Menacing Iranian Threat: A Grim Reality for Israel, America and the World



The unprecedented Iranian attack against Israel on April 13 terrorized the entire nation – proving that the Islamic Republic is dedicated to the destruction of Israel and the annihilation of the Jewish people. Iran launched more than 300 drones, rockets and missiles at the Jewish state. Israel’s air defenses and the support of its allies prevented the catastrophic damage and massive death toll that Iran intended. Iran also poses a threat to America and to much of the world.

In a span of just a few hours one night, the Islamic Republic unleashed at least 170 suicide drones, 120 ballistic missiles and 30 cruise missiles at the Jewish state. All but five were intercepted midair by Israel and its allies, averting catastrophic casualties and property damage. The only direct victim was a seven-year-old Muslim Arab girl who was critically wounded when shrapnel from an intercepted missile fell on her family’s home. Iran was the first nation to directly attack Israel from its own soil since Iraq’s Saddam Hussein launched scud missiles in 1991 during the first Gulf War.

Iran’s arsenal of weaponry is much more advanced than the terror group it backs, Hamas. The kamikaze drones can carry more than 400 pounds of explosives. One of the missiles reportedly fired is 60-feet long, has a 22.5 ton mass and can carry a 3,300-pound warhead. Iran has an arsenal of missiles that are much bigger, heavier and deadlier than these.

An Israeli stands next to the remains of an intercepted Iranian ballistic missile next to the Dead Sea. (X)

Iranian General Had ‘American blood on his hands,’ Planned 10/7 Massacre

Iran is the mastermind behind terrorist attacks around the world. The Israeli Air Force recently struck a building used by terrorists next to the Iranian consulate in Syria. According to The New York Times, Iranian intelligence officials were meeting with Palestinian terrorists – including Iran-backed Palestinian Islamic Jihad – to discuss the Gaza war. The terrorist leaders performed key roles in leading Hamas and Hezbollah battles. Iranian leaders used this strike to justify its ‘proportionate’ response of firing a barrage of rockets at Israel. Attacks on Israel by Iran and its proxies are for no reason other than for its mere existence.

A senior Iranian Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps commander was killed in the airstrike. The IRGC is a terrorist organization deployed by Iran to carry out international attacks. The general reportedly had “American blood on his hands” – Iran-backed Iraqi militias killed three American troops in a drone attack in Jordan in January. Iran praised the general for his “strategic role in planning and executing the 10/7 attacks.” The massive drone and missile attack on Israel was wildly disproportionate.

‘Great Satan is America’: Islamic Revolution Ignites Conflicts

The Islamic Revolution in Iran was a major turning point in Middle Eastern history. The most well-known, but often forgotten direct attack against America was the seizure of 53 Americans at the U.S. embassy in Iran on Nov. 4, 1979. The next day, Ayatollah Khomeini – who would serve as the first supreme leader of the Islamic Republic – stated: “In this revolution, the Great Satan is America that gathers around other devils blatantly.” Khomeini condemned Israel as “Little Satan” because of its close ties to America. A failed rescue attempt claimed the lives of eight American soldiers during the 444-day Iran hostage crisis.

Iran and Hezbollah Coordinate Violence Against Americans and Jews

U.S. intelligence officials warned in January that Iran-backed Hezbollah is capable of attacking the American homeland. Hezbollah previously attacked American citizens in the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut in 1983, killing 63, including 17 Americans; the U.S. Marine barracks bombing in October 1983 which killed 241 American and 58 French servicemen; the bombing of the U.S. Embassy annex in Beirut in 1984 which killed 24; the hijacking of TWA 847 in 1985 in which a Navy diver was shot in the head and his body dumped on the tarmac; and the Khobar Towers housing attack in Saudi Arabia in 1996 that killed 19 U.S. airmen.

Days before Iran’s recent attack, a federal court in Argentina ruled recently that Iran and Hezbollah were responsible for two bombing attacks targeting Jews in Buenos Aires. A suicide bomber killed 28 civilians at the Israeli embassy in 1992. Two years later, a terrorist drove a van loaded with 600 pounds of fertilizer and oil into the Jewish community center, killing 85 people. The car bomb attack had nothing to do with Israel, only Jews. The court stated that the attacks were “organized, planned, financed and executed under the direction of Iran within the framework of jihad and with Hezbollah.”

Hezbollah terrorists in southern Lebanon joined the direct Iranian attack – firing rockets, missiles and drones at Israel almost daily since Oct. 8. The Iranian general killed in Syria was the only non-Lebanese member of Hezbollah’s advisory council – further proving the close relations with Iran. The terror group has nearly 200,000 rockets aimed at Israel.

President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan honor the victims of U.S. Embassy bombing in Beirut, Lebanon, shown on the bottom right. The other image is the aftermath of the Khobar Towers housing complex bombing.

‘Death to America’ and ‘Death to Israel’

American leaders – Democrats and Republicans – strongly condemned the Iranian attack. Many European nations also voiced their support. At the same time, some anti-Israel groups hailed the attack and at least one chanted: “Death to America.”

Pro-Palestinian and left-wing university campus groups cheered the Iranian attack on Israel – just like on 10/7. A professor at California State University tweeted: “It’s for us as Arabs that Iran did what all Arabs could not do.” White supremacists also voiced their support. American anti-war activists in Chicago celebrated the attacks during a meeting. Congressional Squad members– U.S. Reps. Cori Bush and Jamaal Bowman – blamed Israel for Iran’s attack.

Iran Nukes: ‘Not complicated to build atomic bomb’

Iran – ironically the current chair of the UN Conference on Disarmament – is edging ever closer to wielding nuclear weapons, possibly only weeks away. The UN’s International Atomic Energy Agency reported in March that Iran violated its commitments on uranium enrichment. Months earlier, Iran barred IAEA inspectors from its nuclear facilities.

An Iranian nuclear scientist recently declared that “making an atomic bomb is not complicated. Our nuclear reactor capabilities are high. When you have high capabilities, it means power. We are one of the top five countries.”

Israeli Allies Prove Jewish State is Not Isolated

A united defense against Iran’s aggression was a major Israeli victory. Reports indicate that Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates all helped Israel. America, the UK and France also shot down projectiles or provided intelligence support. The Wall Street Journal reported that America rallied Arab nations to support Israel. The UAE is a peace partner in the Abraham Accords. The combined response – even from countries that don’t have warm relations with Israel – proves that they all view Iran as a common enemy.

The Abraham Accords are normalization agreements between Israel and Islamic countries – Bahrain, the UAE, Morocco and Sudan. A member of the Saudi royal family recently asserted that Iran “engineered the war in Gaza” to prevent the Saudi-Israeli normalization talks from proceeding further. Days prior to Iran’s latest attack against Israel, reports surfaced that Indonesia – the world’s most populous Muslim country – will normalize relations with Israel in exchange for the Jewish state supporting its entry into the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Israeli interceptors fired to stop Iranian missiles fired at Israel appear above the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, Israel, on April 14, 2024. The nearby Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. (Screenshot/X)

1. Iran’s attack targeted all of Israel – including the sacred Al Aqsa Mosque

One of the most iconic images is a photo of Israeli interceptors appearing above the Dome of the Rock to destroy incoming Iranian rockets. The neighboring Al Aqsa Mosque is the third holiest site in Islam. The Israeli ambassador to the UN responded: “For the murderous Iranian regime, murdering Israelis is more important than safeguarding Islamic holy sites.” U.S. Rep. Ritchie Torres: “Are the Anti-Israel haters going to thank Israel for protecting one of the holiest sites in Islam? No.” Israel allows freedom of worship in Jerusalem for Muslims, Christians and Jews – and protects their holy sites. Iran sees its attacks as a justified sacrifice in its holy war against Jews.

2. Don’t be fooled by Israel’s 99% success rate – it could be far worse next time

Israel, America and their allies successfully shot down 99% of Iran’s incoming drones, rockets and missiles. It is easy to look at this very high number and think that Israel will always be safe in future attacks. However, Israel’s defense system can be easily overwhelmed if several hundred or thousands of rockets are launched simultaneously at Israel – especially if Iran-backed terror groups in Gaza, Lebanon, Yemen and Iraq join in again. There is also a huge economic impact: the estimated cost for Israel to defend itself was about $1 billion – for one night. And Israel’s supply of defensive weapons can be quickly depleted.

3. Israel is fighting an extreme Islamist regime intent on controlling the Middle East and beyond

Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad in Gaza and the West Bank, Hezbollah in Syria, the Houthis in Yemen, militias in Iraq: all terrorist organizations armed, trained and funded by Iran. The Islamic Republic provided its ballistic and cruise missiles to the Houthis who have been firing them at Israel since 10/7. Russia bought more than 9,000 of the Iranian suicide drones used against Israel for its war in Ukraine. Iran collaborates with Russia, China and North Korea in developing weapons. Iran also is intent on becoming a nuclear power. Iran is the greatest threat to Israel and the entire Middle East.

4. Iran vows to destroy Israel and kill millions of Jews

The Islamic Republic’s religious leaders and its Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps routinely advocate for wiping Israel off the map. Iran’s goals are clearly stated and supported by its actions: building nuclear weapons and supporting terrorist groups that share its vision. A Palestinian terrorist group stated that Iran’s attacks are “the final nail in Israel’s coffin.” Iran’s nuclear ambitions are an existential threat to the Jewish state. Israelis fear that a nuclear-armed Iran could act on its rhetoric and pose an imminent danger to its security: only 30% of Israelis are optimistic about the future of Israel’s national security.

5. America is committed to helping defend Israel

Senior American defense officials met with Israeli leaders at the IDF’s headquarters days before Iran’s attack. The U.S. reportedly shot down 70 to 80 of the Iranian drones during the attack. White House national security spokesperson John Kirby: “We’ll keep helping Israel defend itself even if that means, as we proved during the Iran attack, that U.S. forces have to get involved in that self-defense.”

6. The Islamic Republic of Iran does not represent all Iranians

The Iranian government does not speak for all its citizens. Before the Islamic Revolution, the nation was secular; now the morality police enforces a strict dress and behavior code on women. Leaders also persecute religious minorities, including Christians, Jews and Bahais. Iranian leaders squander billions of dollars on its military and funding terrorist groups rather than for the benefit of its citizens. The regime severely represses anti-government protests – there have been more than 6,000 protests in Iran in the past year and a half. Some Iranians living in America and Europe have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with Jews rallying against Hamas and Iran. Many Iranians want the same freedoms that Americans and Israelis enjoy.

Foundation for the Defense of Democracies

You might hear: Israel started this war with an airstrike against the Iranian embassy in Syria.

REALITY: Iran has been waging war against Israel for decades. The Israeli airstrike targeted Iranian, Lebanese and Palestinian terrorist leaders in the local headquarters of the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps near an Iranian consulate building. One senior leader killed in the attack had American and Israeli blood on his hands. He helped plan the 10/7 massacre, arm Hezbollah with nearly 200,000 rockets aimed at Israel and led an attack that killed three American troops. Iran arms, trains and funds several terrorist groups, including Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad and Hezbollah. The airstrike directly targeted terrorists responsible for daily attacks against Israelis.

You might hear: The Iranian attack against Israel was minimal.

REALITY: U.S. government officials stated that “Iran’s intent clearly was to cause significant damage and deaths in Israel” and “was designed to overwhelm Israeli and U.S. air defenses.” Rockets were also launched from Yemen, Iraq and Lebanon. The attack allowed Iranian leaders to test Israel’s defense systems for weaknesses and deplete its arsenal. There also was a huge economic toll: the estimated cost for Israel to defend itself was about $1 billion – for one night. The Jewish state relied on its complex defense system that includes the Arrow, David’s Sling and Iron Dome. All three systems were jointly developed or supported by America. The missile costs: $3.5 million for one Arrow missile and $1 million for each launch of David’s Sling. The Iron Dome is designed to destroy smaller, short-range rockets. Now, Israel needs help replacing its depleted arsenal before Iran’s next attack. The assault also terrorized and traumatized Israelis who were forced to flee into safe rooms for the entire night.

IDF Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Herzi Halevi meets with CENTCOM chief Gen. Michael Erik Kurilla at the IDF HQ in Tel Aviv, April 12, 2024. (Israeli Defense Forces)

A.   Ask your Congressional members to support bipartisan aid for Israel

Israel desperately needs to replenish its anti-rocket arsenal against future attacks from Iran and its allies, including Hezbollah and Hamas. Contact your U.S. Representative and Senators and urge them to fast-track aid to Israel. Congressional representatives respond best to personally written emails.

B.   Help dispel falsehoods by stating facts in your conversations

Many Americans know little about the Iranian threat to Israel – and America. They are unaware of Iran’s extensive history of directly attacking Americans, or using their proxies. The same terror groups are relentlessly committed to destroying Israel. Every conversation with family, friends and colleagues is an opportunity to educate and inform. The more individuals understand, the less inclined they will be to follow false and biased narratives promoted by Iran and its allies.

We heard loud booms and fighter jets

Written by Elisheva Cohen, a recent American immigrant to Israel with her husband and four children.

An Israeli Air Force fighter roared overhead minutes after breaking news alerted us that Iran had launched an attack against Israel. The jet pierced the silence of a quiet night. My husband and I rushed outside to scan the skies, watching the number of jets multiply.

We moved our sleeping children to the safe room in our home and prayed. It is a reinforced room offering protection from high impact projectiles and chemical weapons. We had already stocked it with last-minute supplies to ensure we would have what we needed for basic survival in a worst case scenario. WhatsApp groups quickly organized to recite Psalms as we prepared a long night.

I heard a boom at 1:44 a.m. that was so loud it shook the walls and we all jumped. Rushing to the windows, we saw rockets in the air followed by more booms as they were intercepted overhead by Israel’s defense system. We were all safe, but it was a sleepless night for many. I don’t think I actually fell asleep until nearly 5 a.m. because I waited to see if the barrage of rocket fire had truly ended. I fell asleep praying for our safety and for Israel’s victory.

Passover is approaching and the holiday is a time of great deliverance for the Jewish people. Another enemy is seeking the destruction of the Jewish people. Where there is unity and faith, miracles can happen. Living here in Israel, I truly see them everywhere. I don’t only see them when sirens sound and rockets are intercepted. I see them in the way our nation has changed since 10/7. I see daily miracles in the kindness between complete strangers.

Hamas, Hezbollah and Iran all share a mission to destroy us because we are Jews. What they do not realize is that the harder they fight us, the more they unite us – and that makes us unbreakable.

Am Yisrael Chai!

The people of Israel live!

Anti-Israel activist charged for threatening to kill elected officials at council meeting

Speaking twice at a recent Bakersfield City Council meeting in California, a pro-Palestinian activist criticized the mayor and council for not passing a ceasefire resolution. She stated:

  • “I hope one day, somebody brings the guillotine and kills all of you mother-f***ers.”
  • “We’ll see you at your house, we’ll murder you.”

The 28-year-old Indian American protestor was arrested and charged with 16 felonies, including eight counts for threatening with the intent to terrorize. The Hindu American Foundation condemned her: “This person invokes Gandhi while threatening to murder city leaders. The escalation of antisemitic rhetoric must stop now.”

Economic blockade: activists shut down traffic across America

Anti-Israel activists organized an economic blockade to coincide with tax day on April 15. The California Highway Patrol reported three separate disturbances, including on the iconic Golden Gate Bridge. About 20 activists were arrested on the bridge after blocking traffic for about five hours. Hundreds of protestors blocked two sections of I-880, including some chaining themselves to 55-gallon cement-filled drums. Travelers in Chicago were forced to walk on foot from their cars and taxis after pro-Palestinian protestors blocked the ramp to the domestic terminal at the O’Hare airport.

One antisemitic incident every hour of every day: ADL Audit of Antisemitic Incidents 2023

  • Reported Anti-Jewish attacks in America soared 140%
  • Assault incidents increased by 45%
  • Vandalism increased 69%
  • Harassment increased 184%
  • Incidents at K-12 schools increased by 135%
  • Incidents on college and university campuses spiked by a staggering 321%
  • Incidents at Jewish institutions jumped by 237%

Pro-Palestinian activists disrupt dinner at home of UC Berkeley law school dean

Anti-Israel activists spread a caricature of the law school dean holding a bloody knife and fork and with blood around his lips. It was part of a boycott effort for an upcoming dinner. The dean responded: “I never thought I would see such blatant antisemitism, invoking the horrible antisemitic blood libel and that attacks me for no apparent reason other than I am Jewish.” University of California regent John Perez: “They called for a boycott in a horrific way, by employing an antisemitic caricature.”

ADL releases inaugural ratings on university antisemitism

The ADL’s Campus Antisemitism Report Card is a tool for students, parents, alumni, faculty, guidance counselors and admissions consultants. The grades help students and their families review the current state of antisemitism on 85 campuses and how they are responding. The only schools receiving an A grade are Brandeis and Elon. The worst offenders include Harvard, Michigan State and the University of North Carolina.

Bipartisan legislation would establish National Coordinator to Counter Antisemitism

A bipartisan group of U.S. senators and representatives introduced the bipartisan Countering Antisemitism Act. The bill would establish the first-ever National Coordinator to Counter Antisemitism, who would oversee federal efforts to counter domestic antisemitism and lead an interagency task force to implement the U.S. National Strategy to Counter Antisemitism. Sen. Jacky Rosen: “My bipartisan legislation would take much-needed steps across the federal government to fight anti-Jewish hatred, bigotry and violence in the U.S.”

Palestinian and Israeli extremists behind deadly attacks in the West Bank

Israeli security forces suspect that 14-year-old Benjamin Achimeir was murdered by Palestinians while shepherding animals in the West Bank. Extremist Israelis living in the West Bank responded by violently attacking nearby Palestinian villages, including setting fire to houses and cars. The IDF responded to violence between Palestinians and Israelis, and were attacked by both sides. A Palestinian civilian was reportedly shot in the head and died. Israeli leaders condemned the revenge attacks. Israeli defense minister: “Do not take the law into your own hands.” However, days later, Israelis killed two Palestinians in a West Bank village.

Australian Jew falsely accused by radicals of perpetrating deadly mall attack

Anti-Israel activists spread a damaging and false conspiracy theory that a Jewish university student was responsible for a stabbing attack that killed six shoppers in Sydney. The innocent victim stated: “It’s very dangerous how people could just make stuff up and destroy people’s lives.” A Syrian Australian – with nearly 400,000 followers on X and who routinely slanders Israel – speculated that the attack was carried out by the Israeli Mossad, stated that the attacker “looks Israeli” and then posted the name of an innocent Jew. Even an Australian news station repeated the lie. White supremacists seized on the false statements to spread it to their followers on social media.

In Canada, swastikas were drawn on posters of kidnapped Israelis – including infant Kfir Bibas.

A poster of Kfir Bibas – the youngest Israeli hostage taken captive on Oct. 7 by Hamas terrorists – was vandalized on April 9, 2024. (Friends of the Simon Wiesenthal Center)

This content is developed by The Focus Project in partnership with Mercaz USA. The Focus Project distributes weekly news and talking points on timely issues concerning Israel and the Jewish people, including antisemitism, anti-Zionism and the delegitimization of Israel. It represents a consensus view across a spectrum of major American Jewish organizations. Mercaz USA recognizes and respects the diversity of views on these issues among its readers and the community at large.

The Focus Project develops and distributes news, background, history and weekly talking points on timely issues to inform individuals and organizations about issues affecting the American Jewish community and Israel, and help readers speak with more consistency and clarity. The editions also provide potential responses for addressing incidents of antisemitism and anti-Zionism. With input from a spectrum of major American Jewish organizations, we focus on that which unites us, rising above political and individual agendas.
Recognizing that hatred of Jews comes in many forms and directions, we strive to address all sources as they arise, and educate our growing audience on topics ranging from inter-religious relations to relevant international developments. From week to week, we may focus on issues arising from the political left, university campuses, from the political right and from institutions, government, and corporations. We don’t try to address all issues in each edition. We hope you will find this information useful in your writing and/or speaking. We are always open to your feedback: