to Israel?

Arno Froese

Between Iran’s nuclear ambitions, funding of terror groups such as Hamas and Hezbollah, growing military presence in Syria, and attempts to target Jewish communities and Israeli diplomatic staff in the Diaspora, it’s no wonder that many Israelis today view the Islamic Republic as a mortal enemy.

In fact, writes Jonathan G. Leslie in his new book, “Fear and Insecurity: Israel and the Iran Threat Narrative,” most Israelis believe the threat posed by Iran’s extremist regime is “comparable only to that of the Third Reich.”

Leslie thinks those concerns are overblown—and not simply because Israel is responsible for its own share of attacks on Iran.

Since the 1979 Islamic Revolution, Iran’s clerical leaders included Israel among Iran’s enemies, “charging it with oppressing Palestinians, illegally occupying Lebanon, and aligning itself with the United States, among other sins,” writes Leslie.

But Leslie claims the two nations’ threat perceptions of each other are asymmetrical. “Israeli leaders [view] Iran as a far greater danger to their state’s security than Iranian leaders perceived Israel to be,” he writes., 5 March 2023

Arno's Commentary

Jonathan Leslie, professor at the Center for Security Studies at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C., says the threats “are overblown.”

What we do know is that Iran’s involvement with terrorist organizations such as Hezbollah and Hamas is real. They do not underestimate Israel’s military and intelligence capability.

While Iranian leaders seem determined to destroy Israel, we read in Scripture: “Thus saith the Lord, which giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The Lord of hosts is his name: If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the Lord, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever” (Jeremiah 31:35-36).

Arno Froese is the executive director of Midnight Call Ministries and editor-in-chief of the acclaimed prophetic magazines Midnight Call and News From Israel. He has authored a number of well-received books, and has sponsored many prophecy conferences in the U.S., Canada, and Israel. His extensive travels have contributed to his keen insight into Bible prophecy, as he sees it from an international perspective.

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