Reacting to Israel's three-week-old war with Hamas, publisher and best-selling author Joel Rosenberg insisted on American Family Radio Wednesday that Israel must expand its war with Hamas and take on another enemy, Iran.
“I say this as somebody who lives here and is going to suffer the repercussions, but I don’t see another way. It’s time to cut off the head of the snake,” Rosenberg told show host Jenna Ellis.
Hamas has been funded by Iran for decades, and its relationship with Israel has come under the microscope since its land, air and sea attacks on Israeli citizens killed more than 1,400 on Oct. 7.
Many more were taken hostage and marched back to Gaza. A couple of hostages have since been released.
Rosenberg says Iran’s involvement with proxy terrorism stretches far beyond its Hamas relationship to include Hezbollah in Lebanon and the Houthi in Yemen.
“There’s another tentacle of Iran and that's the Houthi terrorists in Yemen, and they're starting to fire missiles at us all the way from down in Yemen,” Rosenberg said. “We've never seen that happen before. U.S. Naval ships shot down most of them, and the one that they didn't shoot down, the Saudis actually shot down to protect Israel. That's pretty amazing in this new world, but it shows that Iran is trying to attack us from every direction.”
Hezbollah began firing rockets into Israel soon after the initial Hamas attacks, and now IDF troops and the Islamic group are trading gunfire along their northern border.
Hezbollah poses a greater threat than Hamas with more troops and better funding. According to the German news outlet Deutsche Welle, Hezbollah can bring together roughly 50,000 troops.
Iran, Hezbollah's primary supporter, has reportedly supplied the militia with longer-range and more precise rockets capable of causing significant damage to Israel's infrastructure and impeding maritime access to Israel's Mediterranean coast.
But the majority of Hezbollah's weaponry consists of small, portable and unguided surface-to-surface artillery rockets. Still, the group's sheer quantity of these weapons can deter larger, more advanced armies, DW reported.
Iran with nukes creeps closer
Through his work as editor and publisher for All Israel News, Rosenberg spent time in northern Israel near the Lebanon border and Hezbollah fighters earlier this week. Israelis living in the area fear the future effects of not dealing with Iran – and its nuclear ambitions – in the present.
“Every single person I interviewed on Monday," Rosenberg recalled, "all along that northern border with Syria, Lebanon, every Israeli said, ‘I am more fearful of Prime Minister Netanyahu not attacking Iran's nuclear facilities and Hezbollah and achieving a massive victory, even though it can be painful.’ They're more scared of that than of the death and destruction that will come from such a war."
Israelis who have seen footage of what Hamas did to women and children, Rosenberg explained, are now asking what Iran would do to them with nuclear weapons.
The Times of Israel reported in February that Iran has enriched uranium to 84 percent purity. The discovery was made by inspectors from the U.N. atomic agency. Iran’s previous known uranium enrichment capacity was 60 percent. A purity of 90 percent is required to produce nuclear weapons.
Considering those fears the mixed messaging many Israelis feel they are getting from their chief ally, the U.S., is unsettling.
Joe Biden did fly into Israel “during a hot war like no other American president has ever done, and that means a lot to us,” Rosenberg said.
Biden has also sent planes full of equipment, supplies, ammunition and other necessities of war. Publicly he has pledged to stand by Israel but U.S. engagement with Israel before the war was lukewarm and has not been forgotten.
“There’s a concern that Prime Minister Netanyahu is getting the bear hug on screen and publicly now, but for the last year, Netanyahu got the snub from President Biden, one of the only top important allies in the world who didn't get an invitation for the last 10 months to come to the White House and talk about the future of U. S.-Israel relations and how to deal with Iran,” Rosenberg said.
Ambiguity from the U.S. on the Iran question
Rosenberg was mostly encouraged by a recent visit by Sen. Lindsey Graham and other senators, a mix of Democrats and Republicans. The message was strong but left room for private interpretation.
“Lindsey is a personal friend. He led a very strong press conference where every single member of the ten members of the Senate, Democrats and Republicans of equal numbers, everybody was united that Hamas has to be eradicated, that we will stand with Israel as long as it takes,” he said.
One the question of Iran there was ambiguity.
“They are very concerned about Iran, and (the U.S. has) warned Iran that if Iran tries to expand this war that they're basically messing with the wrong people," Rosenberg recalled. "That was mostly appreciated, but is that a veiled threat that Israel shouldn't take the fight to the actual enemy that's driving this fight? In other words, Iran is already involved. Iran's regime is the one that are arming, funding, training, and directing Hamas."
For so many reasons Israel’s war must not end with Hamas. Iran must also be targeted, Rosenberg said.
“You don't have to get to 100 percent to have nuclear-bomb grade quality uranium to make fully operational thermonuclear bombs. You only have to get to between 90 and 93. The Iranian regime is right on the threshold.
“Can we really take this moment," he continued, "and say, ‘We're not going to take out those facilities when Iran is the one telling Hamas to slaughter our sons and daughters and our grandmothers and grandfathers?”