Iran is the biggest obstacle to peace in the Middle East and we are also its target

By Paul Vallas

May 29, 2024

Shortly after Hamas October 7th attack on a major Saudi-owned newspaper, Asharq al-Awsat, Tariq Alhomayed, the newspaper’s former editor, criticized Hamas and Palestinian factions for waging what he called a “useless war.” He accused them of trying to sabotage the prospects for Saudi-Israeli normalization — and of serving their Iranian backers at the expense of the Palestinian people. “Iran does not want to see real peace, or specifically Saudi-Israeli peace,” he wrote. “Because if it happens, it will be the peace that will change the face of the region.”

*Iran is the real enemy and America is their ultimate target

The government of Iran, which for years has been engaged in a shadow war with Israel and has supported Hamas, cheered the group’s attack on Israel. Too many are blind to the brutal nature of the Iranian regime and its state sponsored terrorism or the war crimes being committed by Iran supported Syrian President Assad against the ethnic majorities. Yes, peace requires addressing long-standing Palestinian issues but there is no justification for acts of violence nor the naïveté of those who underestimate the degree to which Iran is using its proxies to advance its own agenda at the expense of Palestinian people.

The Middle East conflict is marked by complex geopolitical factors, but there’s no mistaking that Iran poses the most significant obstacle to peace in the region. While this conflict is often viewed as Israeli, it is also an American struggle. Iran’s objective is to dominate the Middle East and diminish American influence, with Israel acting as a roadblock to their ambitions. Iran has been at odds with the United States for decades, perpetrating attacks on Americans. They have managed to avoid direct blame by relying on its proxies, Hamas and Hezbollah.

It is also a larger Arab struggle. Hamas is funded, armed and advised by a Shia Iran, the committed enemy of the Sunni Arab world. Iran has no qualms about funding groups that kill other Muslims if it furthers their goals of dominating the region. Egypt blocks the migration of Palestinians on the western border of Gaza, Jordan won’t allow Palestinians from Gaza to enter their country as they fear Hamas. Arab leaders have never educated their populations that Iran and its surrogates is the real threat. Now they tremble in fear that anger in the streets from people fed lies for decades about Israel will threaten their rule.

The Hamas attack is just one facet of Iran’s covert war against Israel and the United States. Iran is determined to disrupt the potential for normalization between Saudi Arabia and Israel. Hamas serves this end by following the orders of their Iranian backers, most often at the expense of the Palestinian people. Iran does not want genuine peace, particularly between Saudi Arabia and Israel, because such peace would transform the entire region. Iran is the lingering threat, a sentiment shared by most of the Arab world. They fear Iran more than they fear Israel.

It’s no coincidence that the Hamas attack occurred just as Israel and Saudi Arabia, along with other Arab nations, were on the verge of reaching an agreement on normalization of relations. Iran is the lingering threat, a sentiment shared by most of the Arab world. They fear Iran more than they fear Israel. President Biden is right to be concerned about escalating this conflict, but the fear of escalation can inadvertently invite it if it is perceived as a sign of weakness. This raises a crucial question; can the United States afford to let Iran acquire nuclear weapons?

*Proportionate response?

Since 2014 when Israel left Gaza, over 20,000, unguided missiles have been fired into Israel with the obvious intention of killing Israeli civilians. Since the recent attack over 5,000 have been fired. Where is the public outcry from those who have condemning Israels surgical strikes into Gaza. Would it be “proportionate response” as the international community is demanding of Israel to fire the same number of middles into Gaza? It’s clear Israel is being held and judged by a different standard than Hamas who are subject to no standard at all.

The attacks have been condemned as war crimes, both because they usually target civilians and because the weapons’ inaccuracy would disproportionately endanger civilians even if military targets were chosen. Human Rights Watch has also condemned the attackers for firing from near residential structures, thus putting Gazan civilians at unnecessary risk. According to Israeli human rights group B’Tselem, Palestinian organizations that fire Qassam rockets openly declare that they intend to strike, among other targets, Israeli civilians.

*Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel is not Israel’s 911 but their Dunkirk

Hamas’ brutal attack on Israel has been called Israel’s 911 but comparisons to Dunkirk may be more appropriate. The attack marks the onset of a significant and protracted battle for survival. Israel cannot afford to adopt a wait-and-see approach, with jihadists operating in southern Israel and an array of rockets from Lebanon targeting Israeli population centers. In 2001 after 911 the United States dealt with loosely affiliated terrorist groups. In 2023, Israel confronts a well-established network of state and state-like actors, including Hamas, Hezbollah, Russia, Syria, Turkey, and Qatar, all underpinned by Iran. Surrounded, this is a struggle for Israel’s very existence.

This isn’t merely a group of jihadists hiding in caves but a messianic mission to extinguish the Jewish state. Israel must rally at a national level, much like the situation in Dunkirk and rely on the US commitment to its defense. The Biden administration’s ill-advised commitment to the Iran deal must not supersede the needs of America’s closest ally. The landscape has shifted, and Israel’s tactics may exceed what the U.S. administration deems acceptable. Any attempts to push Israel into an ill-conceived ceasefire will be rejected. Israel faces a new reality.

*It’s time for those who are concerned about these issues to become informed and engaged

Hamas is one of the world’s wealthiest terrorist organizations, making over $700 million annually, ranking third behind the Taliban and Hezbollah. Their leaders enjoy luxurious lifestyles. When Hamas took control of Gaza in 2007, they had every opportunity to transform it into a prosperous oasis with advanced infrastructure, healthcare, education systems, and self-sustained power generation. Instead, they squandered their billions on building rockets and tunnels.

Hamas came to murder innocent people — men, women, children, elderly, knowing full well that Israel’s response will cost the lives of Palestinian civilians. They want the Israeli bombing to kill civilians-women and children, the elderly and the disabled. The need that visual to mobilize anger not only among Moslem states but worldwide, against Israel. That’s why they embed their military arsenals among schools, hospitals and mosques using the population as human shields and unwitting martyrs to the cause. Shame on those who refuse to label the Israeli Hamas attackers as terrorists.

*There are rabid anti-semites on the far left and far right, the only difference is the far left is equally anti American

Elected officials who let ideological viewpoints blind them from recognizing Hamas’ brutality, not only towards the Israelis but against their own people, and the role Iran has played in supporting terrorist groups to advance their own interests, behave irresponsibly and shamefully and only embolden the terrorists and their sponsors like Iran. Unfortunately, many are blinded by their own anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism.

The American far left often overlooks the brutality of regimes like Iran, the Assad regime in Syria, the Taliban’s oppression of women in Afghanistan, the Myammer’s brutal persecution of the Rohingyas, Nigerias Boko Haran kidnapping of women from whole villages, the historic atrocities of the Soviet Union and China that killed tens of millions of their own people. Today, Russia is the deliberately bombing Ukrainians civilians while the Chinese crowd a million Uyghurs into concentration camps.

They seem to be selectively blind, especially when it comes to anti-Semitism. Consider the stark contrast on how colleges handle various issues. Microaggressions receive strong moral condemnation, while acts like “misgendering” and “harmful language” are publicly denounced and punished. However, the mass killing of Jews in Israel by the genocidal terrorist organization receives no condemnations or are accompanied by moral equivalencies.

Unfortunately,college campuses often tolerate and even glorify the murder of Jews. Anti-Semitism is equally rampant on both the left and right with few having the courage to acknowledge and the call it out. Jewish college students frequently face hostility from the left, with many equating “American Jew” with “Israeli supporter of Netanyahu” and attempting to silence Jewish voices, regardless of their relevance to the Middle East. While some on the far right openly expresses hatred towards Jews, the far-left attempts to rationalize their hatred by focusing on Zionism.

The Democratic Socialists of America (DSA), for example chant at their rally “from the River to the Sea,” a call for the eradication of the Jewish State, amid one of the largest single-day massacres of Jews since the Holocaust. The far Left’s anti-Semitism is matched if not exceeded by its anti-Americanism, not only blaming American support for Israel’s actions in the Middle East but seemingly blaming American capitalism and our foreign policy for global problems. Consider the Left’s blaming American “racist foreign police” for the current migrant crisis.

American radicals amongst the Ivy’s seem to be embracing Derek Bells “Critical Race Theory” viewed through the lens of intersectionality. There is a hierarchy of oppressors and oppressed that negates ethical and moral rationality and condones a certain savagery amongst otherwise privileged kids that makes the Maoist revolution seem possible again. It allows for to sets of rules or shall we say one set of rules that only govern the “alleged” aggressors, in the case of the Middle East Israel. It allows the oppressed to attack Israel with the firm intention to slaughter civilians or the launch 20,000 rockets indiscriminately with the firm intent to kill civilians, receiving no condemnation from the left.

*Iran seems free to continue to inflict death & destruction

Meanwhile, Iran is largely ignored as it continues to inflict death & destruction on civilians through its surrogates like Hamas, to further its goals of dominating the Middle East. The Syrian Civil War has seen over 500,000 killed, including over 300,000 civilians. The UK based Syrian Network for Human Rights (SNHR) reports that the murderous Iran backed Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian government has been responsible for 91% of the civilian and 84% of children killed. Iran’s the real enemy of peace.

Silence from the left and on college campuses, not only to the brutality of the Iranian backed Assad regime but also the brutal crackdown on Iranian’s own civilians. No protests or condemnation for the Iranian morality police murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for not wearing her Hajib and the continued brutal crackdown on those protesting her death. The crackdown has left more than 500 people dead and has detained some 22,000, executing several detained protesters, according to human rights experts.

Lasting peace in the Middle East requires that the needs of the Palestinian people are addressed. However, this can only happen if Iran’s proxies are recognized for who they are, their stranglehold on their captive populations is loosened, and Iran is no longer seen as a threat. In the Middle East, Iran stands as the primary obstacle to peace. The Hamas attack is just one facet of Iran’s covert war against Israel and the United States. As for the American far Left, they have shown their true colors. The sooner the American public realize that the faster they can be marginalized at the ballot box.


Paul Vallas formerly ran the public school systems in Chicago, Philadelphia and the Louisiana Recovery School District. He was a candidate for Mayor of Chicago.

Comments 17

  1. Until the Palestinian people turn their backs on Hamas and all it stands for there will be no peace. When Israel portioned out Gaza, they had that opportunity. The Palestinians have never tried to live in peace with their Jewish neighbors, but they cling to the Third Reich bile of the Grand Mufti and the thuggish terrorists of Hamas. Iran uses the Palestinians as do the Egyptians, Syrians, Saudis, Iraqis and Arab Lebanese. Until the Palestinians clean their house there will be no homeland.

    1. Unfortunately, the way it works in the Middle East is the group that has the most weapons runs the show. Even if Hamas is eliminated, Iran will bring in another one of their proxies to kill Jews and Americans. The only solution is to cut off Iran from the rest of the world. And, if necessary, eliminate the leadership in Iran. Our current president (Biden) lacks the courage to do what needs to be done.

      1. Agree 100%. I would trust Israel to exact, and help maintain, regime change in Iran. The United States has proven itself positively inept at the regime change game, perfectly inept and this incompetence has been around a long time – since the Hard Left’s special military operation through the Southland. Its not how our Nation is set up, period. This is not what we do. We are set up quite well, to set the very best example for securing freedom and all the goodness that comes from it, at home – and possibly, if we get our act together – for the rest of the world. What could be more Global. I hope we figure this out. Trump is on the right path, compared to Biden

  2. “the far left is equally anti American” as the far right, pretty much says it all.

    People really need to read (non-biased & factual sources as possible) and educate themselves on what’s going on at home and the world, beyond echo chamber self-reinforcing social media.

  3. Just think how different things would be if Abraham didn’t listen to his wife and waited for her to have that promised son! Instead of taking her maidservant to have one.

  4. Mr. Vallas might have mentioned that Iran has been seeding American society with terror and special ops cells for decades. I used to see their “emissaries” visit a local mosque when we lived in the Chicago area. Open borders have certain aided their efforts.

  5. Mr Vallas, thoughtful and succinct. I’m glad your voice has a good platform. Chicagoans can only dream of what Paul Vallas sitting on the 5th floor of City Hall versus the current occupant could accomplish. On the national/international level is an equally incompetent and corrupt president. I’m sure our local Brandon will figure the illicit part out too. Both have have followed the Peter Principle of rising to the level of their Incompetence. The Veep already testing the waters to replace Newsone and allow him time to run for potus and turn the US into California. God help us.

    You and John keep speaking out. There is hope yet, my optimistic baby boomer soul can dream of a course correction both locally and nationally.

  6. The bottom line is you can’t make peace with someone who is sworn to kill you. Someone will have to die to settle the issue. If Hamas could have delivered a death blow to end Israel they would have on October Seventh. They are now hiding behind innocent civilians in order to wage a public relations war that they’re winning thanks to biased Western media. Thank you Paul for helping clear the air of all the BS propagated by the American media to muddy the real issues here AND who is behind the carnage in the Middle East. Has it not occurred to anyone that the only calls for ceasefire are coming from Western countries NOT Arabic countries (except for terrorist supporters like Iran, Syria, etc.) . Not one Arab country has offered to take in Palestinians. Not one. When the initial reports of the attack broke and the footage of the people in Gaza celebrating the carnage in the streets of Gaza was aired on television you knew this wasn’t going to end well for them. Israel has only one option left. Complete destruction of Hamas. Hopefully they are successful. The world will be a better place for it.

  7. The real President, now in his third but non-consecutive term, seeded State Department with Malley and like-minded Iranian minions.
    The elevation of Iran to power broker is the feature and not defect.

  8. Paul Vallas should have been elected.

    The present mayor voting for a cease fire shows him to be profoundly ignorant of the circumstances.

    Should we not try to recover the hostages.

    Hamas has promised they will come again to rape, torture and kill Jewish babies in the future.

    Foolish to give them time to retool.

    The plight of any innocent Palestinians is on them.

    Complaints about Jewish response are nonsense with casualty figures made up by Hamas and even if true Israel needs to protect future Jewish children even at the expense of disproportionate lives lost when the enemy has indicated they will not stop and use their own civilians as shields banking on western sensibilities to bail them out.

    Hamas needs to be eradicated and Israel needs to be able to protect itself and future generations.

  9. If I was President Obama, I would not ever leave Martha’s Vineyard. Instead, I would contemplate the serious mistakes I made (trusting Iran, choosing a a feckless Vice President Biden who wrongly double downed on Mr. Obamas’ Iran policy, and wondering how I could have been so arrogant to go down this path).

    Maybe it’s best for Mr. Obama to stay in the warm embrace of family and friends for the rest of his years. It worked for Napoleon.

  10. Spot on Paul! And thanks to Kasso for sharing your assessment on this platform. Unfortunately, with Joe mumbles as our president, the US isn’t feared by anyone in the world. Only the citizens of the US fear their own government for the past several years. We’ve become just like China and Russia, going after our own, accusing them of every kind of “crimes” they can conjure up, and imprisoning them. Nothing will happen in the middle east unless we get serious about electing a leader, who’s a real leader, not an empty suit like Obama or Joe, who actually knows that the world is full of evil leaders and must be dealt with through strength, not weakness of resolve.

  11. This makes what, the 17th cease fire so Hamas can rearm? Israel will eventually take out Iran’s nuclear facilities with or without the help of the U.S. As for Syria & Assad, biblical prophecy suggests the total destruction of Damascus which is said to have a huge armament supply underground. Damascus will no longer be inhabitable. Interesting times indeed. Israel is the only country in the M.E. with a semblance of a democratically run government.

  12. Mr. Vallas provides nothing that can alleviate that situation. Like a lot of so-called critics, he finger points. Iran has never liked us, so blaming them is a crap-out. The fact is that the Israelis have gone apeshit killing Palestinians and being the only mideast democracy in no way makes it justifiable.

  13. Great information Mr Vallas, thanks for the insight.
    The Iranian people need to remove their leaders and destabilize this terror state but don’t seem to have the ability to do so.

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