Gilad Erdan, Israel’s Ambassador to the US, said on August 6, 2022, that the state of Israel desires regime change in Iran.
“In the end, we would ultimately like to see [the government] overthrown and [for there to be] regime change,” Erdan said during an interview with Israel’s Army Radio when he was asked about the Israeli state’s Iran policy.
David DeCamp of Antiwar.com correctly observed that “no secret Israel is hostile to the Iranian government, but Israeli officials have previously avoided such explicit calls for regime change.”
However, the new change in the tone of Israeli foreign policy functionaries like Erdan is significant. The Times of Israel described this shift in Israeli policy towards Iran as “one of the most far-reaching comments by an Israeli official in favor of regime change in Tehran.”
Erdan said that the state of Israel is working to build an international coalition to confront Iran. “We would like to see actions that are much more determined from the international community against Iran,’ Erdan stated. “We hope the international community will draw this conclusion as soon as possible because we need to put an end to this murderousness.”
DeCamp provided some context to Erdan’s statements:
Erdan’s comments come after a week of almost daily threats from Israeli officials that they might take military action against Iran over a deadly attack on the Mercer Street, an Israeli-linked ship that was hit by a drone last week. The attack killed two crew members; a British national and a Romanian.
The Israeli and American governments along with members of the G7 have pinned the blame on Iran for the attack on Mercer Street. However, the Iranian state claims to have not been behind the attack. On August 5, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz revealed that Israel is ready to launch an attack against Iran and called on other countries to take action
Israel, the US, and now the G7 have all blamed Iran for the Mercer Street attack, but Tehran maintains its innocence. On August 5, Israeli Defense Minister Benny Gantz said Israel was prepared to attack Iran and urged other countries to also take action.
“We are at a point where we need to take military action against Iran. The world needs to take action against Iran now,” Gantz declared.
Iran is Israel’s problem not the US’s. The fact remains that the US has overextended its defense commitments into regions that are of no strategic interest for it. The Middle East will always be unstable. It’s a fact of life. The US intervening in the region only makes things worse by creating a whole assortment of unintended consequences that interventionist politicians inevitably exploit to justify even more intervention further down the line.
Israel is a mature country and needs to operate without the US holding its hand or giving it military aid and political cover. It must assume the political costs of its controversial actions. There comes a point when the US has to realize that blindly committing itself to Israel is no longer in its national interest.
Hopefully, the US starts embracing realists in its foreign policy ranks who will analyze these situations soberly and recognize that certain American allies come with baggage that’s not worth putting up with.